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Greetings, comrades! I’m back from my week-long visit to Minsk, Belarus, halfway around the globe and a world away, as a guest of the good people at Press Club Belarus and the U.S. Embassy Minsk. (In case you’re wondering, that’s me outside of Niasvizh, a castle that dates to 1583, located to the southwest of Minsk.) It’s good to be back and rolling with the podcast.

A giant sculpture of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in front of the Belarus Parliament building

We’re planning to release an entire episode devoted exclusively to my visit to the former Soviet republic and what I learned about one of Detroit’s seven sister cities, sometime in the coming weeks. But on today’s show, we discuss my visit to Minsk and what it was like there. We also spend some time diving into a few big stories that broke here while I was in the same time zone as Moscow, eight hours ahead:

  • The renewed push for a new Regional Transit Authority plan that would cover the city of Detroit and Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, but not Macomb. It’s an approach we’ve long advocated.
  • Tesla’s polarizing new Cybertruck, unveiled last week in Los Angeles. Will this electrified geometry-on-wheels find anything beyond a niche market of tech enthusiasts?
  • And we discuss General Motors’ bombshell racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, alleging that its rival was complicit in rampant UAW corruption that hurt GM financially by saddling it with higher labor costs. The suit comes while FCA is simultaneously negotiating with the union for a new four-year labor contract and trying to finalize a massive merge with PSA Group of France.

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