Turkish President Tecep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hands with Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov (R) during a signature ceremony of an initiative on the safe transportation of grain and foodstuffs from Ukrainian ports, in Istanbul, on July 22, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Are the two separate agreements signed in Istanbul last Friday by Russia and Ukraine with the United Nations and Turkey that pave the way for the export of 22 million of Ukrainian grain which remained blockaded in three Black Sea ports, as well as the export of Russian grain and fertilizer, really a "beacon of hope" for millions of starving people, or just an illusory dream?

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Huawei Talent Summit opening

The holiday season is not only a time of celebration, but of contemplation of things past, present and future. It's crystal clear that in this age of global pandemic, probable climate catastrophe and digitization and artificial intelligence that the world is at a global inflection point.

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Two American F-15C Eagle -figther jets, three Finnish F/A-18C Hornet -fighter jets and a German Eurofighter Typhoon -figther jet in the air force practice common lap in Finnish air space on 17th of March 2021.

The choice concerns the fighter plane for Finland's future air defence. I am not competent to assess which criteria are most important in the selection, performance, or finances. Therefore, it is best to abstain, even if the price tag is something that any layperson can have opinions about.

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A picture shows a child's shoe amidst the rubble of buildings, destroyed by Israeli strikes, in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on May 21, 2021. - A ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, controlled by Islamist group Hamas, came into effect after 11 days of airstrikes and rocket fire. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

So, it has happened again. Riots in Jerusalem. Random rocket fire and precision bombings, both with civilian casualties. The parties are involved in a spiral of revenge with the goal of exhausting the opponent. The pattern is repeated year after year. The outside world demands a cease fire; mediators sign up. This has been the case throughout my adult life. No lasting peace for Israel, no solution for the stateless Palestinians. Cease fire is fine, but for how long?

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Generous social benefits aren’t enough to change the life prospects of kids from low-income families.

Nordic nations are proud of their social policies—justifiably so. As we know, high taxes fund social security, education, disability, housing and unemployment benefits that reduce inequality and increase social mobility.

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Creator: Eric Haynes

"We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept in order to get back into the JCPOA" US president Joe Biden said at a press conference in Jerusalem on July 14. "We’re waiting for their response. When that will come, I’m not certain, but we’re not going to wait forever."

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses media representatives during a press conference at the NATO summit at the Ifema congress centre in Madrid, on June 30, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

"The decisions we have taken in Madrid," North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said as a summit of the alliance's members closed in Madrid on June 30, "will ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values."

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President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan welcomed president Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio to Beijing on 14 January 2019

 At the end of May, I came to Helsinki as the 20th Ambassador of China to Finland. At the moment I arrived, I was deeply impressed by the beautiful scenery of Helsinki and the Finns honest and hospitality immediately. Later I called on the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and presented the Letter of Credence to President Sauli Niinistö on 2 June.

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Portrait of Paasikivi in a hall named after him at the Finnish embassy in Moscow

Many people, both at home and abroad, have wondered about the easy and unbothered way in which Finland has left its military non-alignment policy behind. Nostalgia for the past seventy years, with its assertions of neutrality, politics of friendship, and bridge-building, is limited in a tense new world.

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Finlands ambassador Klaus Korhonen (L) handing in the NATO membership application to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Bryssels on 18th of May 2022.

The decision by Finland to apply for membership in NATO stems from obvious and unarguable security concerns engendered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, this decision is so predictable from the Realist perspective on international relations that it will surely be used in future textbooks.

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Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces walk to their position near Pokrovske, eastern Ukraine on May 4, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.

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