World Health Organization

Whiff-Whaff
July 12, 2012

ASK WHO IS THE most charismatic Conservative in Britain right now, and the answer will come straight back: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, once shadow minister for the arts, now mayor of London, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, comic turn-taker, and coquette. And soon to be leader of the Tory Party? Not according to him.

Europe’s Other Crisis
May 04, 2012

Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation By Robert S. Leiken (Oxford University Press, 354 pp., $27.95)  After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent By Walter Laqueur (Thomas Dunne Books, 322 pp., $26.99)  In two separate incidents in March, Mohammed Merah, a French-born French citizen who thought he was waging jihad, ambushed four soldiers around Toulouse, killing three of them. A week later, he shot dead three children arriving for morning classes at a nearby Jewish school, along with a young rabbi who was father to two of them.

Obama Plainly Disagrees with His World Bank Nominee
March 23, 2012

Over at The Washington Post, Jonathan Bernstein argues that the Jim Yong Kim nomination for World Bank president is (for liberals at least) a pleasant byproduct of having a Democratic president: It’s very difficult for me to imagine John McCain, had he won the presidency — or a President Mitt Romney, for that matter — reaching out beyond the usual bankers and recycled government officials to choose someone like Kim. But it’s not at all hard to picture Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Chris Dodd picking him. Presidents don’t make these types of picks on their own.

The Thought Police
March 14, 2012

Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom WorldwideBy Paul Marshall and Nina Shea (Oxford University Press, 448 pp., $35) I.

Freaks and Geeks
February 08, 2012

The fans who descended upon Baltimore in September 1983 for the forty-first annual World Science Fiction Convention hadn’t come to meet Newt Gingrich. They were there to see Isaac Asimov and the test pilot Chuck Yeager, to listen to Jim Henson hold forth on The Dark Crystal, to hear panel discussions like “Is There Pornography in the Future?” In this milieu, the gentleman from Georgia’s sixth district stood out mostly because of his conservative attire. “He was a novelty,” recalls the author Virginia Postrel, who met Gingrich at the convention. “People were wearing blue jeans.

A Shia Militia, a Sunni Madrassa, and the Story Behind a Siege in Yemen
January 30, 2012

The worst moments in the siege of Dammaj came in late November and early December of last year. During those weeks, the villagers in this little-visited, extraordinarily pious settlement in the northwest corner of Yemen had no access to the only hospital in the region, and dwindling supplies of food. Meanwhile, from day to day, snipers in the hills picked off the citizens as they walked to their mosque. The origins of this conflict lie in the age-old Sunni-Shia split. The attacking army is made up of fighters who adhere to a tradition within Shia Islam known as Zaydism.

Deadline: World AIDS Day, Hopes and Fears
December 01, 2011

[with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Thursday was World AIDS Day. I meant to write something substantial about it but didn't have time to do the research. I’ll try to come back around to the topic soon. It's an important story -- and a complicated one. In the last few years, the U.S. has led the effort to distribute HIV drugs around the world, saving literally millions of lives. Bono and Harold Pollack (also a rock star, at least in the policy world) make this point today. Both go out of their way to cite President Bush’s contributions to the cause.

A Spell Deferred
July 28, 2011

Let’s say you have a daughter named Adele, and she is one of the most celebrated young singers in the world. Reporters ask you about her musical education, and you tell them that you raised her right, exposing her early to the work of four musicians: Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, and Nina Simone. What would you be saying, in essence, when you listed those four artists together, as the father of Adele, the phenomenally successful young English R&B singer, did a few weeks ago?

Core Curriculum
June 23, 2011

In the fall of 2008, EnergySolutions Foundation, the charitable arm of one of the world’s largest nuclear-waste processors, began approaching nuclear utilities with an offer. Guided by a team of science teachers and industry p.r. staffers, the organization had developed a trove of materials on nuclear power for use in sixth-through-twelfth-grade classes.

Worried About Cell Phones and Cancer?
June 02, 2011

Like many other people umbilically linked to my mobile e-mailing, tweets, calls, and texts, I’m concerned by the World Health Organization’s recent findings regarding mobile phone use and brain tumors. This latest pronouncement prods me to make some lifestyle changes—my favorite one being to waste less time being a slave to my damn cell phone. Yet, as someone who has spent years trying to mobilize economic and political resources for public health, I am very frustrated by this debate.

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