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Hacking the President's DNA, by Andrew Hessel, Marc Goodman, Steven Kotler. The Atlantic.
On the potential existence of bioweapons capable of attacking a single individual without leaving a trace, and how they might be stopped.
According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the President's Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched-they are later sanitized or destroyed-in an effort to keep would?be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. (The Secret Service would neither confirm nor deny this practice, nor would it comment on any other aspect of this article.) And according to a 2010 release of secret cables by WikiLeaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directed our embassies to surreptitiously collect DNA samples from foreign heads of state and senior United Nations officials. Clearly, the U.S. sees strategic advantage in knowing the specific biology of world leaders; it would be surprising if other nations didn't feel the same.
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Fear and Loathing in Athens: The Rise of Golden Dawn and the Far Right, by Maria Margaronis. The Guardian.
In financially crippled and politically unstable Greece, the neo-Nazis are gaining surprising popularity.
As a Greek, I've known these people all my life: middle-aged women with coiffed hair and well-upholstered bosoms, men in clean white shirts and neatly belted trousers. They're the people who run the cafes and corner shops; who work hard every day, often at two or three jobs; who pinch children's cheeks and won't let you pay for your coffee; who were always cynical about politicians' promises. I never thought they could fall prey to fascist oratory. Yet here they are, applauding Michaloliakos as he barks and roars, floodlit against a low white building next to the petrol station. We could almost be back in the 1940s, between the Axis occupation and the civil war, when former collaborators whipped up hatred of the left resistance.
Tourists and Terrorists, by John Pedro Schwartz. Foreign Policy.
A visit to the rubble that was once Damascus.
Let it be said that security agents in Damascus are a polite lot -- again, toward foreigners -- which is more than can be said for their American counterparts. Even when plainclothes agents stop your taxi at a checkpoint on your first day in town and, finding you are American, arrange for two muscular men to climb into the backseat beside you, the handguns in the small of their backs pressing against the plush, and escort you to your hotel, where the agents, having sped ahead in their own vehicle, place you under guard for five hours while they conduct a background check, they are always ready to observe the formalities of procedure and the niceties of etiquette."
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