The Great Debate

NYPD v. Bill de Blasio: Why New York’s mayor, police are at odds

By Leonard Levitt
December 31, 2014

Blasio walks away from the podium after speaking to the New York City Police Academy Graduating class in New York

Last week at the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos — who was assassinated with his partner, Wenjian Liu, as they sat in their patrol car — cops literally turned their backs on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in a show of disrespect. Many in the police department blame what they see as his anti-police policies for the two cops’ deaths.

Why Vladimir Putin is a hero to some in Western Europe, too

By Andrea Mammone
December 31, 2014

Russian President Putin is seen on a screen during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow

During the Cold War era, Western communists often looked to Moscow for ideological inspiration, economic help and political support. The Soviet Union, for its part, was more than happy to oblige. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, communism is long gone, but some European party leaders are once more reviving ties with Russia, for very different reasons.

My union right or wrong: Should rogue cops and football players be defended?

By Nelson Lichtenstein
December 30, 2014

Law enforcement officers turn their backs on a live video monitor showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has he speaks at the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Rafael Ramos near Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of

Unions of football players and police officers are still strong organizations — even as the rest of the labor movement unravels. But scandal in the National Football League and murder on the streets of New York City has many people asking if these high-profile unions are too strident in defending their members.

from Breakingviews:

Ukraine crisis forced into suspended animation for 2015

December 29, 2014

By Pierre Briançon

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

Russian, Chinese ‘news’ coming to a TV near you

By John Lloyd
December 29, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on the screen of a television camera during his visit to the new studio complex of television channel 'Russia Today' in Moscow

Earlier this month, the British Broadcasting Corporation, which sees itself as still the best broadcaster in the world, gave a well-bred expression of fear. Peter Horrocks, who has just stepped down as head of the BBC World Service, said “we are being financially outgunned by Russia and the Chinese (broadcasters) … the role we need to play is an even handed one. We shouldn’t be pro one side or the other, we need to provide something people can trust.”

What does it take to win the Democratic nomination in 2016?

By Bill Schneider
December 29, 2014

ydbElizabeth Warren, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, addresses the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

Get out your pitchforks, Democrats! A showdown over populism is coming.

The core of the problem is the decline of Democratic support among white working-class voters.  White voters without a college degree made up 36 percent of the midterm electorate this year. They voted nearly 2-to-1 Republican.

Cuba’s biggest export is teachers, doctors – not revolution

By Martin Carnoy
December 24, 2014

School children attend the first day of class of the 2010-2011 course in the Romay Chacon Primary School in Havana

Washington has systematically pushed to ostracize Cuba from the rest of Latin America years after the policy has become anachronistic. By focusing so completely on the “bad” Cuba of authoritarian government and human-rights abuses, the United States has been missing a big opportunity to work with the “good” Cuba on core development problems in Latin America and Africa, such as improving education and healthcare.

For police, when it comes to law and order, ‘order’ historically comes first

By Allen Steinberg
December 24, 2014

Demonstrators in Times Square protest a grand jury decision not to charge a policeman in the chocking death of Eric Garner, in New York

Police misconduct has ignited a political firestorm in New York and many other cities across the nation, not seen in quite some time. Relations between the public and the police are fraught with tension, mistrust and violence. Many are outraged. Politicians and the media are posturing and promising reform. The police are angry, feeling besieged.

How to bring North Korea to its cyber-knees

By Matthew Gault
December 23, 2014

North Korean leader Kim gives field guidance at the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang Textile Mill in this undated photo released by KCNA in Pyongyang

President Barack Obama, during his year-end news conference,  promised a proportional response to North Korea’s cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. “They caused a lot of damage,” Obama said, referring to the theft and exposure of corporate records and private emails. “And we will respond. We will respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.”

Why it’s easier for affluent women to find Mr. Right

By Lynn Stuart Parramore
December 23, 2014

A single woman looks at bachelor's photos which are displayed at the French dating site 'adopt-a-guy' (adopte-un-mec) store in Paris

Economic inequality, accelerating since the late 1980s, is shaping American lives in every dimension — and finding a partner is no exception.