Struggle Over the Nile – Masters No More

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The Future of the Israeli Newspaper Haaretz

The New Yorker features an interesting article covering the history of the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, and the questionable future the paper faces with the changing political and cultural landscape within Israel, as well as the general economic challenges facing the newspaper industry in general.

A quote from the article:

In a small and tribalized country, Haaretz is an unlikely survivor—defiant, heterodox, oppositional, unafraid to investigate everything from an Austrian billionaire suspected of bribing Israeli politicians to the military’s abuses in Gaza. Since taking charge of the paper, three years ago, Dov Alfon, who started out as a cultural correspondent, has raised the investigative metabolism of the paper. The complaints can be vehement. Read the Talkbacks under the columns on Haaretz.com; they’ve got to be among the most vicious on the Internet. But “for many readers Haaretz is not a newspaper—it is something more,” Alfon told me one afternoon as we ate lunch. “I get readers writing in saying, ‘If Haaretz closes, it won’t make sense to live in Israel anymore. The disappearance of Haaretz would kill the democratic state and the self-critical state.’ There is not one journalist on the staff who says, ‘What am I doing here?’ We have a mission—to tell the truth to the Israeli public and explain the consequences of these truths. I’m not even sure all of our subscribers want to hear that.” Later, he added, “Haaretz alone cannot guarantee Israeli democracy.”

Full Article: The Dissenters

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Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian revolution

Wael Ghonim is the Google executive who helped jumpstart Egypt’s democratic revolution … with a Facebook page memorializing a victim of the regime’s violence. Speaking at TEDxCairo, he tells the inside story of the past two months, when everyday Egyptians showed that “the power of the people is stronger than the people in power.”

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Psychiatry’s Drug Dependency

The New York Times features an article highlighting the psychiatric communities move away from talk therapy and its increased reliance on prescription drugs as the sole and primary treatment offered to patients. Of concern, is that the shift to drug therapy seems to be driven by a money motive created by the higher insurance reimbursement rates offered for drug treatment verse those of talk therapy, and not based on the actual efficacy of this type of treatment.

A quote from the article:

“Recent studies suggest that talk therapy may be as good as or better than drugs in the treatment of depression, but fewer than half of depressed patients now get such therapy compared with the vast majority 20 years ago. Insurance company reimbursement rates and policies that discourage talk therapy are part of the reason. A psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute medication visits compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.”

Full Article: Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy

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Wadah Khanfar: A historic moment in the Arab world

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Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone provides an answer to this question: the revolving door between financial regulators and the private financial services industry.

A quote from the article:

“Criminal justice, as it pertains to the Goldmans and Morgan Stanleys of the world, is not adversarial combat, with cops and crooks duking it out in interrogation rooms and courthouses. Instead, it’s a cocktail party between friends and colleagues who from month to month and year to year are constantly switching sides and trading hats. At the Hilton conference, regulators and banker-lawyers rubbed elbows during a series of speeches and panel discussions, away from the rabble.”

and

“The Revolving Door isn’t just a footnote in financial law enforcement; over the past decade, more than a dozen high-ranking SEC officials have gone on to lucrative jobs at Wall Street banks or white-shoe law firms, where partnerships are worth millions. That makes SEC officials like Paul Berger and Linda Thomsen the equivalent of college basketball stars waiting for their first NBA contract. Are you really going to give up a shot at the Knicks or the Lakers just to find out whether a Wall Street big shot like John Mack was guilty of insider trading? “You take one of these jobs,” says Turner, the former chief accountant for the SEC, “and you’re fit for life.”

Full Article: Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

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Robert Reich: The Republican Strategy

Robert Reich breakdowns the Republican Strategy into three parts: 1. The battle over the federal budget; 2. The assault on public employees; and 3. The Distortion of the Constitution.

A quote from the article:

“The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans want Americans to believe that we can no longer afford to do what we need to do as a nation. They hope to deflect attention from the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.”

Full Article: The Republican Strategy

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