By Steve Gutterman and Annika Breidthardt MOSCOW/BERLIN (Reuters) - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian oil tycoon jailed for a decade after criticizing Vladimir Putin, was freed by a presidential pardon on Friday and immediately flew to Berlin where he hoped to be reunited with his family. Once Russia's richest man, the 50-year-old looked pale and thin but happy in a photograph of him being greeted by German well-wishers on the tarmac after landing on a private jet. President Putin, who surprised Russians and pleased the business community by announcing Khodorkovsky's pardon on Thursday, said he was acting out of "principles of humanity". A Russian government source said freeing his best-known and potentially most powerful critic could deflect international complaints about Putin's human rights record as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics at Sochi in seven weeks time.
PARIS (AP) — A pair of researchers who gave the French revolutionary Robespierre a disputed 3D makeover raised the possibility Friday that the man best known for unleashing the Reign of Terror may have suffered from a rare autoimmune disorder.
By Brian Winter SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Dilma Rousseff was thoroughly charmed. Brazil had been struggling for years to decide which company to choose for a $4 billion-plus fighter jet contract, one of the world's most sought-after defense deals and one that would help define the country's strategic alliances for decades to come. But Rousseff, the leftist president known for being sometimes gruff and even standoffish with foreign leaders, was thrilled after a 90-minute meeting in Brasilia on May 31 with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. After Biden's reassurances that the United States would not block crucial transfers of technological know-how to Brazil if it bought the jets, she was closer than ever to selecting Chicago-based Boeing to supply its fighter, the F/A-18 Super Hornet.