By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO's new leader offered an olive branch to Russia on Wednesday, saying he saw no contradiction between a strong alliance and building a constructive relationship with Moscow. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who took over on Wednesday as NATO secretary-general, struck a more conciliatory tone towards Moscow than his Danish predecessor Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Stoltenberg said Russia needed to demonstrate a clear change in its actions and to comply with international law over Ukraine, where Moscow has annexed the Crimea region and supports pro-Russian separatists in the east. But, speaking at his first news conference at NATO headquarters, he said: "I see no contradiction between a strong NATO and our continued effort to build a constructive relationship with Russia. Just the opposite." The ceasefire in Ukraine offered an opportunity, Stoltenberg said, although he said Russia maintained its ability to destabilise Ukraine. Stoltenberg, 55, who in his youth was an anti-war activist, is known for his skills in forging compromise and for his knowledge of Russia. As prime minister, he negotiated a deal with Russia in 2010 that ended a four-decade dispute over their Arctic maritime borders and built a personal friendship with then-president Dmitry Medvedev. Stoltenberg takes over at a time when NATO is wrapping up its combat mission in Afghanistan but faces new challenges from a resurgent Russia to the east and Islamic State militants on the southern border of NATO ally Turkey. Symbolising these twin challenges, Stoltenberg said his first visits "in the coming days" would be to Poland and Turkey. NATO said last week Russia has withdrawn many of the more than 1,000 troops it had inside Ukraine but kept a large force near the border. HALTING COOPERATION NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia in April in protest against its annexation of Crimea. It said high-level political contacts with Russia could continue but NATO and Russian ambassadors have met only twice since the Crimea crisis erupted. NATO would consider any Russian request for a new meeting with an open mind, Stoltenberg said. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Stoltenberg's appointment in April, saying the pair had "very good relations". Stoltenberg's comments contrasted with the hard line taken by Rasmussen, whose attempts to build a strategic partnership with Moscow were dealt severe blows first by Russia's war with Georgia in 2008 and now by the Ukraine crisis. "After the Russian aggression against Ukraine, I also had to realize that the security situation in Europe was, and now is, dramatically changed and it is clear that Russia doesn't consider us a partner, but rather an adversary," Rasmussen told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday. Russia's behaviour was the "strongest regret" of his time in office, he said. NATO has made clear it will not intervene militarily in Ukraine, which is not an alliance member, but it has reinforced the defences of its eastern allies, which worry they could be a target of Russian aggression. NATO as an organisation also has no plans to fight Islamic State, but a number of NATO allies are taking part in air strikes in Iraq or Syria. Stoltenberg made clear NATO would come to Turkey's aid if it was attacked. "Our responsibility, the basic responsibility, is to stand up and be very clear that we are going to protect Turkey, that collective defence, Article 5, is something which is also going to be applied if Turkey is in any way attacked," he said. Article 5 is NATO's key mutual self-defence clause. (Editing by Tom Heneghan)
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyAt the risk of awarding the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the weirdest study published in 2022. Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.Scientists
- The Daily Beast
Tennessee Department of CorrectionA woman who shared a kiss with a prisoner during a visitation in Tennessee has been charged with murder after the inmate died shortly after their exchange.Rachel Dollard was taken into custody over the weekend by special agents from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department, the TDOC confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. She is accused of smuggling drugs into the Turney Center Industrial Complex.Dollard is facing ch
Anne Heche died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, People reported today. Her death was officially ruled an accident. The report cited a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” as another “significant condition” contributing to her passing. Heche sustained the injuries when her car jumped a curb […]
- In The Know by Yahoo
A woman is accusing an airline of "gender discrimination" after she says she was barred from entering from its business class lounge because of her outfit.
- Miami Herald
“Yesterday my world ended.”
Sarah Palin's former in-laws threw a massive campaign party for her opponent before election night, and now they'll both be on the midterm ballot
Sarah Palin's ex-husband's parents held a pre-Election Night party for her Republican challenger, Nick Begich III.
DOJ officials were alarmed by surveillance footage of the Mar-a-Lago room where classified info was being stored, report says
Officials decided to request a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago after new evidence emerged about classified information kept there, the NYT reported.
Kendall Jenner has posted more Instagram photos, this time featuring 818 Tequila and a bronze brown thongkini. Shop the bikini that Devin Booker commented on.
- NBC News
An Oval Office incident from 2019 perfectly illustrates Trump's approach to state secrets, say ex intel officials
What happened in the Oval Office on Aug. 30, 2019, perfectly illustrated President Donald Trump's approach to state secrets, say former intel officials.
A video of a man fighting with a teen in Valencia has gone viral and the Santa Clarita Sheriff's department is investigating.
- Good Housekeeping
'Today' show co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie posted heartwarming Instagrams dedicated to each other amid rumors that the two are feuding.
- Rolling Stone
The Trump Organization’s money man has agreed that, if called, he’ll testify against Trump’s companies
- Miami Herald
“That’s the most prehistoric thing I’ve ever seen.”
Former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas outlined the branches of the 'Trump Crime Family' on Twitter
Parnas posted a tweet chain highlighting how Giuliani, his former boss, was Trump's "consigliere," and the roles each Trump child played.
- Town & Country
Prince Harry's Sweet Reaction to Kate Middleton Walking Down the Aisle at Her Wedding Is Going Viral
Prince Harry had the cutest reaction to Kate Middleton walking down the aisle at the royal wedding, and said the nicest thing to Prince William.
Legal battles around LIV Golf intensify as a report on golfer contracts shows restrictions, requirements that come with big paydays
While contracts haven't been made public, a federal judge could rule this week to unseal them, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Fox News
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy's office defended the representative's leadership after outgoing Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said McCarthy was unfit for the role.
The O.C. alum recently spoke candidly on her Broad Ideas podcast regarding Hader's manhood
- Panthers Wire
A cheap shot to Christian McCaffrey set off another melee between the Panthers and Patriots at joint practice.
- Vikings Wire
Looks like Mike Zimmer is going Prime Time