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Detail of photograph by Michael Candelori
Detail of photograph by Michael Candelori

It's the silent (and sullied) face of an unprecedented presidency.

The partial government shutdown that Donald Trump has brought on in his battle with congressional Democrats over funding for the president's proposed border wall with Mexico has become the longest in U.S. history. The previous record had been held by the 21-day shutdown (December 1995 - January 1996) in which President Bill Clinton clashed with the GOP Congress.

After all the noise on both sides, as well as the closed parks, reduced services and unpaid government workers, the divided nation offers a lonely picture indeed ...

The Face Of Trump's Shutdown — Michael Candelori / ZUMA / OneShot


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Geopolitics

Why Fast-Tracking Ukraine's NATO Entry Is Such A Bad Idea

Ukraine's President Zelensky should not be putting pressure for NATO membership now. It raises the risk of a wider war, and the focus should be on continuing arms deliveries from the West. After all, peace will be decided on the battlefield.

American soldiers from the U.S. army during a training exercise in Grafenwoehr, Germany

Christoph B. Schiltz

-OpEd-

Nine NATO member states from Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans are now putting pressure on the military alliance to welcome Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been calling for "accelerated accession."

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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As understandable as it is that his country wants to join a strong defensive military alliance like NATO, the timing is wrong. Of course, we must acknowledge the Ukrainian people's heroic fight for survival. But Zelensky must be careful not to overstretch the West's willingness to support him.

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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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