The Great Debate

Vladimir Putin’s economic plan: Bread and vodka

By William E. Pomeranz
January 7, 2015

Russia's President Putin gestures as he watches the launch of the newest heavy-class Angara-A5 rocket at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region

President Vladimir Putin needs two years to fix Russia’s current economic mess. At least that is what he gave himself at his December end-of-year news conference.

Why the Palestinian Authority may never take Israel to court

By Salma Karmi-Ayyoub
January 6, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during the opening ceremony of "Jerusalem in Memory" exhibition in the West Bank city of Ramallah

The Palestinian Authority has finally applied to join the International Criminal Court, after months of threatening to do so. But will the PA use the court to hold Israel to account for potential war crimes?

Time to end special privileges for Cuban immigrants

By Susan Eckstein
January 6, 2015

Cuban refugees hold up empty jugs as they beg for water while floating on the high seas in home-made..            

President Barack Obama has taken initial steps toward overhauling the broken U.S. immigration system and failed Cuba policy. It is also time to bring Washington’s Cuban immigration policy in line with other foreign-born people. Cubans enjoy unique immigration privileges that are no longer justifiable.

If the Internet becomes a public utility, you’ll pay more. Here’s why.

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
January 6, 2015

An illustration picture shows logos of Google and Yahoo connected with LAN cables in Berlin

The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans. The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.

from Edward Hadas:

The oil price is just plain wrong

By Edward Hadas
January 5, 2015

The price sign outside Costco in Westminster, Colorado, shows gas selling for $1.81.9 for the first time in years

The oil price is still too high, often too low and much too volatile. In other words, this is a market that doesn’t work well for anyone.

U.S. sanctions fail two-thirds of the time. And allies are often to blame

By Bryan Early
January 5, 2015
Handout photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guiding the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a multiple-rocket launching drill in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Dec. 30, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

Predictions 2015: Oil prices will stay below $100, and more

January 5, 2015

 

By Richard Beales

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The return of the lira? This year, Italy’s fate hangs in the balance.

By John Lloyd
January 5, 2015

An employee of Editalia shows a silver reproduction of 500 Italian lira as part of a coin collections in Rome

FLORENCE, Italy – Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi, the youngest leader in Europe, faces a national economic morass that, if not decisively addressed in the coming months, could bring down the entire 17-nation eurozone. 

Mario Cuomo: Hero or ‘Hamlet on the Hudson,’ depending on who you ask

By Jason Fields
January 2, 2015
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Mario Cuomo, who died yesterday, was a liberal lion or a dithering do-gooder, depending on which New York publication you ask.

Navalny is a thorn in Putin’s side, but silencing him won’t be easy

By Lucian Kim
December 31, 2014

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In Russia, August is commonly believed to be the month of bad surprises, when planes fall out of the sky and economic crises begin. But from the point of the view of the Kremlin, the last days of December are preferable for shock announcements. On Christmas Day 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the first and last president of the Soviet Union; eight years later, on New Year’s Eve, Boris Yeltsin handed over the Russian presidency to an unknown former secret police chief named Vladimir Putin.