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Columns

Column: The Political Magic of Rwanda’s Remarkable Road System

Monday, September 15, 2014

A friend was asking me about my recent trip to Rwanda. What, he wanted to know, surprised me the most? “I think it was the roads,” I said. “The roads were amazing.” “I’ll bet,” he said. “They must have been a mess, right?” No, just the opposite. I explained that the streets in Kigali, the capital, are smoothly surfaced, with nary a pothole in sight. Well-crafted rain gutters and zebra-striped …

Column: Ebola Patients Can’t Wait for Assistance

Monday, September 15, 2014

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain the disease. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to surge. Riots are breaking out. Isolation centers are overwhelmed. Health workers on the front lines …

Editorial: CVS Shuns Cigarettes

Monday, September 15, 2014

CVS stopped selling cigarettes last week. The move may be little more than a business calculation for the pharmacy chain. But it is one worth cheering: It makes the sale of cigarettes less ubiquitous, and it shows that, after decades of effort, smoking is getting the stigma it deserves. CVS wants to be known for more than running convenience stores: With demand for …

Column: The Bravery of Steven Sotloff

Friday, September 5, 2014

Steven Sotloff was brave. As a journalist, he ventured into conflict zones and dark corners of the Middle East to tell the stories of people who often are too fearful to speak for themselves. He worked as a freelancer, without the security apparatus provided by major news organizations. …

Editorial: NATO Finds Its Mission

Friday, September 5, 2014

Say this for Russian President Vladimir Putin: He has ended NATO’s decades-old existential crisis. As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meets in Wales, the abstract question of the alliance’s purpose in a post-Soviet world isn’t on the agenda. Instead, its leaders must devise a plan to counter the …

Column: Who Wrote the Book (and Data) of Love?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gosh, am I tired of the pop sociology and pop psychology studies popping up in my news feed. Almost every one of these has severe limitations that get ignored in the hype. I’m going to pick on one example. According to a new study by the National Marriage …

Column: The World Must Mobilize to Combat Ebola

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

If the Ebola epidemic devastating the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had instead struck Washington, New York or Boston, there is no doubt that the health systems in place could contain and then eliminate the disease. Hospitals would isolate suspected cases. Health workers would be outfitted …

Willem Lange: The People You Meet in the Great Outdoors

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One of the nicest things about my part-time TV job is that it gets me outdoors, as well as all over the map, to places I’d probably otherwise never have visited: mountains, rivers and lakes, and what New Hampshire calls the Great North Woods, or on some of …

Column: Let’s Talk About the Wide Racial Divide

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The tragic events in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting death of a young African-American man, have ignited a national conversation around deeply rooted racial tensions in America. Last week at Michael Brown’s funeral, where thousands of family, …

Column: Health Care and Climate Catastrophes

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last week, leading health authorities were huddled at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, discussing how to confront one of the most urgent threats to humanity. It’s not Ebola. And it’s not HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, obesity, heart disease or diabetes. The problem — a changing climate — …

Editorial: A Climate for Change: U.S. Can Lead Global Carbon Cuts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Probably the most persuasive argument against U.S. action on global warming is China. No U.S.-only initiative can stop the planet from warming. Any effective response to climate change will require broad, international effort. All true. But such coordination is not as out of reach as many believe. It …

Column: Rick Perry Works to Forget All That

Monday, September 1, 2014

It was all going so well for Texas Gov. Rick Perry — until the indictment. His efforts to move past a disastrous 2012 presidential run that had become a reliable punch line for a senior moment seemed to be working. He’s dropped a few pounds and added hip …

Column: Attack on Teacher Tenure Is an Attack on Blacks

Monday, September 1, 2014

After the Vergara v. California decision in California’s state Supreme Court, which held that key job protections for teachers are unconstitutional, anti-union advocates everywhere began spawning copycat lawsuits. But while reformers may genuinely want to fix education for everyone, their efforts will only worsen diversity in the teaching …