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Keir Simmons
Works at NBC News
Lives in London
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Keir Simmons

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MOSCOW — Moscow is at a standstill. The six-lane highway that runs past the Kremlin — the heart of Russian political power — is closed off. Designer stores and luxury car salesrooms have been shuttered. The city came to a standstill just as military jets began to thunder overhead.
Russia is rehearsing for a military parade to mark 70 years since the end of World War II.
But the weekend’s events are about much more than that. Many Western leaders boycotted the parade over what they say is Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine, although the Chinese haven’t.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 747 touched down Friday morning. The message? Forget bruising Western sanctions, China is open for business with Russia. Tonight, television will air a documentary about Russian-Chinese relations, including interviews with Xi and President Vladimir Putin.
This week I interviewed Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.
While he is a clever diplomat, even Peskov cannot disguise the tensions between Moscow and Washington. He even used the word “freezing” to describe relations.
Russians “do want” to thaw that frozen state with the West, he told me. The majority of Russians support Putin, but yearn for the time when they could travel to Europe and the U.S. freely, according to a pro-Putin member of the Russian parliament.
“America should listen to us, should listen to our people. Because it’s not right in the world when there is only one voice of America,” Alena Arshinova said. “I want Russia to be heard.”
She also doesn’t want to see Russia cut off from the West.
“My generation, the young generation, want to travel all over the world, want to speak different languages,” the 30-year-old said. “We want to develop.”
As Russia and Europe reflect on the millions killed in WWII, it is impossible to miss the fact that the world has changed dramatically. Moscow feels further away from Paris and London and Washington than ever. In Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine which is being rocked by separatist violence, many people fear growing Russian power.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are offering the Russians a hand of friendship.
What happens to Russia in the coming years will influence the world’s future. It will affect international views on trade and free speech and democracy — for better or worse.

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Keir Simmons

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LONDON : ENGLAND : MARCH 15 : My daughters first time on television for a Today Show piece this coming weekend. Ilia and Arianna are demonstrating their drawing skills. And what better cameraman for your first shoot than the wonderful Brian Prentke.
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Your daughter is absolutely adorable Keir
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One of those days when even as you report the news... you cannot believe the news...
Brice Robin presented conclusions reached by French aviation investigators after analyzing the last minutes of cockpit flight recorder.
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Gangland Jihadists...
Suspected ISIS killer Jihadi John is linked to a gang that carried out violent street robberies in London to pay for terrorists to travel abroad — including ...
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JORDAN: FEB 2015

It is 5 a.m. at the Muwaffaq Al-Salti Air Base, the launch pad for the renewed air campaign against ISIS. From here Jordan's fighter jets set off to bomb targets in Syria and Iraq.

It is day five, and four young Jordanian pilots arrive for a briefing. Their call signs are “Lion,” “Tiger,” “Wolf” and “Killer.” At a 5:15 a.m. gathering they’re told their mission is simple: Destroy ISIS targets and ultimately “wipe them from the face of the earth.”

In Amman, the weather is good, and the wind not a factor. Still, they’re waiting for news of the weather over Monday’s target area over Syria.

By 5:30 a.m. they head for a breakfast of coffee and cigarettes. Then they prepare their gear, and don parachutes and Glock 9mm pistols.

At 5:45 a.m., the group gathers for prayers. This is the same room where their comrade Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh prayed before he took off from this very base for the last time. He ejected over Syria on Dec. 24, and fell into the hands of ISIS. His horrific murder – burnt alive on video – has galvanized opposition to ISIS in the region.

By 6 a.m., the Jordanians learn they won't be flying. It is a momentary hiatus in a bombing campaign that has seen Jordan's pilots flying 20 missions per day, according to their commanders. They didn’t say exactly why they’re not flying but two U.S. F-16s do take off at dawn for an unknown destination. There will be no respite for ISIS.

“When you fly you have to put all your problems out of your head,” one pilot tells me. “When I take off I put my wallet in my car and my keys in my desk. Everyone knows when you take off from this base you may never come back.”

“But we are happy,” he says. “We are willing to do it every day.”
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Keir Simmons

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I've travelled to Moscow for an exclusive interview with a key aide to President Putin, Dmitry Peskov.

Russia hopes that the next U.S. president will help "cure" the icy relations between Washington and Moscow, he tells me.

In a wide-ranging interview with NBC News, the Russian president's press secretary said the Kremlin would not try to "put our nose in your business" in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. election.

"We do want to believe that whoever is elected as a new American president will [work] for a cure in our bilateral relations," Peskov said. "We will respect your choice and we will welcome any slightest sympathy toward our bilateral relations."

More on MSNBC Morning Joe this morning and I'll post more on my page later...
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Exclusive: US citizen says he's being held in a prison in Yemen 'under' Saudi Arabian airstrikes...
An American father-of-three imprisoned in Yemen fears he will be killed by airstrikes targeting rebels in the country, according to his lawyers.Sharif Mobley...
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Don't know what with the airstrikes. Can't they just talk?
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German prosecutor says the co-pilot in this deadly crash hid his illness from the airline and his colleagues. That a doctors note was found at his home excusing him from work... but he still went to the airport with terrible consequences...
Video on Today: Families of victims of the Germanwings crash have given their DNA to authorities help in the identification process. Meanwhile, the FBI has launched an independent investigation. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.
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Syria has entered a fifth year of conflict. This is a story about the victims who are increasingly forgotten...

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/see-syrias-civil-war-through-the-eyes-of-its-children-413462595639
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Thousands attended a rally in Copenhagen last night, beside the cafe where the first attack took place on Saturday. It was an extraordinary event. Quietly the Danish people sent a powerful message...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for European Jews to emigrate to Israel in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic attacks.
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This morning I am in Copenhagen where they are trying to understand another attack in a European city.

In the Atlantic magazine a new article on ISIS is being widely talked about http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/ it says Islamic State sees itself as an 'agent of the apocalypse'.

While the Mayor of Copenhagen told me those threatened by violent jihadism are not just people who gather in a cafe to talk about free speech or the Jewish communities of Europe but all of us.

And it's important to remember that 'all of us' includes the Muslim communities around the world who count more victims of this violence than any other group...
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Europe is being threatened by Islamist extremists with "crazy" ideology, the mayor of Copenhagen told NBC News in the wake of...
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Reporting from an air base in Jordan...
Jordan continued airstrikes against ISIS targets and said it will go after the group "with everything we have."
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In his circles
80 people
Have him in circles
43,718 people
Benn Shine's profile photo
Samuel Cleasby's profile photo
Diana Olahova's profile photo
Manyanya Inn Hotel's profile photo
voxage of everyday people's profile photo
Wanderley Rodrigues's profile photo
Ore Oluro's profile photo
Taylor R's profile photo
Darren Morris's profile photo
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  • NBC News
    Foreign Correspondent, 2012 - present
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Correspondent at NBC News... Reporting for NBC Nightly News, Today Show, MSNBC and NBCNews.com
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UK Editor for ITV News, covering crime, security, social policy, Olympic preparations... Occasional London Correspondent for NBC News.

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