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LOS ANGELES - The 70th Golden Globes ceremony took place Sunday night in Los Angeles, bringing together Television and Cinema... surprise and predictability. Here's what happened:

1. After being snubbed at the Oscar nominations, Ben Affleck's drama "Argo" about the hostage crisis in Iran, won Best Picture, Drama, (and Director) beating tough competition from Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." Daniel Day Lewis did beat Ben Affleck though in the Best Actor category.

2. The gal-pal hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, were full of quips and good cheer. After the last three years of Ricky Gervais roasting many of the celebrities attending, the two friends' somewhat lighter bantering was well received.

“Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business.
– Tina Fey

3. Jodie Foster finally publicly came out. Or did she announce her retirement? During her confusing acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award, CNN reports that Jodie said "I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I've never really been able to air in public," she began after the requisite thank-yous.

"So, a declaration that I'm a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But I'm just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I'm going to need your support on this. … This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting and now what? Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter," she said.

"Good night - we’re going home with Jodie Foster!"
– Amy Poehler ended the show

4. The 42nd U.S. President introduced the 16th U.S. President. Former President Bill Clinton introduced the clip for Best Movie nominee, "Lincoln," saying of the film that it was "A tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided House of Representatives. Winning required the president to make a lot of unsavory deals that had nothing to do with the big issue. I wouldn't know anything about that."

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"Wow, what an exciting special guest! That was Hillary Clinton's husband!" - Amy Poelher

5. Movies and TV shows about the CIA were the winning ticket for this year's awards. "Homeland" won best Drama Series, plus both Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series for Damien Lewis and Claire Danes. "Argo" won Best Drama Picture and Director for Ben Affleck – while Jessica Chastain won Best Actress, drama for "Zero Dark Thirty." Will the CIA theme continue on for the next few years?

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I like Homeland, but I don’t think it’s as good as that other show, "Previously On Homeland." That thing is action-packed.” – Tina Fey

via Tumbler

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

When Did Putin "Turn" Evil? That's Exactly The Wrong Question

Look back over the past two decades, and you'll see Vladimir Putin has always been the man revealed by the Ukraine invasion, an evil and sinister dictator. The Russian leader just managed to mask it, especially because so many chose to see him as a typically corrupt and greedy strongman who could be bribed or reasoned with.

Putin arrives for a ceremony to accept credentials from 24 foreign ambassadors at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Sept. 20.

Sergiy Gromenko*

-OpEd-

KYIV — The world knows that Vladimir Putin has power, money and mistresses. So why, ask some, wasn't that enough for him? Why did he have to go start another war?

At its heart, this is the wrong question to ask. For Putin, military expansion is not an adrenaline rush to feed into his existing life of luxury. On the contrary, the shedding of blood for the sake of holding power is his modus operandi, while the fruits of greed and corruption like the Putin Palace in Gelendzhik are more like a welcome bonus.

In the last year, we have kept hearing rhetorical questions like “why did Putin start this war at all, didn't he have enough of his own land?” or “he already has Gelendzhik to enjoy, why fight?” This line of thinking has resurfaced after missile strikes on Ukrainian power grids and dams, which was regarded by many as a simple demonstration of terrorism. Such acts are a manifestation of weakness, some ask, so is Putin ready to show himself weak?

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However, you will not arrive at the correct answer if the questions themselves are asked incorrectly. For decades, analysts in Russia, Ukraine, and the West have been under an illusion about the nature of the Russian president's personal dictatorship.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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