As Russia Empties Embassies, Who Will Replace That Lost Passport?

As Russia Empties Embassies, Who Will Replace That Lost Passport? Photo The United States Embassy in Moscow is already struggling to handle some basic operations after a previous major staff reduction. Credit Alexander Nemenov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images MOSCOW — The scope of Russia’s retaliatory expulsions of Western diplomats grew clearer Friday as the Kremlin summoned 23 ambassadors to issue eviction orders, while diplomatic veterans questioned how the United States Embassy, with a greatly reduced staff, could perform basic tasks.
The ambassadors, mostly European, called to the Kremlin Friday were told that their diplomatic staffs would be cut by the same number of people as had been lost by Russian embassies in their own capitals during a recently coordinated ouster of more than 150 Russian diplomats.
On Thursday, Russia said it would expel 60 American diplomats.
The expulsions and counter-expulsions, following the crisis over the poisoning of a former Russian spy, Sergei V..

Built to Flood: Brutal Choice in Houston: Sell Home at a Loss or Face New Floods

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| Built to Flood
Brutal Choice in Houston: Sell Home at a Loss or Face New Floods

KATY, Tex. — When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, floodwaters swept through Eileen and Jeff Swanson’s two-story brick home, blanketing the first floor in muck and nearly destroying a domestic existence 12 years in the making. Their china cabinet, in the family for three generations, was reduced to a sodden mess. A couch, once a soft red, had blushed into a watery burgundy; the carpet squished like grass at the bottom of a marsh. A dirty foot-high water line ran wall to wall, marking the local crest of an event that the National Weather Service called “the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history.”
After the floodwaters receded, the Swansons returned to a house ravaged, endless questions, few answers — and a looming decision.
They are not alone. Hundreds of homeowners in Canyon Gate at Cinco Ranch, a quiet subdivision in a west Houston suburb, a..

Andrew Balducci, Who Turned a Market Into a Food Mecca, Dies at 92

Supported by Obituaries Andrew Balducci, Who Turned a Market Into a Food Mecca, Dies at 92 Photo Andrew Balducci in the store Balducci’s in Greenwich Village in an undated photograph. He was the driving force behind the expansion of business from a Brooklyn pushcart to a dominant epicurean emporium. Credit The Balducci family Long before the New York food emporiums Fairway, Citarella, Dean & Deluca, Grace’s Marketplace and Eataly, there was Balducci’s.
It began a century ago as a rented pushcart in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, operated by Louis Balducci, an immigrant from southeastern Italy. But it began growing thanks to his son Andrew, who, on his return from World War II, persuaded his father to leave the pushcart behind and move across the East River to open a modest sidewalk greengrocery in Greenwich Village.
Soon Andy, as everyone called him, had even bigger ambitions for the business.
“I always thought the store should be a little more sophisticated,” he told The New York Times in..

‘Vicious’ Killer of 11 Women Gets Death Penalty in China

‘Vicious’ Killer of 11 Women Gets Death Penalty in China Photo The verdict against Gao Chengyong, convicted of 11 murders that included rape and defiling corpses, was applauded in China. Credit Reuters BEIJING — Thirty years after Gao Chengyong embarked on a succession of 11 rape-murders of women in northwest China, a court sentenced him to death on Friday, following an investigation that involved sifting through 230,000 fingerprints.
The sentence by a court in Baiyin, a small city in Gansu Province, was not unexpected in China, which executes more prisoners than any other. But the verdict against Mr. Gao, 53, a farmer, itinerant worker and shopkeeper, was widely reported, and applauded, in China, where the killings drew intense attention.
“The motives for the defendant Gao Chengyong’s crimes were utterly despicable, the means were utterly vicious, the nature of the crimes utterly vile,” the court’s verdict stated, according to the China News Service, an official agency.
The court foun..