FROM Edward Lucas
The World’s First "E-resident" on the Benefits of Digital Citizenship Since the Internet was created, there have been problems with online identification. We all know about fraud and identity theft. The New Yorker's most often-copied cartoon show's a canine at a computer saying, “On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” Now that may be changing — in tiny Estonia. The country that gave the world Skype is now issuing digital ID cards to anybody who wants one. Edward Lucas, senior editor at the Economist , took them up on it. He's now the first “ E-resident ” of Estonia. Earlier this month, he discussed it with us.
The World’s First "E-resident" on the Benefits of Digital Citizenship Since the Internet was created, there have been problems with online identification. We all know about fraud and identity theft. The New Yorker's most often-copied cartoon shows a canine at a computer saying, “On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” Now that may be changing — in tiny Estonia. The country that gave the world Skype is now issuing digital ID cards to anybody who wants one. Edward Lucas, senior editor at the Economist , took them up on it. He's now the first “ E-resident ” of Estonia.
Are the US and Russia Fighting a New Cold War? When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, President Obama wanted to “re-set” relations with Russia. How times have changed. Her successor, John Kerry says, “the Cold War was easy compared to where we are today.” Russian aircraft — including strategic bombers — flew so close to the boundaries of European countries last week that NATO sent up intercepting aircraft. It’s Vladimir Putin’s latest challenge since he annexed Crimea and encouraged Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Putin is playing tough despite a weak hand. One available option for the US and the West -- go after the “dirty money.”
Growing Pedophile Scandal Rocks Catholic Church in Europe Revelations of child-abuse and cover-ups by Roman Catholic clergy are causing outrage in the Netherlands, in Austria and in Germany, where Pope Benedict XVI was Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger. The rash of sex scandals has the Vatican defending the Pope himself, and he's promised a pastoral letter of healing tomorrow. It will be addressed to the faithful in Ireland. Edward Lucas is International Editor for The Economist .
Obama Reverses Policy on Missile Shield NATO, the US and Russia should abandon "mistrust" and coordinate their efforts against international ballistic missiles. That's from NATO's new secretary general, just one day after President Obama pulled the plug on George Bush's plan for missile defense in Eastern Europe. Based on the latest intelligence about Iran's ballistic missile technology, the US will rely on missiles already deployed by the Navy on ships at sea. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are unanimously in support. Russia's Vladimir Putin called that "a right and brave decision," but it's produced heated controversy in the Czech Republic and Poland, not to mention Washington, DC. We hear about technology, national security and international politics.
Iranian Missile Tests and Russian Threats Iran today test-fired nine ballistic missiles, including a new version of the Shahab-3, which Iran says has the capacity to strike Tel Aviv. The tests were shown on government-run TV and a commander of the Revolutionary Guard said they were designed to "tell the world...that our finger is always on the trigger." We get perspective from Iran, Israel, Russia and the US.
Dance of the Aging Lions, the Final Bush-Putin Meeting At a summit this week in Bucharest, leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have agreed to support a United States missile-defense system based in Europe, but refused to back President Bush's proposal to immediately begin the process of extending NATO membership to Ukraine and Georgia in the face of strong opposition by Russia. Edward Lucas is Moscow correspondent for the Economist.
Russia's Presidential Election: Freedom Versus Stability From St. Petersburg to Siberia, Vladimir Putin has centralized Russian authority behind what the New York Times calls a " facade of democracy ." Elections of provincial governors were cancelled altogether. The results of next Sunday's presidential election have been known for weeks. Dmitry Medvedev will succeed Putin as President and Putin will become Prime Minister, a job he calls "the highest executive power in the country." We hear about what's called "managed democracy," which means less freedom but greater "stability." That could be great for western investors, but for Washington it's another story. Will Putin and Medvedev want better relations or a new kind of Cold War?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.