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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a two-day summit. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Going down the rabbit hole

Crimes without punishment in Argentina

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In this Dec. 1, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, and China's President Xi Jinping, second left, attend their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A U.S.-Chinese cease-fire on tariffs gives jittery companies a respite but does little to resolve a war over Beijing's technology ambitions that threaten to chill global economic growth. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Suiting up for a trade war

The United States and China are drifting into a trade war, and it's worrying almost everybody. It's a peculiar war, compared to such struggles of previous centuries. Its importance is sometimes minimized in importance because of the blind spots both countries have for one another. Neither country seems to have an adequate appreciation of the other's very different environment.

Fraught lives and an animate piano

The piano in Chris Cander's novel is made from spruce, selected from a snowy Romanian forest by Joseph Bluthner, who only ever chose the very best trees: Old ones with at least seven annular rings per centimeter. From these he made the pianos that bear his name. Famed for their warmth of tone they "were beloved of the likes of Schumann and Liszt."

Rap the elephant in the room

The Gillette company is getting well-deserved blowback this week over their "toxic masculinity" shaving cream ad, which has many viewers signaling for a time out. Masculinity is not toxic, but in fact life-protecting and life-nurturing, just as much as femininity is.

Sweep out bogus patents

A recent op-ed spoke to the need for bipartisan solutions to lower drug prices ("Double jeopardy on patents discourages drug innovation," Web, Jan. 2). But under the banner of "protecting drug innovation," it conflates two distinct processes: the role of drug patents under the Hatch-Waxman Act and a newer process created by Congress to clear the system of flimsy, improperly issued patents (known as IPR, or inter partes reviews). This patent obfuscation and defense of every single drug patent — even weak ones — at all costs is one big reason American consumers pay the highest drug prices on the planet.

In this photo taken Monday, June 4, 2018, a painting of the Last Supper is seen next to posters quoting China's constitution on religious freedom in a house church shut down by authorities near the city of Nanyang in central China's Henan province. Under President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) ** FILE **

Religious Freedom Day, a time to reflect -- and fight

- The Washington Times

Religious Freedom Day is being celebrated at choice spots around the nation, giving Americans who take such matters for granted a brief moment in time to consider: Not all have it so First Amendment-y free and easy. In fact, a look at the statistics show most don't have it so free and easy when it comes to worshipping.

Former slugger Harold Baines' impact on two franchises was a reason for being selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Committee last month. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LOVERRO: Hall of Famers should be selected for impact, not just stats

Voting has already taken place among the eligible baseball writers, and the results will be revealed on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Many ballots have already been made public by voters, and I'll make mine public here. But as I have often said, the vote often turns into a venom-filled referendum on truth and justice instead of simply a decision about a baseball player's career.

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