Chemical Weapons in Syria, How Diversity Contributes to Prosperity, Harnessing Facebook to Predict Obesity Rates

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A member of the Free Syrian Army holds a burning portrait of embattled President Bashar al-Assad. (Getty)

With 70,000 Syrians Dead, Why are Chemical Weapons the Game Changer? | Chemical Weapons in Syria: Israel Responds | The Medical Ethics of Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers | A Royal Example | The Newest Fight Over Wounded Knee, South Dakota | Hope that the Tragedy in Bangladesh Will Inspire Change

With 70,000 Syrians Dead, Why are Chemical Weapons the Game Changer?

President Obama says the United States will not intervene in Syria unless there is clear evidence that chemical weapons have been used by the Assad regime. But with already 70,000 people dead in this conflict, are we splitting hairs over the techniques used to kill people? Does it really matter how people are being killed?

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Chemical Weapons in Syria: Israel Responds

As Syria’s neighbor to the South, Israelis have their sights trained on the border. Yesterday, President Obama confirmed that chemical weapons are being used in Syria, but even with this evidence, it's unclear whether American intervention would ultimately benefit Israel. Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the prospect of American intervention.

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The Medical Ethics of Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

This week a large team of “medical reinforcements” including Navy nurses, corpsmen, and specialists, were deployed to Guantanamo Bay as a response to the ongoing inmate hunger strike. With about 100 inmates refusing food in protest, the use of force-feeding tubes is now widespread, due to a military directive that aims to keep patients alive, regardless of if they want to be fed or not, or live or not. Carlos Warner is a federal public defender who represents 11 Guantanamo detainees.

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A Royal Example

This week, the beloved Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne to make room for her son, Willem-Alexander. In a ceremony outside the royal palace attended by tens of thousands of people, the Queen ended her 33-year reign. What makes the Dutch monarchy so special? We take a closer look at a monarchy that remains relevant in the modern day.

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Hope that the Tragedy in Bangladesh Will Inspire Change

History is being made in the nation of Bangladesh this week. In response to the garment factory collapse last week, representatives from major retailers convened in Frankfurt, Germany to discuss what can be done to improve factory safety. Novelist M. T. Anderson recently wrote about the cyclical, unregulated, nature of the industry in an op-ed piece for our partner The New York Times.

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The Latest Fight Over Wounded Knee, South Dakota

The location of an infamous massacre in 1890, and a violent standoff in 1973, has again become the subject of introspection and dispute, as the land of Wounded Knee, South Dakota - which fell into non-Indian hands years ago - goes up for sale. Stew Magnuson has reported extensively on Wounded Knee and the land dispute there. He’s the author of “The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder” and “The Battle of Whiteclay.” 

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