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Why Poland has soured on Afghanistan

WARSAW — When Joe Biden, the U.S. vice president, passed through Warsaw a couple of weeks ago, he larded unabashed praise on Poland for its participation in the war in Afghanistan. “Polish soldiers in Afghanistan are not just soldiers,” gushed Biden. “They are warriors doing an incredibly difficult job.”

Secret agent holds Poland in thrall

WARSAW, Poland — Britain has James Bond, America has Maxwell Smart and Poland has a combination of the two: the so-called Agent Tomasz, a spy responsible for unearthing corruption scandals who has in the process become a national laughingstock.

On graveyard talks and secret agencies

WARSAW — Corruption scandals — real or imagined — are one of the most powerful forces in Polish politics, having brought down governments in 2004 and 2006. Now they threaten the two-year-old administration of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The latest crisis exploded earlier in October, when the Rzeczpospolita newspaper published a transcript of bugged conversations between Zbigniew Chlebowski, then the powerful head of the parliamentary wing of the ruling Civic Platform party, and a casino owner.

Poles cool on cultural hero Polanski

Public figures scramble to keep Polanski's scandal from affecting the national image.

Are Polish mines unsafe?

WARSAW, Poland — A methane explosion in a Polish coal mine in September that killed 17 miners and left 35 severely burned has cast light on the safety practices and economic condition of one of Europe’s largest coal mining sectors. The accident on Sept. 18 at the Wujek Slask mine in the western region of Silesia happened as miners were digging out coal more than 1,000 yards below the ground. An unexpected buildup of methane triggered alarms too late, and a flash explosion scorched the men underground.

Meet Poland's Pat Robertson

TORUN, Poland — Normally, priests are supposed to be warm and compassionate types, but when Father Tadeusz Rydzyk spied a blazer-wearing stranger standing next to the group of school children he was greeting he had only two words: “Get Out!” That has been Rydzyk’s normal approach to any reporters he does not control, but that prickliness has not prevented him from building one of Poland’s most powerful media and business empires.

G20 Pittsburgh: They meet again

LONDON, England — Why do political leaders do this: meet at the summit? Why do we write about it? Do you really care? Back in early April, the last time the G20 met, I stopped off at Canary Wharf in London's new financial district to talk to merchant bankers and speculators about the meeting that was, in theory, supposed to result in measures to save the global financial system.

Opinion: Obama's move was not appeasement

BOSTON, Massachusetts — When President George W. Bush committed the U.S. to putting up a missile shield in Poland, with radar facilities in the Czech Republic, the Russians raised holy hell. The installations would have made very little difference in the strategic balance between Russia and the West. Russia has enough missiles to overwhelm such a slender defensive reed.

Poles not surprised by missile defense decision

The decision by the Obama administration to pull the plug on the missile defense shield program did not cause much surprise in Poland, where the government has long been aware of the new administration’s lack of enthusiasm for the project.

The decline of America and Poland's special relationship

WARSAW, Poland — The first of September, symbolic as the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, also marked the end of an era of special closeness between Poland and the United States. The dignitaries jostling for space near the Gdansk memorial where the opening shots of WWII were fired included Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The U.S. was represented by Gen. James Jones, the national security adviser.
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