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Weekly Roundup
The War on Romance, Longer Baguettes, and a Green Unicorn Hunt

Good evening, TAI readers! As you prepare for the week ahead, take the time to look back on what you may have missed over the last week:

“How to date Japanese women who haven’t been exposed to radiation.” That was a headline on the cover of a recent South Korea edition of Maxim magazine, and unsurprisingly it drew condemnation from Japan, and Maxim‘s apology left something to be desired.

Don’t bring a baguette to a knife fight. That’s the lesson the EU learned—or should have learned—from its fight with Russia over Ukraine. Brussels is now bringing a longer baguette to that battle, though its unlikely to its greatest incentive—EU membership—anytime soon.

Turkey’s “porn lobby” incited violent protests, reported a pro-government Turkish newspaper. Protestors took to the streets to decry the country’s “Internet Law” and the content control it introduces. Erdogan’s ruling AKP party is adept at disguising dissent as conspiracy, and now it seems pornographers are the scapegoat du jour.

Obama and Hollande go on a green unicorn hunt. The two embattled presidents released a joint op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this week that focused in part on combatting climate change via international agreement. It’s hard to think of a less fruitful task for the heads of state to take on.

Barack Obama’s legacy: losing the internet? The rest of the world is keen on reducing America’s role in governing the internet. Obama was supposed to restore America’s image abroad, but it doesn’t look like history will see him that way.

“Valentines Day” or “Modesty Day.” Which do you prefer? Islamist activists in Pakistan are strong proponents of the latter, and took to the streets to violently protest the “un-Islamic” holiday. So much for romance…

What the eulogies missed about Philip Seymour Hoffman:  the man was a West Village local, and his untimely passing has been as keenly felt in his Manhattan neighborhood as it has been in the film community.

All that glitters hides mold. Once the Sochi games end and the TV cameras and top-level athletes depart, Russia will have to confront the fact that it remains an empire in decline. The Olympic games are a lavish party that Putin can ill afford.

Corruption thrives because it hides in plain sight. Global Corruption is a new book that seeks to understand corruption, and discuss what should be done about it. One claim: the West is obligated to help eradicate it in the developing world.


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