posted by Paul Hamill on March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm
JOSHUA FOUST / The Atlantic
On Wednesday morning, the Syrian army announced its intention to “clean” the rebel-held city of Homs, specifically the Baba Amr neighborhood. The sterility of the language to describe a massive offensive that will surely kill scores if not hundreds of civilians, is reminiscent of another dry term for mass slaughter: ethnic cleansing.
CHRISTOPHER BODEEN Associated Press
China’s annual legislative session opens Monday amid a challenging leadership transition, economic fears and a day after the country announced a defense spending boost that reflects concern over a renewed U.S. focus on Beijing’s Asia-Pacific backyard.
BEN HUBBARD and AYA BATRAWY Associated Press
Saudi Arabia said Sunday that Syrians have a right to take up arms to defend themselves against the regime and accused the Damascus government of “imposing itself by force,” as concerns mounted over a humanitarian crisis there. In a rare televised news conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom welcomed international efforts to broker a ceasefire in Syria but added that they have “failed to stop the massacres.”
Al-Qaida militants overran an army base in southern Yemen on Sunday, capturing heavy weapons and turning them on soldiers in intense clashes that left 61 dead, a military official said.
Megan Scully / CQ Weekly
Administration officials and lawmakers from both parties still cling to what has been the basic blueprint for the nuclear force for the past half-century — a trio of venerable bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) first developed to thwart the Soviet enemy. But this reflexive devotion to the so-called nuclear triad comes at a steep price, just as the Pentagon is reining in its budgets. At the same time, it’s not at all clear that the full triad is still necessary to deter today’s nuclear threats, from Iran to North Korea to China. This has a growing number of outside analysts asking whether it is time to consider scrapping the half-century-old strategy.
President Barack Obama called on Saturday for the development of new technologies to help tackle America’s energy problems and the scrapping of a $4-billion-dollar tax break for oil companies. “We’ve got to develop new technology that will help us use new forms of energy,” Obama said in his radio and Internet address.
PATRICK QUINN and DEB RIECHMANN / Associated Press
Efforts to forge a deal that will govern the American military presence in Afghanistan beyond a planned U.S troop withdrawal in 2014 are faltering, current and former Afghan officials said on Monday.
Although we’re nowhere near being a petroleum exporter today (a clear requirement for membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), I believe that fundamental changes in America’s supply and demand over the next 20-30 years mean that we’re moving towards a world where the U.S. has a real interest in exports – probably not of unrefined crude oil, but of all energy products.
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