Thursday, October 20

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Why had the U.S. once again targeted Gaddafi? Of all the evils and perils in the world, there is none that galls Reagan more than terrorism. Of all the anti-American thugs who hang out in the back alleys of the Third World, there is none Reagan despises more than Gaddafi.
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An early take on the dark side of cyberspace:

Like many newcomers to the "net"--which is what people call the global web that connects more than thirty thousand on-line networks--I had assumed, without really articulating the thought, that while talking to other people through my computer I was going to be sheltered by the same customs and laws that shelter me when I'm talking on the telephone or listening to the radio or watching TV. Now, for the first time, I understood the novelty and power of the technology I was dealing with.
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Thirty years after the murder in Abilene, the question remains unanswered.

Wednesday, October 19

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On the LAPD’s decade-old cold case division: its detectives, its tactics, and its successes.

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On Terri Schiavo, “persistent vegetative state,” and life or death decisions:

Imagine it. You are in your early twenties. You are watching a movie, say on Lifetime, in which someone has a feeding tube. You pick up the empty chip bowl. “No tubes for me,” you say as you get up to fill it. What are the chances you have given this even a passing thought?

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On the business of Muzak.

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Inside the Afghan Local Police, who are accused of killing and raping villagers, and are believed to be the United States’s last shot in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, October 18

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“It’s striking that for all the talk about polarization in the US, the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street are entirely non-violent. Overseas, no one expected the Arab Spring protests to be as nonviolent as they were,” Pinker wrote in an email. The threat of overwhelming reprisal from authorities may have brought some peace to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, but Pinker also pointed to research that, today, “nonviolent protest movements achieve their aims far more often than violent ones.” Still, the story of violence’s decline contains much violence, and America is no exception.
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A trip to Hawaii to cover a marathon.

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He arrived in Bolivia in November 1966, disguised as a Uruguayan businessman. After desertions, drownings, and difficulty contacting their support group in La Paz, his small troop was surrounded the following October. The inside story of how they were found and destroyed.

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On Gabo and his complicated role in the country of his birth, Colombia.

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A cultural history of the travel-writing.