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Lost in space? Cuts to NASA threaten innovation, diplomacy

Cuts to NASA threaten innovation and diplomacy, writes Princeton University’s Janet Vertesi.

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Why human rights are not paramount

Contributor Joshua Foust argues that European and U.S. leaders don’t have many options left in their policy arsenal these days when it comes to Central Asia, which explains why human rights don’t and probably shouldn’t take a front seat in foreign policy decision making when it comes to that region.

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IT research and the U.S. economy: A long view

As taxpayers consider government spending in the midst of a vitriolic presidential election campaign season, Princeton University’s Margaret Martonosi cautions against reducing investment in science and technology research, which she argues, would hamper our nation’s long-term competitiveness and economic prosperity.

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Athens is burning

With a new austerity program that a growing number of economists and technocrats don’t believe will work and a democracy that has been indefinitely suspended, Greece now feels like a labyrinth with all the exits blocked, writes The Nation’s Maria Margaronis.

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Double standards of intervention

The U.S. silence on Bahrain’s crackdown and its saber rattling in Syria reveals a fundamental hypocrisy in the hazy methods and guidelines governing humanitarian interventions, writes Joshua Foust.

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Public health, private donors

In the wake of the Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle, Princeton University’s Tey Meadow and Elizabeth M. Armstrong ask why we allow powerful private donors — individuals and foundations — to decide who has access to lifesaving preventative healthcare.

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No options left in Syria

Last year’s misguided intervention in Libya means that there are far fewer options left for the international community in dealing with the rapidly escalating conflict in Syria, writes contributor Joshua Foust.

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Carrots, not sticks, for Iran

The international community has tried to use threats and sanctions to coerce the Iranian government into giving up its weapons program. It’s failed. What the international community hasn’t tried is incentives – real incentives backed by dollars and international agreements, writes contributor Joshua Foust.

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No time to wait for two-state solution

Israeli activists are looking to the Europeans and international organizations to step in where the U.S. has faltered, but nothing can replace American engagement in the region, writes contributor Sarah Wildman.

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Memo to Okla.: Don’t throw babies out with the bathwater

Oklahoma now requires that babies otherwise eligible for coverage in the child-only market remain uninsured. Contributor Sarah Wildman asks why the state has prioritized insurers’ demands over the well being of its newborns.

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Why the U.S. should ignore Iran for now

Closing the Strait of Hormuz is a disaster, not so much for the U.S., but for Asia. Asian powers like China and Japan should therefore take the lead in addressing Iranian concerns and ratcheting down tension, writes Joshua Foust.

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Who is Sheldon Adelson?

Never before in the history of American politics has a single couple given more money to a single candidate and had a bigger impact, writes Robert Reich.

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Perry’s out, but gaffes still poison GOP race

As his campaign foundered and fizzled, the Texas Governor embraced a brand of Islamophobia championed by the Gingrich camp for many months now.

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The Romney tax loophole

A loophole in the tax laws allows private-equity managers like Mitt Romney to treat their compensation as capital gains. It’s legal but it’s a scandal, writes Robert Reich.

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Defense austerity the GOP can believe in

For Joshua Foust, defense austerity presents the GOP with an opportunity to take a stance against waste, while still targeting entitlement programs, and addressing the Democrats’ demand for a smaller defense budget.

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How a little bit of good economic news can be bad for the president

Friday’s good news is likely to raise the hopes of the great army of the discouraged – many of whom will now start looking for work. But If they don’t find a job, they’ll be counted as unemployed, which means the unemployment rate will very likely edge upward in coming months, writes Robert Reich.