Saturday News

Use Of Drones Becomes Weapon In Social Media War
As Western nations exploit their technological advantage against lesser-armed stateless terror groups, civilian casualties are seized upon and used to as a new front in a social-media contest over justice and credibility, argues Steve Coll in The New Yorker.

Obama’s advocacy of drones has widespread support in Washington’s foreign-policy and defense establishments,” he writes. “But do drones actually represent a humanitarian advance in air combat? Or do they create a false impression of exactitude? And do they really serve the best interests of the United States? Pakistan has absorbed more drone strikes—some four hundred—than any other country, and has been a test bed for the Administration’s hypotheses about the future of American airpower.”

The Impact Of Good Governance On Crime Rates
The Economist examined which major cities in the US had experienced a decline in their crime rate in recent decades and found some doing better than others. Upon closer examination they found a commonality among the urban centers who had seen crime go down – they had a higher quality (and ethical standard) of local government.

Big cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, were led by reformers such as Rudy Giuliani and chief of police Bill Bratton.

“In Newark, by contrast, Sharpe James, the mayor until 2006, was imprisoned in 2008 on fraud charges. His successor, Cory Booker, now a Democratic senator, did much to attract investment into downtown Newark, and managed for a short time to reduce crime and overhaul the police department; but the money ran out, and he later had to cut the force sharply. The present mayor, Ras Baraka, a more traditional rabble-rouser, has hired new cops, but the police force remains troubled (it is, uniquely, monitored by the federal Justice Department),” notes the magazine.

Polio In Africa – The Continent Nears Eradication
The Centers for Disease Control reports that many African nations are closing in on the near-eradication of polio. The Atlantic’s Nicholas St. Fleur explores how they have achieved this public health victory.

Book Review
Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, has written a new book, Maximalist, which finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light.

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