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Committing an assassination? Carrying out a terrorist attack? Tradecraft usually dictates leaving your ID back at the hideout. So how come so many suspects keep dropping them at the scene of the crime?
The judge running the Boston Marathon Bombing trial has gained notice for two things: The secrecy with which he conducts some proceedings, and his steadfast refusal to move the trial. James Henry examines how the judge’s bent for closing the court may work against his decision to keep the trial in Boston.
Jeb Bush Shaped by Troubled Phillips Academy Years
The presumptive GOP presidential frontrunner time’s at the elite Phillips Academy was “tumultuous,” his attitude aloof and his academic performance sub-par … maybe even worse than his brother’s. That’s the conclusion of The Boston Globe. Recalled as a pot-smoking bully by former classmates, Jeb is also remembered as acting like he came from “the world that really counted.” Interestingly enough, Jeb confirmed the pot-smoking when contacted by the Globe, but “said he had no recollection of bullying and said he was surprised to be perceived that way by some.”
Saudi King Salman’s Audacious Power Play
“If you liked the old Saudi regime, then you are going to love the new one”—that’s how the National Interest characterizes the newly-formed kingship of Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the man who took over for recently deceased King Abdullah. What that means for Saudis is more religious intolerance, more Islamic fundamentalism and more power in the king’s hands. As a tradeoff, he’s going to be spending Saudi Arabia’s “savings from oil sales to bribe its citizens.” It’s part of an ongoing attempt to forestall an Arab Spring uprising by offering “an estimated $30 billion in handouts” to “military officers, public employees, students, retirees, the poor, and disabled.”
Why Bibi-Gate Is Bunk: The U.S.-Israel Relationship is Too Big to Fail
Aaron David Miller unpacks the dust-up over Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress—and the implications of this diplomatic end-run around the Obama Administration. What he finds is … much ado about almost nothing. The supposed “red line” Bibi crossed by accepting Speaker John Boehner’s invite will cause no real consequences for Israel, nor any real change to its special relationship with the U.S. Israel’s position as a key ally in the Middle East is even stronger now that it is “more aligned with key Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, and Egypt too.” The arrival of a “staunchly pro-Israel Republican-controlled Congress” also means that there is little critics can do to curtail a relationship that is “too big to fail.”
Steamrolled: A Special Investigation into the Diplomacy of Doing Business Abroad
Foreign Policy investigated the key role played by Christopher Dell, a former ambassador to Kosovo, in the securing a $1 billion deal for U.S. mega-contractor Bechtel in the small, poor nation of Kosovo. The little-used, 48-mile “Kosovo Highway” cost nearly $25 million per mile to build. That’s despite the fact only one in seven Kosovars owned a car when it was completed, approximately one in three Kosovars lives on less than $2.18 per day and, in 2012, more than half of the country reported daily water supply cutoffs. But they’ve got an awesome four-lane highway! And Christopher Dell got himself an awesome new job—Bechtel hired him 2013 to serve as its representative in Mozambique.
Monsanto’s Newest GM Crops May Create More Problems Than They Solve
Monsanto is about to roll out a new generation of genetically engineered cotton and soybean varieties that “tolerate spraying with multiple herbicides.” The reason the new varieties are needed is because weeds have grown resistant to the last generation of herbicides Big Ag developed—particularly Monsanto’s ubiquitous Round-up. Wired points out that over-reliance on Round-up “turned America’s agricultural landscape into an evolutionary crucible of accelerated selection for any genetic mutation that helped weeds survive.” This created “superweeds” which now infest “an area roughly equivalent to the size of Michigan.” And that’s where Monsanto’s latest genetically modified crop comes in. Again.