The Great Debate

Do China’s ghost cities offer a solution to Europe’s migrant crisis?

By Wade Shepard
September 18, 2015
ghost_city

These vacant apartments in the Pujiang area of Shanghai appear to be unwanted supply for non-existing demand but they’re actually new homes for residents who were evicted from the World Expo site. WADE SHEPARD FOR REUTERS

Vladimir Putin wants his seat back at the world’s table. How far will he go to get it?

By Masha Gessen
September 17, 2015
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REUTERS/eltonjohn/Instagram

Vladimir Putin did not call Elton John and suggested they meet to discuss LGBT rights in Russia, but a lot of people believed that he did. On Monday, John wrote a post on Instagram saying that he had received the phone call. On Tuesday, the post went viral, penetrating even the Russian pro-government print media. By close of business, Putin’s spokesman denied that the call had ever taken place. On Wednesday, an experienced Russian prankster, nicknamed Vovan, released a recording of the conversation in which he impersonated Putin and his partner, nicknamed Lexus, impersonated the Russian president’s press secretary.

Pssst! Need a passport? Forgery a lifeline for fleeing Syrians.

By Tania Karas
September 16, 2015
A Syrian refugee holds her passport and papers as she waits in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for registration in Beirut

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Obaida, a 22-year-old refugee from an area of Syria controlled by Islamic State, said he tried hard to get a passport the legal way. In May, he paid his way to Istanbul from the border town in Turkey where he now lives. He spent five days waiting in line at the Syrian consulate. He was told to return in a year.

Meet the angriest man running for president – no it’s not Trump

By Dan Hill
September 16, 2015

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What better time to gauge the emotional profile of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), an avowed Socialist, than during his Labor Day speech to the AFL-CIO in New Hampshire? After all, the independent junior senator from Vermont, who’s running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, has a website home page that focuses on economics and the working class. Creating jobs, raising wages, “taking on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class” is what Sanders says his campaign is all about.

The ‘lone-wolf intifada’ that isn’t

By Noga Tarnopolsky
September 16, 2015
Palestinian men pray on the third Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City

Palestinian men pray on the third Friday of Ramadan at the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

from Breakingviews:

The pope, Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn walk into a bar…

September 15, 2015

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

Why the great and good get to ride for free

By Richard White
September 15, 2015
People are seen at the United Airlines terminal at Newark International Airport in New Jersey

The United Airlines terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Western dream of regime change in Iran is over, so what’s next?

By Joost Hiltermann
September 15, 2015
A motorcyclist carries a poster depicting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomeini during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran

A motorcyclist carries a poster depicting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Khomeini during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran, July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer/TIMA

Are Syrian refugees a security threat to the Middle East?

By Doris Carrion
September 15, 2015
Syrian refugees rest in central Athens

Newly arrived Syrian refugees rest in Omonia square in Athens, Greece July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Europeans ‘not grasping’ the importance of Ukraine

By John Lloyd
September 14, 2015
A Ukrainian serviceman embraces his wife and child after returning from the frontline in the eastern regions, at a railway station in Kiev, Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman embraces his wife and child after returning from the frontline in the east, at a railway station in Kiev, Ukraine, September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich