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At a press conference, Vladimir Putin said 2020  had been a year like any other ‘with pluses and minuses’. Photograph: EPA/Alexei Nikolsky

At the start of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s annual pre-Christmas press conference this month, a journalist asked if 2020 had been altogether ba(...)

Prime minister Boris Johnson.  Tabloid  and Tory MP  jingoism over deployment of warships in the English Channel reminds me of the headlines during the Falklands war.  Photograph: Getty Images

The UK stock market is emblematic of the country’s decline. The FTSE 100 finished last week lower than at the end of the last century. Value investors(...)

US president-elect Joe Biden. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The European Union is setting out hopes for re-establishing a strong alliance with the United States even before president-elect Joe Biden has taken o(...)

British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak defended cuts in development aid saying the budget was ‘difficult to justify to the British people’ in these times. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

While domestic commentary on last week’s spending review from British chancellor Rishi Sunak focused on what it said about coronavirus-era economic st(...)

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. “Leave Nato. Drop your weapons. Pick flowers. Smile at nature,” the fake Greta Thunberg urged him.  Photograph: Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images

Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus have struck again, this time pranking Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in a phone call during which he believe(...)

Dr TK Whitaker: A conversation between him and Albert Borschette, the Luxembourg permanent representative to the EEC, is revealed in the latest volume of Irish foreign policy papers from October 1961 to April 1965.   Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Ireland would join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) if that was the price to pay to join the European Economic Community, top Irish offic(...)

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg: ‘We will continue to provide support to Afghan security forces.’

The Nato mission must remain in Afghanistan despite plans by the United States to pull soldiers out after 19 years of war, as withdrawal would risk th(...)

 UK prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Winston Churchill famously claimed in 1922 that, as the floodwaters of the first World War began to recede, “the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyro(...)

Chief of the Australian Defence Force General Angus Campbell delivers the findings from the Afghanistan inquiry. Photograph: Mick Tasikas/EPA.

Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 civilians in Afghanistan and engaged in “blooding”, where commanders made junior(...)

President-elect Joe Biden: The urgency of beating Trump has kept the Democrats’ unstable compound of factions together in recent years. Without him, they are at liberty to squabble. Photograph: Andrew Harnik

My first thought was “only in Washington”. My second was “where can I get one?” As fans of Joe Biden cheered his election win near the White House two(...)

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