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Offensive Charm

The scandal currently surrounding Dominique Strauss-Khan—or DSK, as he is commonly known—ranks amongst the most damaging in modern political history. It is easily in the same bracket as the Watergate scandal, which destroyed Richard Nixon’s presidency, and similar in tone to the philandering which spoiled Bill Clinton’s reputation. The crucial differences are in the genuinely monstrous specifics of the allegations at the center of the scandal, and the quite dull—but nonetheless weighty—ramifications upon global economics.

Partners in Crime

New information sourced from the notes of psychologist and Air Force retiree, Dr. Bruce Jessen, reveals for the first time that torture was not only used to obtain intelligence, but also to “exploit” detainees with the aim of collaboration. Significantly, this evidence sheds new light on the psychological aspects of the Bush administration’s torture program, and the two men responsible for designing it.

The Death of an Ingenious Man

Syrian filmmaker, activist and intellectual, Omar Amiralay, never subscribed to the idea that Arabs had to choose between democracy and stability. If he were alive today, he surely would have joined the youth on the streets to call for reform as he had done so many times previously, fully believing in their potential to change their world.

Citizen Candidate: Amr Moussa

Egypt is passing through a fragile period of transition, and one name in particular is frequently mentioned in the context of the vacant presidency. Amr Moussa has a genuine base of support and has remained relatively untainted by his service to Mubarak.

Facebookization: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook, one of the most popular websites in the world, has redefined the way people interact with the internet and with one other. By facilitating a more connected world, its creator, Mark Zuckerberg has started a social revolution.

Neutrality Disputed

The prime minister designate of Lebanon has a very tough task ahead. Najib Mikati must walk a fine line if he wishes not to alienate the Sa’ad Hariri opposition bloc, especially concerning the future of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Simultaneously, he must surely pay heed to the group that put him back in the prime minister’s hot seat—Hezbollah and its allies. Does the businessman have what it takes?

Neutrality Disputed

The prime minister designate of Lebanon has a very tough task ahead. Najib Mikati must walk a fine line if he wishes not to alienate the Sa’ad Hariri opposition bloc, especially concerning the future of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Simultaneously, he must surely pay heed to the group that put him back in the prime minister’s hot seat—Hezbollah and its allies. Does the businessman have what it takes?

Serious
Business

You know you are a political satirist when close to two million people religiously follow your TV show and call it their primary source of information. But when your satire results in the cancellation of a TV show on a leading news network, and when your comedy show helps pass a law that provides health care benefits to 9/11 first responders, and when you organize a rally days before national elections, then you know you have crossed the line between being a comedian and using your popularity to influence politics.

Valiant Reformer

Salman Taseer’s life came to a tragic and premature end on 4 January, when the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab Province was gunned down in broad daylight, by one of his security guards. The assassin, Constable Mumtaz Qadri, quickly turned himself in to authorities, and made clear that he killed Taseer simply because the governor had vociferously called for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws—stringent legislation that makes it illegal for anyone to insult Islam, and prescribes the death penalty for those who do.

Freshman Hawk

He had yet to serve a single day as Florida’s newest Senator, but already exhortations of “Marco Rubio, Presidente” emanated from crowds at his campaign victory party. Four years after becoming Florida’s youngest-ever speaker of the state legislature, riding a wave of Tea Party support and capitalizing on a divided Republican electorate, on 2 November Marco Rubio beat out former Governor Charlie Christ and was elected to serve as Florida’s junior Senator in the 112th US Congress.