Why Paris Isn’t Boston & Why Arabs Fight The West: Jan. 8, 2015

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Paris and Boston: That Other, Missing, Comparison by Russ Baker
The attack on a Paris magazine by apparent Islamists prompted some in the media to compare it with the Boston Marathon Bombing. Russ Baker looks at a crucial similarity between the cases that’s missing from other accounts: the fact the security apparatus knew the alleged perpetrators very well.

WHO

Top Secret List Shows McChrystal Halting Night Raids After Controversy
Gareth Porter digs into the “Joint Prioritized Effects List” published by Der Spiegel last month. That list details the “Kill/Capture” program of Special Ops night raids that rose from one to three per night under Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The general—who’d made his name by running a similar program in Iraq and was famously fired after a profile in Rolling Stone by the late Michael Hastings—had to shut down the program in 2010. Then-President Hamid Karzai was upset in part because of mounting civilian casualties from the raids.

France Kicks Islamist Ass: Paris Has Waged War on Militants for Years
War Is Boring serves up a detailed account of France’s surprisingly long list of engagements with Islamic militants and the ramping up of its military efforts—particularly against the Islamic State—in recent months. This may be part of the motivation behind the Charlie Hebdo attack.

US Congress Is Mostly Male, but That’s Not the Case in Other Countries
The 114th Congress is touted as “one of the most diverse groups of lawmakers in U.S. history,” but women comprise just 20% of it, a paltry 17% are non-White and an overwhelming 92% are Christian. But it is the percentage of women representatives that has the world’s most prominent democracy sorely lagging behind nations like Rwanda, Senegal, Finland, Cuba, South Africa … and just about everyone else.

WHAT

Are Oil and Gas Industries Behind the Rare Texas Earthquakes?
National Geographic looks at the investigation into a cluster of nine earthquakes with potential links to injection wells in Fort Worth. And today the New York Times reported on a study in The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America that links fracking to earthquakes in Ohio.

WHY

Why the Arab World Fights
EXCERPT: “It is astonishing that the debate in Western circles on what (or what not) to do about ISIS has seemed largely innocent of history and indifferent to the pattern of consistent futility and failure in the West’s efforts to impose its will on the non-Western world.”

This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water 
Bill Gates blogs about the OmniProcessor—a device that burns human waste to produce electricity and, based on the video of Bill’s taste test, “delicious” drinking water! It is part of Gates’ quest for a radical shift in sewage treatment for places lacking both viable sewage systems and access to potable water.

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