"What's New? How Is the World Treating You?"

In 1939 Johnny Burke (1908-1964) composed the music and Bob Haggard (1914-1998) wrote the lyrics for the hit song "What's New?" whose first line serves as the title of this blog.  To listen to Linda Ronstadt (born 1946) perform "What's New?" with Nelson Riddle (1921-1985) and his orchestra (Asylum, 1983), click here.  A new window will open, allowing the music to play in the background.

Check this web page for occasional posts containing news and commentary, mainly about events in Central Europe.  To read the article of your choice, either click on the title that appears in the table of contents or scroll down the page.
For news and commentary from the most recent past quarter, click here.  For earlier quarters in the year or previous years, see the Introduction and Index for "What's New?"

Table of Contents for the Third Quarter of 2020

Navalny’s Relationship with the Kremlin 29 August 2020

On 20 August, Alexei Navalny, the Russian dissident, apparently consumed poison in his tea before departing on a domestic flight to Moscow. After several days, the doctors permitted his transfer to Germany, where he remains in a coma. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in a poisoning, even though it is the Russian regime’s modus operandi for dealing with its enemies.

There are plenty of news stories available on Navalny’s activities and poisoning, but one of the best summaries comes from Robyn Dixon, a veteran observer of Russian affairs, and is in The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/navalny-russia-poison-kremlin/2020/08/28/03ad9c58-e6d2-11ea-bf44-0d31c85838a5_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most.

Belarus’s Dictator Remains in Power 29 August 2020

After the 9 August elections, after which Alexander Lukashenko, Europe’s so-called last dictator, declared that he had garnered 80 percent of the vote, protests erupted. They have subsided slightly, only because of repression from the Belarus secret police, still referred to as the KGB. The Russians also have promised to support Lukashenko, even though it is highly possibile that, were there to be a Russian invasion, the Kremlin would replace Lukashenko, who has resisted closer integration of Belarus with Russia. There is another reason why Lukashenko tenaciously holds on to power. It is apparent that he is grooming his fifteen-year-old son Nikolay (Kolya) to replace him. See https://www.npr.org/2020/08/28/906992368/tightening-the-screws-belarus-lukashenko-shows-no-sign-of-bending-to-protests; and https://www.thedailybeast.com/nikloai-lukashenko-alexander-lukashenkos-gun-toting-son-15-is-being-groomed-as-belarus-king-joffrey.