The Great Debate

The scientific explanation of why people kill each other over TVs on Black Friday

By Laurence Ashworth
November 23, 2014

Shoppers rush for televisions at a Target store in Chicago

What causes people to kick, shove and even stab each other on Black Friday?

Each year there are reports of violence during the Black Friday sales. Last year, in Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love, no less – two families fought until one of the women ended matters with a stun gun. In a New Jersey Walmart, a belligerent shopper had to be pepper sprayed by police. And in Virginia, one man slashed another with a knife in an argument over a parking spot. This year, there are sure to be similar cases.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why Britain’s days as a haven of political, economic stability are numbered

By Anatole Kaletsky
November 21, 2014

Flares are let off as police stand guard while pro-union protestors clash with pro-independence protestors during a demonstration at George Square in Glasgow

For the past five years, Britain has been a haven of political and economic stability amid the turbulence in Europe. No longer.

Think holiday shopping’s ‘soulless?’ This Japanese trend can fix that

November 21, 2014

A woman walks past an image of lips at a department store in Tokyo

The times when Black Friday and Cyber Monday were one-day events are long gone. Data from search engine giant Google show that close to 90 percent of shoppers have turned these days into “mini-shopping-holidays,” rather than one-day events. But the Japanese, known for turning shopping into a fine art, may be pointing the way to yet another new trend in shopping.

from John Lloyd:

The problem(s) with Israel

By John Lloyd
November 20, 2014

Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jews carry the body of Rabbi Mosheh Twersky onto a vehicle during his funeral in Jerusalem

Israel had grown accustomed to an absence of terrorist attacks in its cities: so the bloody murder of four worshippers and wounding of eight more at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday was a shock. It illuminates the fragile, fractious state of the country, including the fact that the cabinet is riven, and may collapse soon.

Immigration effort shows a president who is fighting back

By Bill Schneider
November 20, 2014

latinos-4obama

Demographics is long. Politics is short. That’s what President Barack Obama is counting on with his executive action on immigration.

Three assumptions about the Middle East that are just plain wrong

By Orit Bashkin
November 20, 2014

Three Arab taxi drivers chat near a McDonald's restaurant in Kuwait City November 10, 2002. Fast-foo..

The West’s understanding of the Middle East has often been laden with misconceptions—this has especially been the case in the years following the Arab Spring.

What makes Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker a good choice for 2016

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
November 20, 2014

coolidge at wash mem

After the GOP’s midterm-elections sweep, the Republican Party holds more U.S. House seats and controls more state houses than at any time since 1928. Having reached this goal, the GOP now needs to look for a 2016 presidential nominee to match this success.

Are these women getting inside Eminem’s head?

By Chloe Angyal
November 19, 2014

Singer Taylor Swift performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote her new album "1989" in New York

This week, rapper Eminem made headlines when, in a new music video, he performed a violently misogynistic rap that attacked singer Lana Del Rey. Del Rey, who is 29 and best known for her songs “Young and Beautiful” and “Summertime Sadness,” has been publicly effusive in her admiration for Eminem (né Marshall Mathers). In the video, Eminem fantasizes about brutalizing the singer in a verse that also lionizes the behavior of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was caught on surveillance video earlier this year knocking his fiancé unconscious in an elevator:

Despite the headlines, progress in Myanmar isn’t slipping away

By Jean-Marie Guehenno and Richard Horsey
November 19, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi hold a press conference after their meeting at her residence in Yangon

Is Myanmar’s reform effort going into reverse?

Not even close. Yet if international support for its political transition seriously weakens in the face of recent setbacks, the prophecies of Myanmar’s critics may be fulfilled. The international community needs to show staying power and accept that the road to reform is long.

from Breakingviews:

Rob Cox: Good news for guns is bad for gunmakers

November 18, 2014

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.