Trump-Macron: Is friendship built on shows of strength a true partnership?
Shortly before French President Emmanuel Macron was to meet President Trump for the first time at a NATO summit last spring, the young and hyper-ambitious French leader received an urgent memo from France’s ambassador in Washington. Beware the American leader’s peculiar but very intentional handshake, the ambassador, Gérard Araud, advised Mr. Macron. What followed, Macron himself has since confirmed, was a crash course featuring videos of the Trump grab-and-jerk handshake, followed by sessions where France’s youngest leader since Napoleon practiced power handshakes of his own.
An Armenian rhapsody
In Armenia, a landlocked nation of nearly 3 million deemed “partly free” by Freedom House, that was certainly the case until this week. Moscow keeps 3,000 troops in Armenia, whose oligarchs resemble those in Russia.
Will Russia's involvement in Syria end up burning its ties with Israel?
As geopolitical tensions spiked between Russia and West in recent years, one staunch US ally has been something of outlier toward Moscow: Israel. Israeli emissaries failed to show up for a crucial 2014 UN vote condemning Russia for annexing Crimea. Israel has taken no active part in several waves of Western sanctions against Moscow.
Can Trump counter Mueller by handing out pardons?
President Trump was furious. After FBI agents raided the home and office of one of his personal lawyers in New York City – seizing client files, recordings, and computers – the president lashed out, suggesting federal prosecutors and investigators had gone too far. A few days later, Mr. Trump granted a full pardon to a former top aide in the Bush administration, Scooter Libby, who had been convicted in 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice in a classified information leak case.