All posts by Beth McMurtrie

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Congress’s Oversight of Domestic Spying Fails for Many Reasons, Scholars Say

At a Senate hearing in March, the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper (pictured in 2011), denied collecting data on millions of Americans. That was not true, but few members of Congress may have been in a position to challenge his assertion. (Bill Clark, Roll Call, Getty Images)

The revelations from Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency has been tracking the communications of millions of Americans seem to have surprised Congress as much everyone else.

“Snowden, I don…

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The Practical Politics of Turning Problems Into International Causes

Locals look at the wreckage of a Lusaka bound passenger service minibus that resulted in the death of 17 people after it collided with a heavy goods truck in Chibombo on April 30, 2013.

Locals look at the wreckage of a Lusaka bound passenger service minibus that resulted in the death of 17 people after it collided with a heavy goods truck in Chibombo on April 30, 2013. (Chibala Zulu, AFP, Getty Images)

Did you know that traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in the developing world? Or that more children there die from burns than from malaria? Chances are you didn’t. The organizations you depend on to tell you these things—like Amnesty International or the UN Commissi…

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Do Poor Career Prospects Radicalize Imams?

Students gather and read in the courtyard of the mosque at Al-Azhar U., in Cairo, where the country’s top clerics teach the next generation of religious leaders. (Thomas Brown)/>

Students gather and read in the courtyard of the mosque at Al-Azhar U., in Cairo, where the country’s top clerics teach the next generation of religious leaders. (Thomas Brown)

Muslim clerics hold a lot of power. As interpreters of the Koran, they issue religious rulings, or fatwas, that can sway millions of people. Yet in the study of religious extremism, remarkably little work has been done to determine why some clerics become radical and others do not.

Rich Nielsen, a doctoral student at Ha…

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Stanford Researcher Offers a Modest Proposal for Food Relief

A Congolese girl carried a box of food aid last December at a refugee camp in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

About one in 10 children in sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 5 is starving, and nearly 40 percent are physically stunted because of chronic malnutrition. The situation in South Asia is even more dire. Yet global shipments of food aid have declined steadily since the late 1990s. In short, there’s not enough food to go around.

So i…

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Democracy and Terrorism

erica chenoweth

Erica Chenoweth, U. of Denver

San Francisco — If you’re looking for a conversation starter, calling your next book “Why Democracy Encourages Terrorism” would probably work. The idea behind the provocative title goes like this: Democracy allows interest groups and political parties to flourish, which then leads to competition. Among those groups that feel most marginalized in the ensuing din, some take extreme measures in the pursuit of attention.

In other words, the conventional wisdom that demo…

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Chronicle x DressHead Embroidered, Formal, Denim dress

Chronicle x DressHead Embroidered, Formal, Denim dress in Soft Grey

This Chronicle x http://www.dresshead.com/c/denim-dresses/ one is a formal denim dress, perfect for prom or other similar social events. The dress features a quality, woven fabric of 100 percent Polyamide material. The design promotes allure with its embroidered elements and creates a striking, classic look with an intense, modern appeal. The lined skirt is semi-sheer and has a rough scalloped, denim hemline. The bodice is a cla…