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By John Helmer, Moscow Fibber McGee was one of the first situation comedy serials on American radio; from 1935 to 1959, it was also one of the longest running. The situation joke was that Fibber would tell tall tales which his wife Molly would expose. Fibber (left image-1) stood (and fell) for hare-brained schemes; Molly, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow As a presidential assistant and a first deputy prime minister for many years, Igor Sechin grew accustomed to the illusion to which high officials in all states are prone – that the fault in efficient administration lies in the weakness of command-and-control systems, sociologically speaking. Or to speak psychologically of humankind, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A court in Lagos, Nigeria, today dismissed all charges of arms smuggling and illegal entry for the crew of the Russian security tender, Myre Seadiver. Seven crewmen, who have remained on bail at the Russian Embassy in Lagos since the last hearing in July, will be free to leave Nigeria and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow General Vo Nguyen Giap has died in Hanoi, aged 102. There has been no general of his quality and achievement in modern times. He defeated the French and the Americans, and in two separate wars drove them as decisively out of Vietnam as Kutuzov drove Napoleon out of Russia. Giap, his […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Victor Pinchuk (right top) is the Ukrainian oligarch who last month hosted Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other political wannabes or has-beens, to promote himself as the champion of Ukrainian independence. This week he stands in the UK High Court charged by two other Ukrainian oligarchs with […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow All the punditry since September 8, when Alexei Navalny won 27% of the Moscow mayoral vote, with a 32% turnout, has missed three unusual poll indicators measured by the Levada Centre. The first is that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating has been in steady decline for a year, but it […]