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SPOTLIGHT: ON PUPPETS AND PUTIN

There was a third politician on stage at last night's final U.S. presidential debate: Vladimir Putin.The two candidates have taken very different approaches to the prospect of dealing with the mercurial Russian leader, with Hillary Clinton painting Putin as an avowed enemy of American democracy and Donald Trump saying he'd like to buddy up with the man in the Kremlin. Perhaps the most pointed moment of the evening came when Clinton said that, if elected, Trump would be the Russian president's "puppet." Trump shot back, "You're the puppet." It made for good television, and no doubt brought a smile (amused? satisfied? sinister?) to the would-be puppet master's face this morning in Moscow.


In a piece he wrote for Die Welt two days before the debate, and translated by Worldcrunch, senior German journalist Richard Herzinger shares Clinton's worries about the Republican candidate. "Were he to be elected president, Donald Trump would be a perfect tool for Russia's plan to destabilize the West's leading liberal democracies. But even if he loses, Trump's disastrous election campaign alone has opened considerable rifts within American society that won't be easy to bridge," he warns.


Herzinger accuses "the Moscow-Damascus-Tehran axis" of committing "genocide" in Syria, and laments that "the governments and people of the West have yet to grasp the severity of the situation and realize what is really at stake in Syria. Not only morally speaking, but also in terms of global political consequences that a capitulation to Russia's politics of violence could mean."


Even if he seems to favor a hard line, Herzinger does not offer a specific recipe for how to restore the strength of American diplomacy without risking open conflict with Moscow. Clinton, debate "zingers" aside, doesn't either.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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