Ukraine crisis: Europe's leaders are haunted by history
Europe's leaders, meeting to address Russia's takeover of Crimea, are haunted by history. The problem is that it's a different history that preoccupies each of them and hinders the search for consensus.
For British politicians there are undercurrents of appeasement, 1930s style, a parallel drawn directly by Sir Malcolm Rifkind earlier this week. Hillary Clinton too has invoked the comparison with Nazi Germany's behaviour.
Sir Malcolm argued that the 1938 Munich Agreement, under which Britain and France sold out the Czechs comes to mind because it was, "the last time the alleged need to protect ethnic brethren was used as a justification for invasion".
However, when I asked Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, as she arrived at the special EU Summit on Thursday whether history, 1930s style, was being repeated, she replied "yes," and then immediately invoked the memory of 1940, when her republic, independent during the inter-war years, was invaded by the Soviet Union as part of a different international stitch up, the Nazi-Soviet Pact. For her, Mr Putin's action in Ukraine is, "very much behaviour like in Stalin's times".
If the comparisons with Hitler or Stalin are too emotive, too crass perhaps, for many of the 28 EU leaders convened here, there are others available too. Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden's prime minister, mentioned Russia's actions of the recent past in Moldova and Georgia when we spoke earlier.
UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters
The UK is about to commit to the F-35 fighter project, a US-led effort to produce 3,000 aircraft which is set to cost more than £600bn globally.
The initial UK order for 14 F-35Bs will, with support costs added, cost about £2.5bn, Newsnight has learned.
Nato's Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees power slipping away
There is an unmistakeable sense among Western decision-makers of power slipping away.
It's not an argument about American abstention or decline, although that plays into it for some critics of the Obama administration.
The Yulia Tymoshenko contradiction
Ukraine is in political crisis again.
Since its "Orange Revolution" nine years ago, pro-Western and pro-Russian groups have contended for political power. The current president, Viktor Yanukovych, stands accused by protesters of turning his back on Europe, after refusing to sign a partnership agreement with the EU.
Syrian chemical weapons set to be destroyed at sea
A plan has been hatched to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea using US Navy auxiliary vessel MV Cape Ray.
Industry sources told BBC Newsnight the plan will put a mobile destruction plant aboard that uses water to dilute the chemicals to safer levels.
Saudi nuclear weapons: US senator demands Obama action
A senior US senator, citing our Newsnight report concerning intelligence that Pakistan had made nuclear weapons that might be delivered to Saudi Arabia, has written to President Obama demanding he take action.
Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, says that while efforts have gone into stopping the Iranian atomic programme "it is clear that must also be expended to ensure that other nations in the Persian Gulf do not themselves develop a nuclear weapons capability".
Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan
Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight.
While the kingdom's quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran's atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic.
Why has NSA failed to keep its own secrets?
WASHINGTON: The past week has been a wretched one for the US National Security Agency (NSA), with revelations of large-scale trawling of phone call data in France and Spain, as well as of eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
During these months, since thousands of files copied by former NSA contactor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden started leaking into the public domain, the US has been compared to an Orwellian Big Brother state.
Could Iran's phased plan defuse nuclear standoff?
GENEVA: So the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has made his PowerPoint presentation and we are now a little wiser about how the long running crisis over the country's nuclear program might be resolved.
As for the detail, even half way through day one of this two-day meeting with representatives of the international community that is not clear, what is though is the vital importance of timing and the need to show progress quickly.