Made in Japan: Fukushima Disaster

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I finally got a chance to read TIME‘s excellent status report on the catastrophic nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The piece, “The World’s Most Dangerous Room” was authored by Hannah Beech with photos by Dominic Nahr. Best line in the piece references a statement in the 2012 Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission report (pdf): What must be admitted — very painfully — is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan.’  Its fundamental causes are to be found in…

National Geographic Winners

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    Amazing photography, as usual from National Geographic‘s Traveler magazine Annual Photo Contest. Just had to share this prize winner taken by Marko Korošec.  This was his caption: While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado, on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but it stayed an LP [low precipitation]…

Guest Post: What is Israel’s Grand Strategy?

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This is a guest note by Edward Delman, content coordinator at AtlanticLIVE, the events division of The Atlantic. For over three weeks now, the third iteration of the Israeli-Hamas conflict has played out in the bomb shelters of Tel Aviv, in the rubble of Gaza, and on the television screens and Facebook newsfeeds of the world. As of this writing, the 72-hour ceasefire has ended without a long-term deal being reached in Cairo, and limited hostilities have resumed. The apparent lack of an…

Qatar’s Amir Completes a Year: Guest Note by Mike Holtzman

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This is a guest note by Mike Holtzman.  Holtzman served in the US State Department under Colin Powell, as Director of Public Affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations, and as an advisor to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Bid.   Today marks the first anniversary of the ascension of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as Amir of the State of Qatar. While it has been a year of rapid growth and development for the tiny, oil-rich nation. it also has been…

Guest Note: If the Two-State Solution Fails?

Montecruz Foto / Flickr

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This is a guest note by Edward Delman, content coordinator at AtlanticLIVE, the events division of The Atlantic. The latest iteration of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has collapsed, arguably with the biggest of whimpers. After weeks of delays in prisoner releases, moves to join international organizations, the announcement of further settlement construction, and a potential reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, the negotiations have been called off due to an Israeli government that was unwilling to budge from its established line, according to U.S. officials….

President Obama Honors Lost Korean Students

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President Obama makes symbolic gesture honoring memory of the many students lost in the tragic Sewol Ferry incident. He gives a high school in Korea a beautiful Magnolia tree from the South Lawn of the White House where President Andrew Jackson planted a tree in memory of his wife, Rachel, who died two weeks after. This from New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler‘s pool report: In memory of the hundreds of students and teachers who lost their lives…

President’s Day Special: Three Books on America’s Founding Era

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito makes a habit (hope sharing this doesn’t ruin it) of attending most years a special tribute dinner at George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon — some times on the lawn; other times in the newly built history center.  The occasion is the presentation of the George Washington Book Prize, a $50,000 cash prize presented to the best book on America’s founding era. While Justice Alito and I come from fairly different political frames, we agree…

Summers on Inadequate Demand, Growth & Employment

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An exchange this Sunday between CNN’s Fareed Zakaria & former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers impressed me and follows in full below.  It’s a quick read but offers some no-nonsense analysis of what is not stirring in the US economy.  While Summers lays out the consensus views that demand remains weak, growth too stifled, and employment levels drag — he argues that the government still has options to improve the situation. He points out that the Fed has essentially done…