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Germany

That Straight Red Line From Lady Gaga To Angela Merkel

From Madame Gaga's infamous meat dress to Chancellor Merkel's boxy blazers, women are setting new standards in feminine fashion, whether men like it or not.

Merkel's blazer and Lady Gaga's meat dress
Merkel's blazer and Lady Gaga's meat dress
David Pfeifer

BERLIN Critiquing style is a rather inexact science, a field of study that falls somewhere, perhaps, between astrology and anthropology. Observers try to interpret every new development, no matter how tiny, and figure out how it fits into the bigger picture of fashion, culture and life.

Sometimes changes are just trends, things that become popular for no particular reason, that don't have a deeper meaning. And yet even in those situations, critics can be counted on to assign meaning and thus render the inherent meaninglessness of the trend irrelevant.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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