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Alliance Bank of Arizona has recently financed more than $255 million worth of real estate in the East Valley. The projects total 1.74 million square of commercial real estate and 434 ares of single-family housing developments. Alliance has helped ...

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Add a new word to your vocabulary: NovichokIt’s a chemical weapon developed in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, a nerve agent reportedly 10 times more potent than its better-known predecessorsA Russian scientist who was accidentally exposed to a small amount reported seeing “brilliant colors and hallucinations”; he died about five years laterLarger doses may lead to immediate paralysis of the entire nervous system; that’s what the British government now believes happened to Sergei Skripal, a Russian defense intelligence officer who spied for Britain, as well as his daughter, Yulia, when they were exposed to Novichok in Salisbury, a provincial English market town best known for its lovely cathedralThe contrast between the sinister Russian poison and the middle-class, middle-England backdrop of Salisbury — also home to a well-preserved copy of Magna Carta, the foundational document of the British legal system — is part of what has made the story so sensational in the United Kingdom Vladimir Putin, a man whom most Britons know as a semi-fictional bad guy who sometimes appears on the evening news, has suddenly insinuated himself into ordinary lifeOne British policeman fell gravely ill after being exposed to the Skripals; 12 others were hospitalized; hundreds of others have been warned as wellThat makes it difficult to dismiss this story — “Russians killing Russians, and why should we care?” — as many Britons did when Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian ex-spy, was murdered with radioactive polonium, another rare, highly classified poison, in central London in 2006But while Litvinenko’s assassins might have expected to go undetected, the Skripals’ would-be murderers had to know that Novichok would quickly be linked to the Russian governmentOn many levels, this assassination attempt represents whole new levels of defianceIt broke the rules of spy swaps: Skripal had been pardoned by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 and traded for a bevy of Russian spiesIt showed no concern for bystandersIt follows a long series of other mysterious deaths, including that of Nikolai Glushkov, a Putin opponent, in London on MondayIt showed no concern for bystandersIt has been accompanied by a loud and arrogant disinformation campaignSince the story broke, Russian state television has alternately issued warnings to “traitors” and blamed British secret services, Georgia and UkraineA Russian politician appeared on the BBC ranting about a new Reichstag fire and comparing the British prime minister, Theresa May, to HitlerThe Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy have been openly mocking Britain, tweeting photographs of James Bond and laughing at the evidenceBut why are they doing this? Speaking to British politicians and officials over the past week, I’ve heard a range of explanationsJust like the attack on the journalist Anna Politkovskaya more than a decade ago, the hit may have been meant as a warning to other potential double agents: You don’t have to murder every journalist, or every spy, to frighten the restAlternatively, it may have been designed, in line with the old Soviet tradition of “active measures,” to provoke an angry response: In advance of the preordained Russian election next week, Putin can increase sluggish turnout by shouting about “Russophobia” in the United Kingdom if(typeof window.powaBoot==="function")window.powaBoot(); More ominously, it may have been designed to expose Britain’s new isolation: Now that it is leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom no longer has a set of allies it can rely upon to help craft a responseIt has no favors it can draw upon either: For the past year, British diplomacy has been focused on Brexit to the exclusion of all elseAs if to underline this weakness, even the White House was stunningly opaque, condemning the attack but repeatedly refusing to mention RussiaThe American president, so quick to insult Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, has yet to tweet a single syllableSo extraordinary does this failure seem to the British — does the American president believe their government, or the Russian Embassy? — that here in London, many are asking whether Trump fired Rex Tillerson because the State Department’s statement on the Skripal poisonings used the word “Russia,” and offered more support than the president himselfIf the point was to expose British isolation, it has succeeded: There is no obvious, fast response that the United Kingdom can make, by itself, that really damages PutinBar some more senior Russian politicians from Britain? That hardly matters to the Russian presidentBoycott the soccer World Cup? No one will mind if a few members of the royal family don’t show up, or if the English team drops outThe responses that might really matter are much more difficultThe British government could initiate a cyberattack or reveal some hacked information, and there are rumors that it willIt could reinforce its troops on the Russian border, in the Baltic statesIt could also decide on much more revolutionary financial actions, make full use of its own new laws on “unexplained wealth” and begin immediate investigations into properties such as 4 Whitehall Court, where the Russian first deputy prime minister is believed to own two apartments worth a total of $15 million, and freezing the assets of any Russian officials in BritainIt could pass new laws making it difficult or impossible for anonymous shell companies to own British property or indeed to function in the United Kingdom at allThat would cut down on Russian money-laundering, and indeed international money-laundering, and would slowly drive the Russian oligarchs out of LondonBut it would also cut down on the profits of the real estate agents, yacht salesmen, couturiers, lawyers and accountants who make their living off the international rich who have found the city so welcomingFor two decades, successive British governments put profits over security and underestimated the danger of hosting unscrupulous kleptocrats in their countryThe appearance of Novichok in a quiet English town exposes the risks of that policy — just at a moment when Brexit Britain will find it most painful to abandon We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites Anne Applebaum writes a weekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post Follow @anneapplebaum (function(){TWP=window.TWP||{};TWP.Features=TWP.Features||{};TWP.Features.Ad=TWP.Features.Ad||{};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd={};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd.sticky=true})(); Stories from The LilyThe Lily, a publication of The Washington Post, elevates stories about women An ode to the friendship, misadventures and women of ‘Broad City’ The new exhibit featuring Latin American artists that packs a feminist punch 5 daughters of immigrants describe living ‘Between Two Cultures’ (function(){TWP=window.TWP||{};TWP.Features=TWP.Features||{};TWP.Features.Ad=TWP.Features.Ad||{};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd3={};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd3.sticky=true})(); .wpv-hidden{display:none}.posttv-sticky-player-video.wpv-hidden{visibility:hidden !important;display:block} Close Now Playing { "modal-adblock_v2-controlvar": { "async": true, "condition": { "func": "abtest", "params": ["modal-adblock_v2", "controlvar"] }, "action": { "func": "loadFeature", "params": [ { "featureConfigID": "drawbridge/base" }, { "customFields": { "type": "modal", "conversionType": "adblocker", "theme": "blueLeft", "header": "We noticed you’re blocking ads.", "body": "", "subHeader": "Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blockerOr purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.", "buttonOneTxt": "Unblock ads", "buttonOneSubText": "", "buttonOneURL": "", "buttonTwoTxt":"Subscribe", "buttonTwoURL" : "", "buttonTwoStyle": "button", "newsletterName": "adblocker", "template": "drawbridge-no-sub", "initiative": "adblocker", "promoId": "none", "image": "", "imageSmall": "" } } ] } }, "modal-adblock_v2-var1": { "async": true, "condition": { "func": "abtest", "params": ["modal-adblock_v2", "var1"] }, "action": { "func": "loadFeature", "params": [ { "featureConfigID": "drawbridge/base" }, { "customFields": { "type": "modal", "conversionType": "adblocker", "theme": "blueLeft", "header": "We noticed you’re blocking ads.", "body": "", "subHeader": "Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blockerOr purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.", "buttonOneTxt": "Subscribe now", "buttonOneSubText": "Only $1 for the first 4 weeks", "buttonOneURL": "", "buttonTwoTxt":"Unblock ads", "buttonTwoURL" : "", "buttonTwoStyle": "button", "newsletterName": "adblocker", "template": "drawbridge-no-sub", "initiative": "adblocker", "promoId": "none", "image": "", "imageSmall": "" } } ] } }, "modal-adblock_v2-var2": { "async": true, "condition": { "func": "abtest", "params": ["modal-adblock_v2", "var2"] }, "action": { "func": "loadFeature", "params": [ { "featureConfigID": "drawbridge/base" }, { "customFields": { "type": "modal", "conversionType": "adblocker", "theme": "blueLeft", "header": "We noticed you’re blocking ads.", "body": "", "subHeader": "Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blockerOr purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.", "buttonOneTxt": "Subscribe now", "buttonOneSubText": "Only $1 for the first 4 weeks", "buttonOneURL": "", "buttonTwoTxt":"Unblock ads", "buttonTwoURL" : "", "buttonTwoStyle": "underlined", "newsletterName": "adblocker", "template": "drawbridge-no-sub", "initiative": "adblocker", "promoId": "none", "image": "", "imageSmall": "" } } ] } }, "modal-adblock_v2-var3": { "async": true, "condition": { "func": "abtest", "params": ["modal-adblock_v2", "var3"] }, "action": { "func": "loadFeature", "params": [ { "featureConfigID": "drawbridge/base" }, { "customFields": { "type": "modal", "conversionType": "adblocker", "theme": "blueLeft", "header": "We noticed you’re blocking ads.", "body": "", "subHeader": "Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blockerOr purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.", "buttonOneTxt": "See subscription plans", "buttonOneSubText": "", "buttonOneURL": "", "buttonTwoTxt":"Learn how to unblock ads", "buttonTwoURL" : "", "buttonTwoStyle": "underlined", "newsletterName": "adblocker", "template": "drawbridge-no-sub", "initiative": "adblocker", "promoId": "none", "image": "", "imageSmall": "" } } ] } } } try{if(wp_meta_data){if(!wp_meta_data.clavis)wp_meta_data.clavis={};(function(){var clavisAuxs=[];var clavisAuxNames=[];var clavisKeywords=[];var clavisTopics=[];var clavisTopicsDFP=[];clavisAuxs.push("5k4");clavisAuxNames.push("China_HongKong Exclusion 12-12-14");clavisAuxs.push("7aq");clavisAuxNames.push("Sensitive 2");clavisAuxs.push("umq");clavisAuxNames.push("Mens Fashion");clavisAuxs.push("zhn");clavisAuxNames.push("Emissions");clavisAuxs.push("zwn");clavisAuxNames.push("Murdoch neg");clavisAuxs.push("wtg"); 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