Reuters blog archive
from Full Focus:
Buried in the forests of Thuringia lies a Cold War bunker offering guests an experience they won't soon forget: a spartan night as a soldier in the former communist East Germany's People's Army. Photographer Ina Fassbender spent one night in the bunker. Read her personal account here.
from The Great Debate:
This essay is adapted from Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals, which was recently published by Delphinium Books.
A trove of recently declassified documents leads to several inescapable conclusions about the FBI’s role in protecting both proven and alleged Nazi war criminals in America. First, there can be no doubt that J. Edgar Hoover collected Nazis and Nazi collaborators like pennies from heaven. Unlike the military and its highly structured Operation Paperclip — with its specific targets, systematic falsification of visa applications, and creation of bogus biographies — Hoover had no organized program to find, vet, and recruit alleged Nazis and Nazi collaborators as confidential sources, informants, and unofficial spies in émigré communities around the country. America’s No. 1 crime buster was guided only by opportunism and moral indifference.
from The Great Debate:
This is an excerpt from Enemies: A History of the FBI, published this month by Random House.
J. Edgar Hoover’s most valued secret agent was a Russian Jew named Morris Childs. The operation the FBI built on his work was code-named SOLO. It posed great risks and the promise of greater rewards.
from Russell Boyce:
As India heads towards their Republic Day celebrations, Prime Minister Singh makes minor adjustments to his cabinet while outside on the streets people demonstrate over food and fuel price inflation and corruption. Adnan Abidi produces a great picture as a middle-aged demonstrator gets to feel the full force of a police water canon. In stark contrast, B Mathur gets a glimpse of the dress rehearsal of the full military parade planned to celebrate India's independence where the security forces are deployed in a somewhat different manner. Danish Siddiqui added to the file this week with a well seen picture to illustrate a government spending initiative with a man pulling a pipe across a building site, the shadow creating an eye like image that almost seems to wink at the viewer.
Police use water canons to disperse supporters of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a protest in New Delhi January 18, 2011. Thousands of the supporters on Tuesday in New Delhi held a protest against a recent hike in petrol prices and high inflation. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
from The Great Debate:
America's spy agencies are spending more money on obtaining intelligence than the rest of the world put together. Considerably more. To what extent they are providing value for money is an open question.
"Sometimes we are getting our money's worth," says John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Washington think tank. "Sometimes I think it would be better to truck the money we spend to a large parking lot and set fire to it."
from Tales from the Trail:
It's hardly ever been a rock-solid relationship but has had its moments. So what does one do when deceit is discovered but no one wants a divorce?
When Russia was caught engaging in the second oldest profession in the United States the two partners decided that the overall relationship was too important to disintegrate over such an indiscretion. Their answer: swap spies.
from The Great Debate UK:
Those involved in multilateral arms control and disarmament face a challenging year.
There is one world leader who is not coming to Berlin to mark the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall -U.S. President Barack Obama. Much to the chagrin of the German government that spent months trying to get him, Obama won't be here. It's turned into a bit of a political controversy in the United States.
But it's also intriguing to Germans and German media. Why isn't Obama here? Berlin loves (most) American presidents -- going back to John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. Is there more than meets the eye to Obama's decision not to come?
from Global News Journal:
One of the most amazing aspects about the Berlin Wall's sudden collapse 20 years ago was that no one lost their nerve. Not a single shot was fired. The Cold War ended with the biggest street party Berlin, or any city anywhere, has ever seen.
Who would have thought that's how the Berlin Wall would go out? Berlin's long division was the result of World War Two. The Wall was the focal point of the Cold War -- Soviet and American tanks faced off almost barrel-to-barrel at Checkpoint Charlie. Not surprisingly, many people thought that the stalemate would only be changed by another war. But instead on Nov. 9, 1989 there was no bang, no blood. Just a lot of celebrating. And a lot of tears.
It’s been four decades since man last walked on the moon, but a new race to its craterous surface may be in the works. The cold war was behind the last space trek that saw U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first to set foot on the lunar surface. This time, it may be simple pride that propels the next landing.
China and India have made important strides in space in recent months, and that has spurred talk of a new race – something the aerospace industry wouldn’t mind at all.