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This Week

Why We Fought

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Every Friday we take a look back at the week’s headlines, centering on a theme we’ve singled out as particularly important. This week fighting raged and little heed was paid to Valentine’s Day. The more everyone fought, the less sense they made, and damn if we couldn’t keep our eyes off them.

Fantastic Economist summary of the Syrian situation:

Many Syrians are convinced that, eventually, Mr. Assad will go. What worries them is how. 

Pulitzer-winning article about the Iraq War from Anthony Shadid, who died yesterday in Syria:

“We’re poor. We can’t go anywhere else. What is the fault of the families here? Where’s the humanity?”

Frantic gestures by top Iranian officials arrive at tense time, and are read by some as provocations:

If there’s a meta-narrative here, it’s that Iran tends to speak loudly but carries a small stick.

Times are tough even for gangs, hence rise of the Wacka Flocka—a community gun for shared use:

Hidden and shared by a small group of people who use them when needed, and are always sure to return them, such guns appear to be rising in number in New York

Trackers and rangers stalk each other in a war over the worth-more-than-cocaine rhino horn:

He and his rangers grabbed shotguns, radios, and medical kits and piled into two Land Cruisers. They roared into the night, hoping to cut off the shooter.

Document leak reveals a libertarian thinktank’s strategy to discredit climate-change science:

Heartland itself is a major source of funding to a network of experts and bloggers who have been prominent in the campaign to discredit established science.

Those Americans who benefit most from the government safety net are also some of its most ardent critics:

“They’re going to have to reduce benefits,” he said. “We’re going to have to accept it, and we’re going to have to suffer.”

Anti-Asian slurs heard by star Knicks guard Jeremy Lin:

“Orchestra is on the other side of campus.”

Until the 1930s, Taiwanese aborigines often would bestow their loved ones with a severed head:

The heads themselves were said to have been kept in the open air on a narrow platform and never removed.

Why Iranian women are training to be ninjas:

It is precisely because Iranian women do wield power in their society and homes that the country’s reactionary leaders feel compelled to imbalance the playing field, to pass laws taking that dignity and influence away.

Five places where Valentine’s Day is forbidden:

On the eve of the holiday, they raid stores and seize symbols of love.

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