Russia extends Black Sea control

Igor Delanoë

Russia’s coastguard intercepted three Ukrainian warships attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait on 25 November last year. They had sailed from Odessa and were heading for the Sea of Azov, where Ukraine has a few hundred kilometres of coastline. Tensions in the area have increased since Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, and competition over access to the Azov Sea is yet another cause of friction.

Prisoner for free speech

Serge Halimi

CNN correspondent Jim Acosta returned to the White House on 17 November, a few days after a US judge had forced President Donald Trump to reverse the revocation of his press pass. Smiling before 50 or more photographers and cameramen, Acosta said triumphantly: ‘This was a test and I think we passed the test. Journalists need to know that in this country their First Amendment rights of freedom of the press are sacred, they’re protected in our constitution.

‘Gilets jaunes’ shock the politicians

Laurent Bonelli

Politicians have not been so worried about a social movement in a long time: the scale, duration and determination of the yellow vest protests were an unwelcome surprise, catching politicians off guard because the protestors come from all walks of life, do all sorts of jobs, and have diverse political allegiances. They cannot be written off as being from a traditional union or political organisation, because they come from what politicians think of as the silent majority, which politicians claim to speak for but ignore, except when it is time to solicit votes.

Destpeka sala 2019 u LMDK

Serge Halimi

France’s elites have not felt such fear in half a century, and it’s not the usual fear of losing an election, failing to ‘reform’ or seeing their shares slide on the stock market, but fear of insurrection, revolt, and loss of power. The street protests on 1 December 2018 caused some to feel a sudden chill.