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A roundup of the most intelligent takes on global affairs this week

Vladimir Putin’s Bonfire of the Delicacies – Foreign Policy

Russian defiance often takes self-destructive forms, but Putin’s popularity is holding steady, and the perception gap between urban and rural citizens continues to widen.

Corn Wars – The New Republic

Even in a high-tech world, security of food and water is crucial.

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Elections – Politico EU

A less flashy, more interesting idea for remaking The Manchurian Candidate for a 21st century audience.

Is Donald Trump an American Putin? – Washington Post

It’s an interesting comparison. People are naturally attracted to leaders who project extraordinary self-confidence and who don’t back down the way ordinary politicians would. It remains to be seen, however, whether the Trump phenomenon can continue when a broader segment of U.S. voters begins to really pay attention.

Jihad and Girl Power: How ISIS Lured 3 London Teenagers – New York Times

Islam is punk rock? For how long? “Girl power” and jihadi culture won’t mix well over time. Yet another reminder that it will be easier to recruit people than to keep them.

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