Tuesday's intriguing people
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev calls Russia's ruling party "a rotting monopoly."
March 1st, 2011
10:27 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Mikhail Gorbachev

The former Soviet leader, who turns 80 on Wednesday, has done a series of interviews offering scathing assessments of the current Russian government — particularly Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Calling Russia's ruling party "a rotting monopoly," Gorbachev told Agence France-Presse last month that Putin's party is "a bad copy of the Soviet Communist Party."

Since 1990, Gorbachev has been blamed for Russia's demise and failed reforms. Still, he defended the institutions now in place, including a legal system to support democracy.

Gorbachev addressed a report that Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev plan to sit down in private and decide who will run for president in 2012.

"I do not like how they are acting," Gorbachev said. "This is not Putin's - this is the nation's business. This is the decision of those who vote."

Abdullah Nizami and Saeedullah Sahel

The Al Jazeera journalists tell the Global Daily Post that they were detained by the U.S. military in Afghanistan while covering a NATO airstrike that may have killed 67 civilians.

Nizami, a stringer with Al Jazeera's Arabic service, said that while departing Ghazi Abad Air Base he was detained, transported by helicopter and forced to stand outside in the snow without warm clothing while being interrogated.

Al Jazeera confirmed that Sahel, who works for its English services, was also detained.

After 28 hours, the two were released with their material intact. A military spokesman said the men were carrying no credentials.

Suze Rotolo

Her image became iconic in 1963 when she appeared arm-in-arm with the nation's balladeer on the cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan."

The New York Times reports that Dylan's early muse died in Manhattan of lung cancer last week at 67.

In his 2004 memoir, Dylan said he could not take his eyes off the 17-year-old Rotolo when he met her.

"We started talking and my head started to spin," he said.

The two lived in Greenwich Village and were together for three years. He wrote many songs about her, including the bitter "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" after they parted ways.

Rotolo heavily influenced a pre-stardom Dylan with her views on civil rights.

"She was into this equality-freedom thing long before I was," Dylan said.

While Rotolo avoided questions about him for most of her life, in 2008 she released a book, "A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Bob Dylan • Media • Music • New York • Russia
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. WestmontWriter

    Did Gorby ever get that birthmark of the US removed from his forehead?

    March 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. ragozzi

    Good point, Gorbachev sounds like an American senator or something...

    March 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Here's the very man who's mainly responsible for the end of Communism in both Russia and Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan and G.W.H. Bush may take credit for it but that desn't make it any truer!!!

    March 1, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Barrens Chatter

      That is about the truest statement I read here yet. Thank you,Cesar.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel2208

      I totall agree with you,Cesar. I don't know what this bozo who keeps posting his right-wing nonsense under your name is trying to prove,but I find it aggravating to see someone trying to discredit you.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    Sorry folks,I didn't post the above. Some jerk is trying to discredit me. Hey Sillie boy, I would appreciate it if you would stop posting your left wing propaganda with my name.

    March 1, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      But I guess that it's alright for you to spew your right-wing mumbo-jumbo under my name,Phunnie boy! Somehow I don't think so!!! I want to reiterate that outside of lip service,neither Reagan nor Bush had anything to do with the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    Why do you have to make up names like Barrens Chatter? Are you so insecure that you need imaginary keyboard friends? Get a grip. Pinche vato pendijo, ha!

    March 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wilbur Slavins

    I still think his head is funny!

    March 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joel 13309

    I feel that the Cesar of 11:44 needs to find himself on his way to the Wizzard of Oz as the scare crow did.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel2208

      It seems to be that way with everybody who tells it like it is! Are you trying to say in your own way that you can't handle the truth? The Cesar of 11:44 told it exactly the way it was and not all the right-wing bla-bla-bla in the world can change that!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RuffNutt

    So true.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Yes RuffNutt,Mikhail Gorbachev did do more to bring down Communism in Eastern Europe than anyone else. Of course in Poland,that was done by Polish Gen. Wojcek Jaruzelski during the 1980's. Don't let any right-wing nutjob tell you otherwise!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. personny

    Israel is becoming a Nation.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mohamad

    Cesar que paso desgraciado

    March 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    Nada desgraciado, Mohamad joto.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar

    @Cesar de 1:04, Tu pinche madra puta maricon desgraciado.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar


    March 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar

    I bet that half the people who are posting here are so ignorant that they don't even know Mikhail Gorbachev from Adam! I'm the true Cesar here and at least I know who Mikhail Gobachev is. Can you say the same,Phunnie boy? I bet not!!!

    March 2, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    ((((I know who Mikhail Gobachev is)))) Yes, Sillie Boy, I can say it.

    March 2, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |