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Turkish artillery hammers Kurdish-held territory in Syria

- The Washington Times

Turkish forces hammered the Kurdish-controlled district of Afrin, in northern Syria’s Aleppo governorate, with mortars and heavy artillery on Friday, in what could be the opening salvos of a large-scale offensive by Ankara on the district.

In this Nov. 11, 2017 photo, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam. Trump repeatedly declared in his presidential campaign that he would improve relations with Russia but was never specific. A year into his presidency, its no more clear. Moscow and Washington are at odds over issues ranging from North Korea to Ukraine, despite Trumps open admiration of Putin.  (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP, File)

U.S.-Russian foreign and domestic enemies

Those who follow statements from the U.S. foreign policy establishment and mainstream media often hear that the main reason for the current crisis in U.S.-Russia relations has little to do with conventional geopolitics.

Pope Francis arrives on his pope-mobile to celebrate Mass on Lobito Beach in Iquique, Chile, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Pope Francis shocks Chile by accusing sexual abuse victims of slander

- Associated Press

Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

Vice President Mike Pence upcoming visit to the Mideast comes at a time of friction between the Trump administration and the Palestinian leadership, posing a dilemma for Arab hosts Egypt and Jordan on how to safeguard their vital ties with Washington. (Associated Press)

Jerusalem embassy move complicates Pence trip to Middle East

Vice President Mike Pence lands in Cairo for the first leg of his Mideast tour on Saturday with a scaled-back itinerary that reflects a changed Middle East diplomatic landscape in the wake of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa will tout what he says is a turnaround underway in one of Africa's poorest and most mismanaged countries. (Associated Press/File)

New Zimbabwean president will join Trump and other world leaders at Davos

Having just ousted longtime autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa will travel to the World Economic Forum at Davos to tout what he says is a turnaround underway in one of Africa’s poorest and most mismanaged countries.

Russian billionaire banker Alexander Lebedev gives an interview at his home in Moscow in 2008. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretareve)

Russia needs to grow, but has no idea how

The Russian media outlet Republic.ru reported this week on a conversation with Alexander Lebedev, a Russian businessman and banking expert. The most striking comment made in the interview was Mr. Lebedev’s assertion that at least $100 billion had been illegally smuggled overseas from Russian banks over the last decade. For an economy the size of Russia’s, that is an extraordinary amount.

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