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In American journalism, the website Politifact has emerged as a leading national effort to fact-check statements made by politicians and other news makers. It's a given, though, that the American media is an independent one, and while some elements might be opinionated, it is not seen as a tool for national or local governments to issue propaganda.

Presidential Press and Information Office

Late yesterday afternoon, Dutch investigators were finally allowed access to the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over rebel-held territory in Ukraine.  The bodies that have been recovered are being transported back to the Netherlands, where the flight took off last week.

If you are an American, the chances are good you know little, if anything, about the eastern Russian city of Magadan.

But if you’re a Russian of a certain age, you would think of it as a remote place where dissidents were sent to live under Stalin.

‘To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war,’ said Winston Churchill in 1954, supporting the principle of nations negotiating. Those wise words from a great leader who understood war should be kept in mind regarding the Geneva accord on the crisis in Ukraine.

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The opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will air in the U.S. tonight, but the Games have already been marked by controversy.

image courtesy of the author

Jennifer DuBois's new novel asks the central question, How do you keep going when you know things are going to end badly? The book is A Partial History of Lost Causes (Random House, 2012).