Daily Archives: June 14, 2013

By Aranya Jain
♦ Max Fisher speculates on how the US will react to Syria’s use of chemical weapons – large changes in policy are unlikely – while Geoff Dyer examines the reasons behind the uncertainty of the US response.
Genes isolated directly from humans are no longer patentable, as the US supreme court has ruled that only synthetic versions of DNA, known as complementary DNA, can be patented. New access to previously company owned DNA may improve and lessen the cost of treatment, but the loss of patents may also cause a loss of incentive for companies to conduct new research. For those who have more time this weekend, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a novel that grapples with these issues, examining the legacy of a woman whose DNA has become one of the most important tools in medicine, and yet has remained virtually anonymous, never receiving the rights to her own genes.
♦On a lighter note, the US navy will soon stop shouting its communications as messages no longer have to be written in all capital letters.
♦Foreign Policy brings you the fashion highlights from the Iranian election campaigns.
♦And if you have a spare moment, Satan has a few words to say on the Murdoch divorce.
 

James Blitz

Syrian rebels in the southern town of Maaret al-Numan (AFP)

US President Barack Obama’s decision to send arms to the Syrian rebels is clearly an important moment in the country’s civil war. It is a decision that will be welcomed by David Cameron, the British prime minister.

Over the last year, Cameron has been one of the strongest supporters for the idea of sending arms to the rebels in order to level the Syrian battlefield and help bring the Assad regime to the negotiating table. A constant theme in his argument is that there must not be a repeat of the Bosnia conflict in the 1990s, in which thousands died while the west stood aside and did nothing. 

A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Tehran (Getty)

By Aranya Jain

Iran goes to the polls today, with 6 candidates competing to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, a group largely consisting of regime loyalists. The turbulent politics of the election and the large variety of support groups involved make the result unpredictable, with further ambiguity arising from the supreme leader’s claims that he has no favourite to win. These articles are the best guide on what to expect.