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CHISINAU, Moldova - Between diplomatic headaches in Afghanistan and the Mideast, John Kerry spent happy hour Wednesday praising a wine-producing but poor Eastern European nation for resisting Russia's grasp.
MOSCOW - Russia's vigorous efforts to keep Ukraine within its orbit of influence stem from complex strategic, emotional and cultural issues. As the prospect of Ukraine signing an association agreement with the European Union wanes and Kiev focuses on improving ties with Moscow, here's a look at some of the issues at play:
In their wilder fantasies, Ukrainian democrats surely fantasize about moving their county to a location with better weather, better scenery and most of all without Russia as an immediate neighbor.
When John Milton wrote, "They also serve who only stand and wait," the English poet meant it as a compliment to those who watch "o'er land and ocean without rest."
"Any agreement that does not recognize the rights of the Iranian people and does not respect these rights, has no chance," Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week.
LONDON - Paul McCartney cited the lyrics of "Back in the USSR" on Thursday as he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to release 30 people arrested during a Greenpeace protest at an Arctic oil rig almost two months ago.
CAIRO - In an echo of the Cold War, Egypt gave the red carpet welcome Thursday to senior Russian officials aiming to expand Moscow's influence through military and economic cooperation with a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
Say it's 1960, you are 16, raised by Democrats and fascinated by politics. Because there is someone like John F. Kennedy running for president, you're also excited.
Many people still remember where they were the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated - Friday, Nov. 22, 1963 - but what about the day before? What was life like for Americans on that Thursday, just before so much changed for the nation and the world?