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NEW YORK—At 82 years old Rita Moreno may be, according to several men I know under the age of 30, the foxiest woman around.

Yes, she's 82, but she is truly a sexy, shining-light octogenarian, and I have witnessed these young men panting over her. I can't describe it any other way. She beams light and sensuality, which isn't to say she isn't a diva. She is exactly what a diva should be, which in my book means she commands respect, but does so respectfully.

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People stand on an armored vehicle in front of the Ukrainian parliament during a demonstration rally in Kiev on February 27, 2014.

- AFP/Getty Images

DALLAS, Pennsylvania—With their stance toward the revolution that toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the Obama administration and its European allies have now placed the stability of Ukraine in serious doubt, and risk a Cold War on a global scale.

The protests against Yanukovych’s corrupt regime were impressive, and the loss of life in the fight to remove him should not be forgotten.

Yet, the idea that the protests were allowed to proceed as a geo-economic and a democratic question was problematic from the beginning. The protestors believe Ukraine is not a democratic country but, nevertheless, belongs in the European Union (EU).

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BOSTON — Growing up in the small coal-and-steel town of Newcastle, South Africa, Margaret Marshall doesn’t remember having any dreams for her future.

“It sounds strange, but I just didn’t,” she said.

The truth was the women in her life were not the kind of role models who inspired her to dream.

“So few white South African women had careers,” Marshall remembered, that she could not envision herself ever having one either.

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US Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, November 29, 2011, announcing the Obama Administration's progress in cracking down on intellectual property theft crimes.

- AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON DC—The emergence of the global economy has given rise to a persistent struggle to protect intellectual property against theft, leading over time to a framework for the protection of trademarks, copyrights and patents.

However, these laws and norms do little to safeguard company trade secrets, those increasingly valuable intellectual property assets that include market data, formulas, research, strategic plans and customer lists.

This category of proprietary information, often compiled through years of company experience and investment, provides a competitive edge, but only so long as it remains confidential.

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The Turbinist Russian navy minesweeper patrols the harbor of Sevastopol, on March 10, 2014. The Ukrainian flag has never really been embraced in Sevastopol and its famed port, home to Russia's Black Sea fleet since the time of the Tsars.

- AFP/Getty Images

OWL’S HEAD, Maine — Was it only a couple of weeks ago the Sochi Olympics were wrapped up? $50 billion, and unless you won a medal, the only thing anyone will remember about the event is that it took place just before Russia invaded the Crimea.

That's the bad news.

But the good news is that now, nearly a week after Russia's military takeover of a part of the Ukraine, the key parties to this conflict, Russia and the US, are on hold. It's hard to imagine a win-win solution here, but to Secretary of State Kerry's credit, he's playing the offended-party hand with the appropriate mixture of rhetoric and caution, trying at least to prevent a lose-lose situation.

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NEW YORK — During his speech at a recent Sunday Supper, a traditional dinner event at the International House, philanthropist Daniel Rose challenged the world’s wealthiest people to help address society’s lack of public responsibility in the free market and the government’s inefficiency in helping to resolve some of the world’s major problems.

Rose also said that third sector—or nonprofit—and philanthropic involvement must play a role in resolving these issues as well.

As an American citizen living at International House, a community of more than 700 residents from over 100 countries living together while attending graduate school or internships, this concept seemed to me like a clear solution to social issues like hunger and homelessness.

After all, I-House itself would not exist had it not been for the philanthropy of the Rockefeller and Dodge families that founded it and continue to support it.

But my foreign counterparts couldn’t have disagreed with Rose more than Bill Nye and Ken Ham debating science and creationism.

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A Somali woman walks alone in central Mogadishu.

- Courtesy

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Maryam, a 37-year-old single mother who was gang raped in late 2012 in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, told us that she regretted going to the police almost as soon as she got to the police station.

The male officers abruptly ended the investigation when she started bleeding all over the floor.

“They told me to go home and wash off the blood,” she said. “But before they let me go, they told me I had to wash the floor where I was bleeding. I sat down, they gave me a brush and I cleaned the floor.”

Maryam never went back and the perpetrators of this dreadful attack remain at-large.

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The Euro logo is pictured in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, on February 6, 2014. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Thursday that the euro area is not experiencing deflation -- or a widespread fall in prices -- even though inflation is very low.

- AFP/Getty Images

EVANSTON, Illinois — Germans have a love-hate relationship with the Euro and its protector, the European Central Bank (ECB). The latest challenge to the Euro comes from Germany’s Constitutional Court, whose recent split decision questioned the legality of President Mario Draghi’s pledge that the European Central Bank would do “whatever it takes” to defend the Euro.

The Court’s majority suggested that the ECB lacks the legal authority to help out lagging Euro members such as Italy and Spain by buying en masse member state bonds.

President Draghi’s pledge, issued at the height of the Eurozone crisis, is widely seen as having helped to stabilized the Euro, so much so that the ECB never engaged in a bond buying spree. Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled, nonetheless, that any bond buying program would have to be limited.

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A man looks at the figures of Communist soldiers, painted in the colors of the Ukrainian and Polish flags by an unknown artist and with signs "Katyn 5.03.1940" in central Sofia on March 5, 2014. The Communist era monument was painted overnight in Ukrainian and Polish national flag colors with texts reading "Putin go home!" "Crimea 2014" and "Katyn 5.03.1940".

- AFP/Getty Images

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island—It’s easy to recognize both analytical failure and diplomatic incompetence after the fact. While many can now fault Europe and the United States for failing to prevent the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we must now figure how to facilitate Russia’s withdrawal.

Clarity is essential in analytical thinking in the midst of crisis, and we come together—one brother an expert on security and Russia, the other an expert sociologist on Poland and Ukraine—to consider how to challenge Russia to save Ukraine.

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NEW YORK — Before I departed for my first foreign reporting assignment in South America 20 years ago, R.W. Apple Jr., the legendary New York Times globetrotting gourmet, gave me two valuable pieces of advice.

First and foremost, he said, never be afraid to report the truth, even if they put you in jail – “they’ll come to get you out.” Second, he said, “you’re going to eat some great food and some not so great food. Some of it you’ll probably find disgusting, but never, ever insult another country’s cuisine. That might get you killed.”

The latter is advice that should have informed a controversial tweet by the United States Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, who last month criticized Japan for its long-held practice of hunting dolphins, which have been a delicacy in that country for thousands of years—from fried dolphin meat to dolphin stews.

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