When it comes to North Korea's latest belligerence, U.S. officials can sound more like an exasperated parent responding to a child's tantrum. That's just their first warning, though; it's part of a recently developed counterprovocation plan that's being put to the test.
Tensions are high. But South Korea says it does not plan to remove its workers an industrial complex inside the North. Also, while a Russian diplomat says North Korean officials have asked that it consider evacuating staff, no such action is planned at this time.
The United States has pledged to remain committed to Afghanistan beyond the year 2014. That's when the U.S. and its NATO allies are set to hand over the security mission to Afghan forces. But the U.S. has not yet said how many troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014, and that is causing concern among Afghans.
Iranian envoys are to meet over the next two days with diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany. No one is expecting a breakthrough though in the long-running confrontation over Tehran's nuclear enrichment program.
A new exhibit in Berlin's Jewish Museum is intentionally provocative. The point, one curator says, is to "get people talking about how they perceive Jews, particularly in Germany today." At the center of the controversy is a display in which a Jewish person sits inside a glass showcase and answers questions from visitors.
Semiprecious stones were the medium of choice for Vasily Konovalenko, a Soviet ballet set designer turned sculptor. His masterful workmanship captured Russian characters, from Cossacks and drunks to country folk and czarist henchmen. He fell afoul of the authorities and left Russia for the U.S. in the 1980s.
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