A Body Blow for Putin's Entourage?

A Body Blow for Putin's Entourage?

New US sanctions, announced last Friday by the Trump administration, target seven Russian oligarchs, 12 Russian companies, and 17 state officials. The news reportedly cost companies controlled by aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska more than $6 billion in market value in the first two days of trading following the announcement. That’s a lot of pain, even for a man who can afford it.


Devil’s advocate: If the point is to pressure those closest to Putin to push the Russian president toward better behavior, it’s not going to work. Russia’s vertical power structure ensures the wealthy and well-connected depend almost entirely on Putin for their wealth and connections. In times of hardship, they depend even more on his good will. Far from making Putin a liability for those around him, sanctions reinforce his importance for them. In fact, the Russian government has already stepped in with financial help for Deripaska’s Rusal, the country’s lead aluminum producer. Impose these penalties to punish aggression, but don’t expect them to upend Putin any more than they’ve destabilized the Castros and Kims.

"I think there are certain times where you have tectonic shifts and change always happens that way."

On the latest episode of 'That Made All the Difference,' Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, shares his thoughts on the role we all have to play in bringing our communities and the environment back to health.

For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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Gerald Butts, Vice Chairman & Senior Advisor of Eurasia Group, discusses reasons the rapid global response to climate change warrants optimism on UNGA In 60 Seconds.

There's a lot of doom and gloom out there about climate change. Can you give me a reason to be optimistic?

I'm going to say something you don't hear set very often when it comes to climate change. You should be an optimist. You should be a skeptical optimist, but an optimist nonetheless. Let me explain what I mean. We are scaling up climate solutions faster than even the most ardent among us thought possible a decade ago. Consider this. In 2010, about half of US electricity was generated from coal. This year less than 20% will be, and it's trending towards zero at increasing velocity.

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