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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Carol J Williams

Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.

Russia Abruptly Locks Down: Borders Closing, Air Travel Suspended, Public Told to Stay Home

Putin’s posture during the pandemic had for weeks mimicked that of Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who persisted in brushing off the threat to their countries from a virus that was spreading rapidly elsewhere.

Play It Again: Russian Lawmakers Clear Path for Putin to Stay in Power for Life

Putin is now positioned to join the rulers-for-life club whose membership is a Who’s Who of autocracy: Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Punishment We Deserve?

The only clarity to come out of the competition for the loudest voice in the room was that what is needed most for a Democratic victory in November – unity – is nowhere in sight.

China’s Chernobyl Moment? Chinese Leaders Caught Trying To Suppress Reports Of Coronavirus

The Kremlin's attempt to cover up the 1986 Chernobyl disaster eroded public trust of the Communist leadership and set the Soviet Union on the path to breakup in 1991. Could the Chinese government's secrecy on the coronavirus epidemic undermine its authority?

Outlook for a New Decade: Here’s Hoping It’s Darkest Before the Dawn

What we feared during the last decade when autocrats and populists took power in democratic countries like ours has come to pass and surpass our worst nightmares.

Where Have All the Russia Hawks Gone?

Congressional Republicans could be relied for the past century to attack Kremlin perfidy and Communist propaganda. Now Joe McCarthy, Ronald Reagan and John McCain are rolling in their graves.

Defining NATO Summit Success Down: Avoiding Failure In The Age Of Trump

If Putin could have one wish granted, it would be for the demise of NATO. Since its formation in 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has succeeded where the Kremlin-controlled Warsaw Pact failed.

Bipartisan Salutes to Impeachment Witnesses for Public Service. Really?

Two words pop into my head every time I hear House members – from both parties – thank the impeachment inquiry witnesses for their decorated military service: Bone spurs.

When The Berlin Wall Fell: Euphoria As The World Changed. And Yet…

Thirty years ago this week: Over three tumultuous days, 4 million East Germans – a quarter of the population -- flooded into West Berlin to a joyous reception. But expectations of a more peaceful and collaborative world have been dampened by new threats.

Breakdown: Why Corruption and Inequality Are Fueling a Global Wave of Anger

The International Monetary Fund last week lowered its global growth forecast for 2019, citing the spreading instability as a cause.

Latest Post Alley Posts

Why Authoritarian Leaders Minimize COVID-19

Once the death toll can no longer be denied, these leaders shift to blaming others for the pandemic. Consider the cases of Xi, Putin, Bolsonaro, and Trump

The View From 2023: How Seattle Changed

The Virus Depression (called VD) has greatly changed the way we live. Surveillance mechanisms are now ubiquitous, monitoring temperatures, spacing, coughing. Grocery stores are well-policed, both to enforce health regulations and to guard against the food riots that broke out in late 2020.

“We Shall Beat It On The Beaches, We Shall Beat It On TV” – Trump’s COVID Oratory Through Our Churchill Spinometer

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to me, and me alone. Only I can fix this.

Coronavirus Chronicles: Unexpected Shortages of Sudden Needs

Just try to buy a solid looking buzz clipper. Sold-out, sold-out, sold-out. Now I did find one for way too much money, and it won’t arrive for a while. I will be cautious about Zoom meetings.

A Bridge Too High? How Warren Magnuson Overbuilt The West Seattle Bridge

Maggie drained the entire $100 million bridge replacement fund and soon the bridge design was high enough to allow passage of "the highest mast conceivable for a ship at that time; higher than has ever been remotely needed."