The Cable

West Sanctions Moscow, With Caveats

The United States and the European Union unveiled new sets of economic sanctions against Russia and threatened to ratchet them up even further if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin continues to support separatists in Ukraine. Behind the tough talk, however, is a careful set of measures with so many loopholes that they are unlikely to hobble the Russian economy.

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Syrian Defector Will Show Grisly Photos to Congress

The Syrian defector known as "Caesar," who smuggled out thousands of graphic photographs documenting President Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown on his own people, will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, Foreign Policy has learned. The briefing will be televised and open to the press, but due to security concerns related to Caesar's safety, the Syrian defector's face will be covered.

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The United States Lowers Israel's Diplomatic Shield at the United Nations

Despite a history of rocky relations between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration could largely be counted on to watch Israel's back in the U.N. Security Council, where it succeeded for more than five years in blocking successive efforts by the Palestinians to gain more of the trappings of an independent state and to get the world body to formally censure Israeli settlement policies.

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