Russia

Should we just make up some Russian spies so we can kick them out because the rest of the world is doing it? Or, would that be a less-than-ideal politicisation of intelligence information? I report, you decide.

The Government is taking a lot of heat for not expelling any Russians. That seems like an odd thing to for people to get worked up about, but there you are.

You can judge how the issue has unfolded by the fact that in a space of 24 hours, Simon Bridges has gone from grave statesman "we must stand as one on this issue" mode:

Looking at the long lead-up to New Zealand's increasingly curious stance on Russia, the government seems to be wasting diplomatic capital at a time it should be storing it up against future need

It's been done so casually and with such a carefree shrug, that it's easy to miss what a significant choice it seems to be. It's like coming home on Valentines without flowers and saying 'but all the flower shops were closed'. Or not handing in your homework because you lost the textbook.

The connection between famines and democracy may not be obvious. but each sheds light upon the other.

The fourth Saturday in each November is Holodomor Remembrance Day which recalls the great Ukrainian famine of 1932-3 in which 2.4m to 7m died in a population of about 30m. The intensity of the distress and suffering was such that more than 2,500 people were convicted of cannibalism.

Two arrests related to Mediterranean migrant boating disaster; EU warns of possible ban on Thai seafood; Japan sets new train speed record; Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison for violence against protesters; EU to file antitrust charges against Russian power giant; and more

US accelerating arms shipments to Gulf coalition; US-Japan alliance shifts; Thailand and Russia to boost cooperation on drug trafficking, investment and energy sector; Mugabe visits South Africa; new bank in India to regulate microfinance lenders and help small businesses; and more