Ukraine’s Western allies may finally have run out of patience with Kiev’s unwillingness to fight the country’s endemic corruption. The United States, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have all criticized the recent undermining of an independent corruption investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office – an organization of rampant fraud. “Recent events – including the disruption of a high-level corruption investigation, the arrest of officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU),…"Commentary: How Trump can get tough on Ukraine corruption"
Vladimir Putin’s global stature appears to be at an all-time high. Some observers the Russian president the and for good reason. Last week, during a series of meetings with the leaders of Syria, Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin took the central role in a to end Syria’s civil war by winning support from Turkey and Iran to host a Syrian peace congress. The Sochi summit conspicuously did not include delegates…"Commentary: Don’t call Putin a genius"
CHICAGO/NEW YORK – Turnout at U.S. retailers was relatively subdued on Black Friday, with many shoppers flocking to stores to eye items in person and enjoy the festive atmosphere while waiting to do their actual bargain hunting online. There were few signs of the over-the-top frenzy that had been a hallmark of the start to the U.S. shopping season in years past, and some stores appeared to be getting creative with gimmicks beyond heavy discounts…"Black Friday draws early shoppers, but real frenzy is online"
Middle East tensions are flaring – again – as Lebanon in the regional rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran. But while the focus of the news has shifted from the battering of Islamic State to the repercussions of the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, there’s been a remarkable silence about one of the Middle East’s most important players: Israel. In an ironic twist for the Jewish state, the IS losses have…"Commentary: The Mideast war risk Trump can’t ignore"
WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, one of President Donald Trump’s closest business advisers, said on Sunday he would testify on Tuesday to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The timing of Cohen’s testimony was first reported by NBC. Cohen confirmed that he would testify to the committee on Tuesday and said he did not know whether it would be in a closed session or public.…"Cohen, close Trump business adviser, to testify in Senate on Tuesday"
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wants the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with “defensive weapons” to combat the Russian-supported separatists occupying parts of eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. On a recent visit to Kiev, Mattis told a news conference that these weapons “are not provocative unless you are an aggressor, and clearly Ukraine is not an aggressor.” While Mattis stressed that Donald Trump has not yet made a decision on arming Ukraine, there are certainly legitimate…"Commentary: Here’s what a realistic Ukraine settlement may look like"
Steve Bannon made many enemies during his stormy seven-month tenure at the White House. He clashed with Donald Trump’s Jared Kushner as well as top economic advisers and national security adviser . Bannon was also a divisive force for the country, instrumental in decisions like the barring people from several Muslim majority policies from entering the United States; a supporter of building a wall with Mexico, and a conservative blamed for white voters’ resentment towards minorities. However, Bannon’s…"Commentary: Bannon’s departure may harm U.S. foreign policy"
The U.S.-Russian relationship is in a downward spiral. President Donald Trump just a bill imposing additional sanctions on Russia, while Russian President Vladimir Putin angrily 755 U.S. diplomats to leave the country. The additional sanctions will have two effects. For one thing, they are likely to Russia’s economy by chilling the country’s investment climate. (Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev promptly called them “a declaration of a full-fledged trade war on Russia.”) Perhaps more importantly, it…"Commentary: Signing a new Russia sanctions bill shouldn’t stop Trump trying to get closer to Putin"
Donald Trump just got another chance to fight charges that he’s soft on anti-Semitism. Let’s hope he took it. The president held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Washington on Tuesday. The Ukraine leader emerged from the meeting Kiev had “received strong support from the U.S. side” over sovereignty, territorial integrity and the “independence of our state.” For Ukraine, the meeting was a win because Poroshenko got to visit the White House ahead of…"Commentary: How Trump can show he’s tough on anti-Semitism"