Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Some of it or nothing at all:

Perhaps, I should've kept silent about yesterday's sorry typo in a New York Times piece on Bush's visit to Europe - the paragraph, in which Yushchenko's name was spelled as "Yushenchenko," is now gone completely, together with any mention of Ukraine.

The way that paragraph described our election saga was awesome, too: "Mr. Putin also actively opposed the pro-Western candidacy of the Ukrainian presidential candidate, Viktor A. Yushenchenko [sic], who was ultimately sworn into office."

It reminded me of Putin's famous answer to Larry King's question about what happened to the Kursk submarine: "It sank," he said.


Although the piece is titled Bush Calls on Russia to Renew Commitment to Democracy (or, in today's edition, Bush Says Russia Must Make Good on Democracy), its focus isn't as pointed as that of the headlines: in the piece itself, Russia gets just a few paragraphs while the rest deals with other European matters.

Here's the Russia part, minus the paragraph on Ukraine:

President Bush warned Russia today that it "must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law," but he said he believed the nation's future lies "within the family of Europe and the trans-Atlantic community."

The president's words, delivered in a major speech on American and European relations at the start of a four-day trip to Belgium, Germany and Slovakia, were his toughest yet about President Vladimir V. Putin's rollback of democratic reforms and crackdown on dissent in Russia. Mr. Bush is to meet with Mr. Putin on Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"We recognize that reform will not happen overnight," Mr. Bush said in the grand setting of Concert Noble, a 19th century hall. "We must always remind Russia, however, that our alliance stands for a free press, a vital opposition, the sharing of power and the rule of law - and the United States and all European countries should place democratic reform at the heart of their dialogue with Russia."


Speaking about the free press in Russia, Izvestia, one of the leading Russian dailies, will now carry a New York Times English-language digest edition every Monday. The new project was launched yesterday.

Sadly, Izvestia's previous editor, Raf Shakirov, was forced to resign in September 2004, after devoting the whole P1 to a huge photo of the horror in Beslan.

Which doesn't mean it's not totally cool to have access to the New York Times' print edition from now on, digest or not. It is way cool.

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