The Council's April 22 speaker Bill Browder caught some media spotlight in a New York Times review that focused on the fiction-like true-life story of the American financier's conflict with Vladimir Putin. The Times described Browder's book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man's Fight for Justice as a "riveting account" of this fatal clash of capitalism with "rapacious oligarchs and crooked management."
U.S. and Pakistan Relations
Our March 30 speaker, His Excellency Jalil Abbas Jilani, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the U.S., thinks it is time his nation gets credit for fighting terrorism, in particular Al Qaeda.
In an interview in the March 19 online edition of The Diplomat, he says, "Pakistan has captured or killed more Al-Qaeda operatives than any other U.S. partner. Our soldiers and civilians have paid a massive price in fighting a brutal and vicious enemy. …It certainly takes a deliberate blinding of intellect to miss the real picture of what Pakistan has historically done and how much we have suffered." His comments come as U.S./Pakistani relationships warm following a very cold period that began in May 2011 after an American military team had to go inside Pakistan to kill 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Travel to Cuba
When a door opens… quickly pack your bags for Cuba! Diplomatic changes have made it possible for the Council to schedule a return visit to one of its most popular travel destinations. This time our tour (May 19-26) arrives in time to enjoy the legendary Havana Biennial festival of culture and music. Plus, thanks to some special ties to the island, Council travelers will visit not only traditional sites, but also homes and studios for conversations with Cuban scholars, urban planners, artists and historians. We'll even visit Matanzas, the northern seashore city where the rumba was born. Only 24 spots available for this tour, a visit made before a nation stuck in the '50s takes on the look of the 21st Century.