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  • European 'butter power'

    European 'butter power'
    There is war in Europe. I'm not using the historic present tense to evoke August 1914. I'm talking about August 2014. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is war — “ambiguous war” as a British parliamentary committee calls it, rather than outright, declared war, but still war. And war rages around the ragged edges of Europe, in Syria, Iraq and Gaza.
  • Our geography, ourselves

    Our geography, ourselves
    What determines behavior? That's a question with a lot of partial answers. Upbringing. Genes. Brain chemistry. Peers. Sunday morning sermons. Inane values communicated in TV ads. The levels of various hormones in the fluid we marinated in as fetuses....

    Move past hideous stereotypes of Israelis, Palestinians

    Move past hideous stereotypes of Israelis, Palestinians
    — My heart jumped when I saw the poster at the entrance to the Muslim community center in Central Java, Indonesia, in 2009. I didn't need to speak Indonesian to understand the photo of dead and injured Gazan children. Still, I asked for a...

    John Kerry's lesson in humility

    John Kerry's lesson in humility
    — John Kerry put his right hand on his heart. "This is not about me," he said. The secretary of state was reacting to the torrent of criticism at home and abroad of his failed attempt at a Middle East cease-fire. Contrary to his protest, Kerry was...

    Women having the last laugh at Turkish official

    Women having the last laugh at Turkish official
    Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter to protest comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values," according to the Reuters news agency....