Eleven and a half million documents stolen from the law firm Mossack Fonseca and put on line. Two early stories based on the documents are here and here. There will be more to come. Mossack Fonseca specializes in helping people to hide large amounts of money through offshore shell companies and other means. Here’s an FAQ. The president of Iceland has resigned over the exposure of his company. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin figure in the revelations. Photo: Panama City, where Mossack Fonseca is located. Read More
Nuclear weapons didn’t disappear with the end of the Cold War, and, with Russia’s new aggressiveness, Elbridge Colby looks at the balance. As he points out, there are many reasons that Russia and the US should be talking again about that balance and how to make the world safer from nuclear war. Photo of Russian missiles on parade in 2015 from BBC. Read More
An interview with Donald Tusk, the Polish president of the European Council. Quite a contrast to what is going on inside Poland right now. A real statesman at a difficult time for Europe. Photo: European Council President Donald Tusk (right) leaving the Elysee Palace following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande (left), Paris, November 23, 2015. Read More
Everything you need to know about gravitational waves. Supposedly a bit announcement coming on Thursday. Graphic from here: gravity waves from two black holes orbiting around each other. Read More
Today will probably be Implementation Day in the Iran nuclear agreement. Jim White has pulled the relevant sections from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement. There will be many news stories. The short version is that Iran has, much more quickly than I expected, disassembled its easy pathways to a bomb and opened up for intensive IAEA inspections in return for lifting of a great many sanctions. This will depress the price of oil, as Iranian oil comes on the markets.
Update (10:30 am, MST): Iran has released 4 American prisoners, in exchange for the release of 7 Iranian prisoners in the US. Below the fold: Relevant documents and news reports on Implementation Day, which came in just under the wire, Vienna time.
Let’s resolve to stop assuming the worst of each other in 2016. Will McCants is talking about Muslims and others, but that’s a good admonition for all sorts of relationships.
Something that critics of the Iran nuclear agreement and this week’s report on Iran’s nuclear weapons work leave out is all the sources of intelligence beyond the IAEA. This week’s IAEA report agrees pretty closely with the 2007 US intelligence estimate. Here’s a good summary of takeaways. And, David Sanger, “fuel compression test”? Really? I always thought that referred to gasoline properties… Read More
A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber. Rumors and videos are circulating. It’s not clear whether the pilots are alive or not. Vladimir Putin made a statement linking Turkey with ISIS and claiming a “stab in the back.” A number of videos circulating on social media are from earlier incidents. This story is developing. The New York Times and Washington Post are probably the most reliable sources for summaries for the next day or so. And no, World War III is not about to begin. Russia and Turkey have too many commercial interests in common. Putin’s statement does not mention military reprisals. Photo: CNN Read More
After the appalling attacks in Paris on Friday, we wish for recovery and healing.
Equally appalling are some of the responses, which I won’t quote here. The desire for more war, which is the generator of ISIS and other pathologies, seems insane to me. The image at top of the post is by Jean Jullien. Can we take its widespread adoption as an indication that most people want peace? Read More