Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter?
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Last week, Republican Senator John McCain tweeted to Russia's Prime Minister Putin, "Dear Vlad, the Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you." We hear about Saturday's mass protest and political challenges from the left, the right and even the Orthodox Church. Is Putin really at risk of losing his power? Also, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki visits the White House. On Reporter's Notebook, is a surprise agreement on climate change just an "empty shell?"
Banner image: An authorized opposition protest against the alleging mass fraud in the December 4 parliamentary polls in central Moscow, on December 10, 2011. Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Visits the White House ()
At today's White House news conference with Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki, President Obama said that history will decide if it was right for the US to have invaded Iraq nine years ago. Honoring the sacrifice of those who made this day possible, the President called today the beginning of "a new chapter in the history between our two countries: a normal relationship between sovereign nations." Jonathan Broder is defense and foreign policy senior editor for Congressional Quarterly.
- John Broder: New York Times
Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? ()
Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests across Russia's nine time zones over the weekend as tens of thousands turned out to denounce Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and last week's allegedly rigged elections. Today, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov challenged Putin for President; former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms, and the Russian Orthodox Church called for change. Dissenters include the new middle class, Communists and a nationalist blogger with ties to skinheads. Can they get together? Will they be repressed? With Putin blaming Hillary Clinton for stirring up trouble, what will it mean for President Obama's "reset" in relations?
- Andrew Kramer: New York Times, @AndrewKramerNYT
- Konstantin von Eggert: Kommersant
- Stephen F. Cohen: New York University
- Fiona Hill: Brookings Institution, @BrookingsInst
Durban Deal Breaks New Ground, but May Not Slow Climate Change ()
After working through Saturday night into yesterday morning, the UN Conference on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa finally reached an agreement. It includes India, China and other developing nations, as well as the developed world. But environmental groups call it an "empty shell." The agreement won't go into effect until 2020 and sets no goals for reducing greenhouse emissions in the meantime. Fiona Harvey is environmental correspondent for the Guardian newspaper in the UK.
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