DNA

By Luisa Frey
♦ Many Iranians were disappointed after the recent failure to reach a nuclear deal, but instead of the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, they are blaming France.
This year’s Ashura celebrations look different in Beirut. Alongside the traditional tributes to the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein, posters show young men killed in Syria’s civil war.
♦ It is estimated that 48,000 people are missing in Syria – victims of forced disappearances, massacres and executions. DNA advances are now helping to identify bodies from mass graves and bring warlords to trial, says a special report from The Guardian.
♦ In Europe, Poland struggles to break its dependency on coal power. One of Europe’s most coal-reliant economies, the country is a rather unlikely host for this week’s UN meeting on climate change.
♦ If ECB does not act, the euro risks resembling the yen of the 1990s and 2000s, says Mansoor Mohi-uddin, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at UBS.
♦ In China, population aging has not only social outcomes, but also affects economic performance and the country’s international competitiveness, writes Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more

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.
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