- Iraq may be unsafe and treacherous, but adventurous Iraqis are reaping the benefits of a growing consumer economy. However, some businesspeople are frustrated that it is not safe enough to bring their families into the country and others lament that the profits are being made in nearby countries like Jordan.
- David Gardner argues for arming Syrian rebels: “The past two years have taken an awful toll… Whole swaths of Syrian cities such as Aleppo, Homs, Hama and, now, the suburbs of Damascus have been razed.” Philip Stephens thinks the country is also paying the price for US timidity: “What is happening – or rather not happening – in Syria is in part a reflection of what happened in Iraq.Once bitten, the US is twice shy.”
- C.J. Chivers reports from Heesh in Syria on the “bitterly personal war, in which Islamic and more secular fighters share an immediate goal: to protect their own families, an ambition they accuse the West of not adequately supporting.”
- Google’s announcement that their RSS reading tool will be shut down was met with outrage from an unexpected source: Iranians using Google Reader to evade government censorship.
- Swiss researchers have been studying satellite images of nighttime lights from 1992 and 2009 and China, India and Africa are growing brighter.
- Spencer Ackerman at Wired looks at how the US military has missed out on significant insights into the Iraq war by not collating Iraqi accounts of what happened – particularly when it comes to the influence of Sunni tribes in preventing the US occupation “from descending into an even bigger fiasco”.
- Take a look at the Economist’s special report on competitiveness in the US, in which Edward McBride argues that while political gridlock is bad for America’s economy, underlying growth prospects are brighter than they seem.
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