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To: The President

From: The Charge D’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Rome

Subject:  Scenesetter for Italian PM Berlusconi’s June 15 visit to Washington

Classified (More…)

ISTANBUL – Um Farouk almost drowned on her first trip from Turkey to Greece. The 47-year-old Syrian refugee said it was a “miracle” Turkish soldiers rescued her and 40 others from a boat that capsized in the Aegean Sea last year. Within a week, she tried the dangerous trip to Europe a second time with her son. (More…)

By contemporary standards, the red banner at the top of the CNN home page advertising its live coverage is completely normal. Every news organization wants visitors to watch video content. Ads sell for a lot more than print. And live video is better still, ensuring a captive audience. But yesterday, its message seemed wrong to me: “Wildfires burn near Los Angeles. Watch now.” (More…)

Elmore Leonard’s critically neglected novel Escape from Five Shadows speaks to social attitudes about incarceration that too many in the US public have forgotten.  Leonard published the novel in 1956 during his early career as a Westerns writer.  Some would argue, of course, that Leonard never stopped being a Westerns writer, only he changed locations. (More…)

When Theresa May first set the agenda for Brexit, the UK was a divided nation caught between two opposing opinions on the country’s membership of the EU. Fortunately, the May government succeeded in reuniting the British people against the Tory Party. (More…)

Considerable discontent is developing within the Italian Communist Party as a result of the growing feeling that the Kremlin is exploiting the party purely as an instrument of Soviet foreign policy and is neglecting the real interests of the Italian working class. (More…)

TBILISI – International actors have been positioning themselves to exploit new realities in Syria and solidify their involvement in rebuilding the country. Among the usual cast of world players, however, a new contender has emerged: Chechnya. (More…)

The Irish are no more given to myth making than anyone else, but having been on the losing end of a lot of things over the course of the last six centuries, it’s hardly surprising that myth and legends have come to play an outsized role in the Irish political imaginary. (More…)

The revelations of sexual misconduct by men dominating American media are having a profound impact on how people feel about their world. Last week, I stopped by the home of a senior citizen who needed help with something and heard, the second I opened the door, that M*A*S*H was playing on her television. But in place of nostalgia, I felt a surprising revulsion. (More…)

There is talk of a savage purge within the Labour Party. Except this time, it’s the ‘moderates’ who are facing the scythe of vengeance. That’s the official line in progress anyway. (More…)

One of the most important and prolific electronic music producers working today, AGF (Antye Greie) spoke to Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog about her extensive work in sound, language and social activism. (More…)

When a boatload of migrants sets off from Libya in the direction of Italy, smugglers often tell those on board to get to international waters before raising the alarm. The migrants hope to be picked up by rescue boats run by humanitarian NGOs and taken on to Italy where they can apply for asylum. (More…)