Putin to seek fourth term

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - WORLD | WORLD REPORT - By Neil MacFar­quhar

MOSCOW >> Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin an­nounced on Wed­nes­day he would seek a fourth term as pres­i­dent of Rus­sia in a March elec­tion that he is ex­pected to win hand­ily.

A full, six-year term un­til 2024 would make his 24-year ten­ure — in­clud­ing his years as prime min­is­ter — the long­est by a Rus­sian leader since Josef Stalin sat in the Krem­lin for 29 years. It is widely be­lieved that Putin wants to use what should be his last term, bar­ring fur­ther con­sti­tu­tional changes, to ce­ment his place as one of the more im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal fig­ures ever to rule Rus­sia.

It has been a some­what im­prob­a­ble run for Putin, 65, who spent the bulk of his early ca­reer as a mid­dle-level KGB agent in East Ger­many.

Call­ing the col­lapse of the Soviet Union one of the great­est catas­tro­phes of the 20th cen­tury, he has built his for­mi­da­ble pop­u­lar­ity on the idea that Rus­sia should re­store its nat­u­ral des­tiny as a su­per­power, an equal to the United States.

Tiller­son says diplo­mats in Cuba were tar­geted

BRUS­SELS >> Nearly a year af­ter the State De­part­ment dis­cov­ered that some­thing ter­ri­ble had hap­pened to diplo­mats and their spouses posted in Ha­vana, Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son said Wed­nes­day that the United States re­mained con­vinced the per­son­nel were vic­tims of “tar­geted at­tacks.”

Tiller­son also sug­gested that Cuba could have stopped the at­tacks, which the State De­part­ment has said left 24 peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the U.S. Em­bassy in Ha­vana with med­i­cal prob­lems.

His re­marks came af­ter The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported that med­i­cal tests had re­vealed per­cep­ti­ble phys­i­cal changes in the brains of some of the diplo­mats.

China hosts in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights fo­rum

BEI­JING >> China opened a hu­man rights fo­rum at­tended by 50 mostly de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to­day in its drive to show­case the strengths of its au­thor­i­tar­ian sys­tem un­der Pres­i­dent Xi Jinping.

“This is China’s an­swer to the ques­tion of where hu­man so­ci­ety is head­ing, and it has also pre­sented op­por­tu­ni­ties for the de­vel­op­ment of the hu­man rights cause,” Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said.

LGBT-rights ad­vo­cates an­tic­i­pat­ing vic­tory

CAN­BERRA, AUSTRALIA >> LGBT rights ad­vo­cates cel­e­brated to­day out­side Australia’s Par­lia­ment in an­tic­i­pa­tion of same-sex mar­riage be­ing le­gal­ized within hours.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is widely ex­pected to vote to al­low same-sex mar­riage across the na­tion. The Sen­ate passed the same leg­is­la­tion last week 43 votes to 12.

Clown too ashamed of fel­low law­mak­ers

RIO DE JANEIRO >> A clown elected twice to Brazil’s Congress un­der the slo­gan “It can’t get any worse” ap­par­ently feels that it did. He says he is too em­bar­rassed by fel­low law­mak­ers to run again.

Fran­cisco Ever­ardo Oliveira Silva, known as Tirir­ica, said Wed­nes­day that he is ashamed of his col­leagues — more than half of whom are re­port­edly un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for cor­rup­tion — and plans to re­turn to clown­ing full­time.


Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin on Wed­nes­day an­nounced he will seek re-elec­tion to a fourth term. Putin at­tended the an­nual Vol­un­teer of Rus­sia 2017 award cer­e­mony at the Me­gas­port Sport Palace in Moscow.

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