There were 76, but they were dubbed the "Russian 100" — life-savers flown in from Moscow within hours of an appeal for help from Serbia as the heaviest rainfall in more than a century inundated the Balkans in May.

North Korea is arguably one of the world's most racist societies, so it's with no small measure of irony that the country's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday bashed the United States for the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri, which has been gripped by unrest following the death of a black teenager at the hands of a white police officer.

For years, American outreach to Cuba came in many forms: mafiosos, poison-drenched wetsuits, toxic cigars. But today we learned of a new tactic in the campaign to undercut the Castro regime: a stealth effort by the U.S. government's humanitarian aid agency to create a Cuban version of Twitter.

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a US government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government... Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans.

A Cuban doctor working in Brazil has sought political asylum in the office of a conservative party complaining that Cuba's communist government takes too big a slice of her pay, a party official said on Wednesday. Ramona Rodriguez, 51, entered the office of the center-right Democratas party leadership in the lower chamber of Brazil's Congress on Tuesday afternoon and slept the night on a sofa, the official said.

Cubans awoke on Friday for the first time in half a century with the right to buy new and used vehicles from the state without special permission, but price markups of 400 percent or more quickly dashed most people's expectations. A new Kia Rio hatchback that starts at $13,600 in the United States sells for $42,000 in Havana, while a fresh-off-the-lot Peugeot 508 family car, the most luxurious of which lists for the equivalent of about $53,000 in the U.K., will set one back a cool $262,000.

Have I been wrong all along? Some critics suggest my newspaper columns since 1995 on the politics and economics of the Mainland have been — oh — overly sympathetic toward China. I just don’t know. But no one can afford to be complacent. And so the worry popped up again, for several reasons.

For more than two decades, running for Congress in this sun-soaked capital of Cuban exiles has required two things: a Republican registration card and a hard line toward the Castro regime. So when Joe Garcia became the first Cuban-American Democrat from the state to win election to the House in 2012, it signaled a crack in a critical GOP constituency.