iphone

AP

Years ago during lunch with a recently-retired National Security Agency cyber security official, I immediately noticed the former official’s iPhone as he placed it on the table next to his fork. Wow, I thought, if an NSA electronic spook is using an iPhone, those babies must be secure. Days later I traded in my cell phone for an iPhone and have been using them ever since.

I endured Apple’s proprietary restrictions, like the inability to change batteries, a company tactic that forces customers to buy a new phone every few years as the battery gradually wears out. So too did I accept the iPhone’s inability to expand its memory.

Editor's Blog

Russia: U.S. Must Separate Syrian Rebels, Terrorists Before Condemning Assad

AP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday the United States needs to fulfill its commitment to separate moderate Syrian rebel forces from terrorist groups before condemning the Bashar al Assad regime over a new United Nations report finding Syria has continued chemical weapons attacks against civilians.

ISIS Terrorists Infiltrating Canada, Suspected of Plotting Attacks

Justin Trudeau

The Canadian government is warning its citizens that it knows of at least 180 individuals who have traveled abroad to join terror groups and is tracking another 60 “extremist travelers who had returned to Canada,” according to a new government report that provides further evidence of ISIS’s migration to North America.

Government Funds to Mylan Spiked After Manchin’s Daughter Became CEO

Heather Bresch

Government funds awarded to Mylan, Inc. increased drastically after Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D., W.Va.) daughter took over as its chief executive officer.

The pharmaceutical company Mylan has come under scrutiny this week for the price hike of its EpiPen, an autoinjector used to counter allergic reactions. The life-saving device was sold wholesale at $55.64 in 2009. The price for the EpiPen had skyrocketed to $317.82 by 2015, an increase of 416 percent.

The China Test

State Hillary Clinton, Xi Jinping

TOKYO—Anyone paying even passing attention to the news from East Asia knows that the rise of China has taken a bad turn in recent years, and that our closest allies in the region feel threatened by the increasingly belligerent policies of President Xi. It’s not clear, however, that even well informed Americans realize how dire the situation is. It’s time they paid better attention, because China’s lawless pursuit of resources and territory is coming to resemble nothing else so much as the behavior of the Japanese empire before World War Two—a disconcerting comparison I have heard more than once from analysts and government officials here, where I have been traveling with a group of journalists and policy experts on a trip arranged by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ISIS Terrorists Infiltrating Canada, Suspected of Plotting Attacks

Justin Trudeau

The Canadian government is warning its citizens that it knows of at least 180 individuals who have traveled abroad to join terror groups and is tracking another 60 “extremist travelers who had returned to Canada,” according to a new government report that provides further evidence of ISIS’s migration to North America.

Damien Hirst Has It Made

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst’s wares are exhibited in one room of the National Gallery, a cramped elevator lobby on the bottom floor that leads directly into a gift shop. For anyone else, the placement could be mistaken for an insult; for Hirst, the metaphor fits. Hirst came from humble and troubled beginnings—from the bottom floor of society, so to speak. Early in life he fell in with a bad crowd and had several run-ins with the law, but soon after discovered his talent for showmanship and salesmanship. His professional ascent was meteoric, easily outstripping the young Brits who competed against him for attention in the 1990s. Now the begoggled businessman sits commandingly in the industry C-suite.

The Middle East’s Good Old Days

Syrian citizens gather at the scene where two blasts exploded in the pro-government neighborhood of Zahraa, in Homs province, Syria in Feb. 2016 / AP

After nearly eight years in office, most observers would conclude that President Barack Obama has done little to advance, and may well have undermined, American interests in the Middle East. While he would tout the Iran nuclear deal as perhaps his greatest foreign policy achievement, a debatable proposition in itself, the region is embroiled in a series of crises the current administration seems unable to address or understand.

In their masterful new book, Ray Takeyh and Steve Simon contend that in the not too distant past the United States was far more successful in the region.

Poor Little Rich Girl

Patty Hearst

Who now remembers Barbara Hutton, the poor little rich girl? Oh, we might be able to dredge up from the recesses of memory or the depths of Wikipedia a few stray facts about her—the much-married heiress of the Woolworth five-and-dime fortune, perhaps the richest girl in the world, who managed to fritter away the equivalent of a billion dollars between her coming-out party at age 18 in 1930 and her death at age 66 in 1979.

We might even remember the original cause of her fame or infamy: that coming-out party, a debutante ball that cost nearly a million dollars (in today’s terms) during the depths of the Great Depression.