World

The Murder Capital of the World Won't Debate Gun Control

Honduras has a gun problem, but its presidential candidates won't discuss it

It's election season in the murder capital of the world. And presidential candidates won't even discuss guns.

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“Therefore we hope that ... the maximum penalty will be applied, death by hanging, in the hope that this judgment will be carried out on the walls of the Itahadeya presidential palace in the same place that al-Husseini Abu Deif was martyred.”

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One Man, 1.7 Million Square Meters

My day in the world's biggest building—a Chinese mall you've never heard of

The slogan of the New Century Global Center, the recently completed largest building in the world by floor space, sounds at first like a Chinglish-y misfire: “The One of Everything.” But as I spent a day wandering around the structure, located in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, the catchphrase started to take on a kind of brilliance.

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The Betrayal of Angela Merkel

She loved America more than any other European leader. So why did the NSA target her?

Angela Merkel loved America from pretty much the day she was born. The NSA may have ended that.

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Alaa Al-Aswany is Egypt’s preeminent novelist. His 2002 best-seller The Yacoubian Building highlighted the political corruption, moral duplicity, and economic inequality of contemporary Egypt, and established him as one of the most influential critics of Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

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"Israel Doesn’t Need America on D-Day"

A leading voice of restraint is starting to worry about Iran

"I supported [Netanyahu and Barak] on the notion that if we come to the fork in the road [on Iran], where we have to choose between very tough alternatives—the ‘bomb’ or the ‘bombing’—I’m with the prime minister, for the bombing,” former Israeli defense-intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told me on a recent evening on the porch of his home in the small town of Carmay Yosef. It was a bold statement coming from a man who in 2010 reportedly helped persuade Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak not to strike Iran.

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Forty years ago this month, at the end of the Yom Kippur War, Israel found itself in a precarious position, confronting increasing Arab strength and hostilities from countries from afar. Having pressed into Egypt, the Israeli Army camped out on the banks of the Suez Canal, uncertain of their fate.

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Egyptians marked the fortieth anniversary of their army's putative triumph over Israel by bloodying one another in Tahrir Square. Syrians, too, commemorated the date with internecine violence. Only in Israel were chests, rather than heads, beaten in collective remembrance. The contrast illustrated the curious ways history can be marshaled, forgotten, and mourned. Memory indeed serves, but ever-changing masters. 

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This piece originally appeared on newstatesman.com.

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Syria Offline

These charts should give pause to any dictator considering an Internet blackout

The Syrian city of Aleppo briefly regained access to the Internet yesterday, ending an information blackout that lasted well over a month. As of this afternoon, though, it looks like the city is back offline. During the brief window of access, people on the ground issued celebratory tweets even as fighting continues in the city, one of the main battlegrounds of Syria's civil war.

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