WASHINGTON — A foreign spy craft miles above the earth. A missile fired to bring it down. A flimsy cover story: just a weather plane! A high-stakes diplomatic meeting ruptured and tense superpower relations inflamed. History, like good television, may not repeat, but sometimes it reaches back to earlier seasons for inspiration. To students of the Cold War, the saga of the Chinese balloon crossing American airspace seemed eerily reminiscent of the U-2 spy plane incident that provoked a tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was one of the most fraught moments of the four-decade conflict pitting East against West, with enduring consequences. In that case, the nation spying on a rival was the United States, which regularly sent the high-altitude U-2 surveillance planes over Soviet territory confident that they were beyond the reach of Russian surface-to-air missiles — until just such missiles knocked one of its planes out of the sky on May 1, 1960. … [Read more...] about A Foreign Spy Craft. Superpowers on Edge. But It Was 1960, Not 2023.
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This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 5 SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has scheduled a major political conference to discuss the “urgent task” of improving its agricultural sector, a possible sign of worsening food insecurity as the country's economic isolation deepens amid a defiant nuclear weapons push. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Monday that members of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Politburo met on Sunday and agreed to hold a larger plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee in late February to review strategies on agriculture and set new goals. It said the Politburo members acknowledged a “a turning point is needed to dynamically promote the radical change in agricultural development.” “It is a very important and urgent task to establish the correct strategy for the development of agriculture and take relevant measures for the immediate farming … to promote the overall … [Read more...] about North Korea party meeting set to discuss ‘urgent’ food issue
One of the much looked music awards in the world, Grammy’s are here! The awards are handed over to music artists and musicians with impeccable singing and music composing skills in different categories. And the 65th annual Grammy Awards were handed out Sunday. Trevor Noah returned as host of the ceremony, which took place on Sunday at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The ceremony aired live from 8 -11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT on CBS and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. During the televised Grammys ceremony, presenters include Viola Davis, first lady Jill Biden, Dwayne Johnson, Cardi B, James Corden, Billy Crystal, Olivia Rodrigo and Shania Twain. The scheduled Grammys performers include Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith and Harry Styles. In addition, Questlove curated the Hip Hop 50 tribute performance. Before the live broadcast, most of the winners in the 91 Grammy categories will be … [Read more...] about Grammys 2023 LIVE: Beyonce Wins 2 Awards; Taylor Swift Beats BTS, Bags Best Music Video
Britain's steel industry risks plunging into “irreversible decline” unless the Tories intervene, MPs warned tonight. A cross-party group has written to Rishi Sunak urging him to back moves to make the sector less polluting. A dozen Labour , Conservative and Welsh and Scottish nationalist Independent MPs have signed the letter, seen exclusively by the Mirror, calling on the Prime Minister to act. The letter warns the PM: “We are concerned that in the absence of government support the UK risks becoming the first G20 economy to see its domestic steel production go into irreversible decline.” Describing steel as “a vital, strategic industry in the UK”, the MPs call on Mr Sunak to “act now to safeguard the future of the industry”. Read More MPs have written to the Prime Minister highlighting the trouble the sector faces ( Image: AFP via Getty Images) The warning comes as 800 jobs hang in the balance at British Steel, and with 440 jobs under threat at Liberty … [Read more...] about UK steel industry on brink of ‘irreversible decline’, MPs warn Rishi Sunak
The next phase of the Ukraine War, a new Russian offensive and a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive, seems all but inevitable for late winter or early spring. The logic of escalation is prevailing, the mutual belief that no peace deal is possible until the other side understands that it can’t win. The Ukrainian hope for how this escalation ends was sketched out by Mykhailo Podolyak, a key adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a recent interview with Bruno Macaes for The New Statesman. “Russia will embark on some minor offensive actions in a short period of time,” Macaes summarizes. “A lot of manpower will be lost. After that, it will face a series of significant defeats.” This will lead to Russian unraveling: Major cities will be lost, some kind of military collapse will follow, and then there will be “uncontrolled political transformation” within the Russian Federation itself. Podolyak doesn’t predict that all of this will happen this spring, suggesting that the timing … [Read more...] about The Costs of a Long War in Ukraine
The Treasury has signalled there is no new money for defence despite recognising the urgent need to rearm in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine, defence sources have said. At the same time, the sources said a "refresh" of UK defence policy - that was meant to inform the spending plans of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - could be delayed until after the March budget because an initial draft failed to reflect sufficiently the transformed security environment in Europe, where a land war is raging. "It is not very joined up government," according to one source, who was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. The comments came after Sky News last week revealed that a senior US general had told Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the British Army is no longer regarded as a top level, or "tier one", fighting force following decades of cuts to its size and strength. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video … [Read more...] about Ammunition running out but ‘no new money’ for defence despite war in Ukraine, sources say
More than 40 years after its last makeover, the plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is showing its age: the fountains are leaking, the sidewalk is crumbling, and the trees are dying. Overcrowding on the institution’s grand front steps — one of the most popular meeting places in Manhattan — often causes bottlenecks for visitors trying to get to the front door. Now an ambitious plan is in the works to transform this four-block-long stretch along Fifth Avenue, from 80th to 84th Street, into a more efficient, pleasing and environmentally friendly space, with new fountains, tree-shaded allées, seating areas, museum-run kiosks and softer, energy-efficient nighttime lighting. A meeting was held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday for officials from the Met to sit down with some 2,000 neighborhood residents to explain the project. If all goes as scheduled, and the institution receives approval from various city agencies — including the Public Design Commission, Landmarks Preservation … [Read more...] about Met Aims to Build Itself a Museum-Quality Plaza
On Wednesday, the city of Memphis remembered the life of Tyre Nichols, a young man who was beaten by at least five Memphis police officers and died three days later. Stories like this are terrible, they’re relentless, and they renew one of the most contentious debates in the nation: Are there deep and systemic problems with the American police? How we answer that question isn’t based solely on personal experience or even available data. It often reflects a massive partisan divide, one that reveals how we understand our relationships with the institutions we prize the most — and the least. Every year Gallup releases a survey that measures public confidence in a variety of American institutions, including the police. In 2022, no institution (aside from the presidency) reflected a greater partisan trust gap than the police. A full 67 percent of Republicans expressed confidence in the police, versus only 28 percent of Democrats. Why is that gap so large? While I try to avoid … [Read more...] about ‘Bad Apples’ or Systemic Issues?
If China’s show of force over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip was meant as a deterrent, it has not had the intended effect in Taiwan, where the military drills have reinforced a careful two-pronged strategy of shoring up international support, while avoiding overt confrontation. The exercises, which encircled the self-ruled island and simulated a blockade, appear instead to have hardened the Taiwanese belief in the value of the island’s diplomatic, economic and military maneuverings to stake out a middle ground in the big-power standoff between China and the United States. Under President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwanese officials have quietly courted Washington, making gains with weapon sales and vows of support for the democracy. They have also held back from flaunting that success, in an effort to avoid outbursts from China, which claims the island as its own. As Beijing vows to normalize the military drills ever closer to Taiwan, that approach is likely to guide the island’s … [Read more...] about As China Vows More Military Exercises, Taiwan Is Undeterred