The Great Debate

With a $42 billion defense budget, is Japan a hawk in dove’s clothing?

By William Johnson
April 28, 2015
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama

Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbor of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Hostage deaths prove it’s time to rein in ‘signature’ drone strikes

By David Rohde
April 28, 2015
American hostage Warren Weinstein is shown in this image captured from an undated video courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group

American hostage Warren Weinstein is shown in this image captured from an undated video courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group. Reuters/SITE/As-Sahab Media released by SITE Intelligence Group/Handout via Reuters

from Data Dive:

How ‘find and replace’ for human DNA works

April 27, 2015

As this Reuters graphic shows, editing DNA using the CRISPR/Cas9 technique works similarly to the "find and replace" function in a word-processing program. First CRISPR -- short for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats" -- searches for a unique string within the DNA sequence. Once found, the Cas9 enzyme cuts the DNA at the prescribed location, and replaces it with healthy DNA.

from Hugo Dixon:

Will UK leave the EU? Election may help decide, but it won’t be simple

By Hugo Dixon
April 27, 2015

Britain's Prime Minister Cameron joins local supporters in a 'selfie' photograph whilst campaigning in Norton Sub Hamdon near Yeovil, south west England, Britain

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) joins local supporters in a 'selfie' photograph whilst campaigning in Norton Sub Hamdon near Yeovil, south west England, April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

How far is Japan willing to go to back the United States?

By Peter Van Buren
April 27, 2015
Handout photo shows U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steaming in formation during their military manoeuvre exercise known as Keen Sword 15 in the sea south of Japan

U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steam in formation during their military manoeuvre exercise known as Keen Sword 15 in the sea south of Japan, in this November 19, 2014 handout provided by the U.S. Navy. REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro/U.S. Navy/Handout

Greek-Russia ties bloom as default looms

April 27, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attend a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attend a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

from Data Dive:

No big deal: Top 20 abandoned corporate takeovers

By Jason Fields
April 24, 2015

When people hear that one company is buying another for however-many billions of dollars, most assume it's a done deal. The truth is that regulators and shareholders have been know to ax mergers and acquisitions both large and small. Despite the fame of the names involved, Comcast's $45 billion deal for TimeWarner Cable doesn't even make it into the top 10 of failed mergers.GLB_ABANDONEDMA0415_SC

Building the perfect leader: North Korean propaganda’s secret sauce

By Andray Abrahamian
April 23, 2015
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Korean People's Army pilots during a visit to the summit of Mt Paektu

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Korean People’s Army pilots during a visit to the summit of Mt. Paektu, April 18, 2015, in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 19, 2015. REUTERS/KCNA

Dangerous crossing: Only seven EU patrol boats, two planes, one helicopter on watch for migrants in Mediterranean

April 23, 2015
Migrants stand on board of Italian Navy ship Chimera before to be disembarked in the southern harbour of Salerno

Migrants stand on board of Italian Navy ship Chimera before to be disembarked in the southern harbour of Salerno April 22, 2015. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

With 580 U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine, what’s Vladimir Putin’s next move?

By Josh Cohen
April 23, 2015
A serviceman of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and Ukrainian National Guard attend an opening ceremony of joint military exercise "Fearless Guardian 2015" at the International Peacekeeping Security Center near the village of Starychy

A serviceman of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army looks on as Ukrainian National Guard line up before an opening ceremony of joint military exercise “Fearless Guardian 2015″ at the International Peacekeeping Security Center near the village of Starychy western Ukraine, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich