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Less Wars, Less Nukes, Safer World: New at Reason

It’s a safer world, writes Marian Tupy:

Since the end of the Cold War, wars have become rarer. International conflicts are way down, though civil wars and armed conflicts have been on the uptick. Moreover humanity’s destructive potential–while still considerable–has been declining. Consider that in 1986, the Soviet Union had over 40,000 nuclear warheads, while the United States’ nuclear arsenal peaked in 1967 at over 31,000 warheads. Last year, both countries’ nuclear arsenal contained less than 5,000 warheads each.

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Brickbat: A Black Day

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper sent out a campus-wide email condemning a “disturbing racist post” by two students that was “hurtful and destructive to our campus community.” Kopper believed the two had posted onli…

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Ceasefire Hammered Out in Syria, Americans Support FBI vs. Apple, London Mayor Wants Out of European Union: P.M. Links
  • SyriaSecretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S., Russia, and other countries have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria. The agreement notably does not include ISIS or al-Qaeda.
  • A new poll from Pew shows 51 percent of Americans think that Apple should unlock deceased San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook’s phone to help the FBI. Of the remainder, 38 percent say they shouldn’t and 11 percent don’t know.
  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, however, is supporting Apple.
  • London Mayor Boris Johnson is supporting the idea (and upcoming vote) of Great Britain exiting the European Union.
  • Jason Brian Dalton, 45, has been charged with six counts of murder for his weekend shooting rampaging in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Pressing political question: “Why is Ben Carson still running for president?”
  • Jeb Bush’s extremely expensive presidential campaign was a miserable failure, but his consultants probably aren’t even pretending to cry on the way to the bank.

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Tough Choices Ahead for Obama: New at Reason

Will it be a fight or a trap? That’s the choice facing President Obama in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, as Obama looks for a candidate for what is likely to be his final nomination to the Court. Republicans who control the Senate have already signaled their preference and intention to wait until after the presidential election to confirm a nominee. President Obama has said he will go ahead with a nomination anyway.

Now the decision facing Obama, writes Ira Stoll, is whether to go for a fight that would mobilize the Democratic base, or instead choose a candidate who has some distantly plausible chance of getting confirmed, or at least of making Republicans seem unreasonable to independents or swing voters for failing to confirm him. Here’s a look at some candidates in both categories. 

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