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What the world is reading

“I am responsible for the stability of Egypt,” Lt Gen Omar Suleiman said. It was the spring of 2005 and the conversation that morning dealt mostly with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Written by Priyanka Kotamraju | Published: July 24, 2012 1:42:49 am

Foreign policy

Tales of Omar Suleiman

“I am responsible for the stability of Egypt,” Lt Gen Omar Suleiman said. It was the spring of 2005 and the conversation that morning dealt mostly with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “That was my first experience with Suleiman,then President Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief and all-seeing eye of Horus,” writes Steven A Cook. Omar Suleiman died of a heart attack on July 19 and his sudden passing came as a shock to his enemies and admirers alike. Just as shocking that Suleiman,a master manipulator,was unable to stem the Egyptian uprising. The man,who loomed impossibly large,had always been contemptuous of change. “The last time I saw Omar Pasha was on January 24,2011—on the eve of the Egyptian revolution. By that time,a wave of self-immolations in Egypt had led to speculation about whether the revolution was headed east. Naturally,someone in our delegation asked Suleiman whether the Tunisian revolt could happen in his country. But even at this late hour,he responded with ‘No,the police have a strategy and the president is strong.’ Even at the time,the hubris was astonishing”,Cook writes.

Vanity Fair

Colvin’s private war

“Why is that guy singing? Can’t someone shut him up?,” Marie Colvin,war correspondent with The Sunday Times,whispered urgently after dropping into the dark,dank tunnel that would lead her to the last reporting assignment of her life,writes Marie Brenner about Colvin,arguably the Martha Gellhorn of our times. Fifty-six years old,with a black patch over her left eye lost to a grenade in Sri Lanka in 2001,Colvin thrived in the fierce competitive atmosphere of the British Foreign press. Her quiet eloquence always set her apart from the cliché of the war correspondent with a death wish. “Bravery is not being afraid to be afraid,” she said when she accepted an award for her work in Sri Lanka. Unlike her hero Gellhorn,Colvin did not leave a literary legacy; her genius lay in from-the-ground reporting.

“For Colvin,the facts were clear: a murderous dictator was bombarding a city (Homs) that had no food,power,or medical supplies. ‘Why is the world not here?’ she asked her assistant in London. That question,posed by Colvin so many times before—in East Timor,Libya,Kosovo,Chechnya,Iran,Iraq,Sri Lanka-was the continuing theme of her life,” writes Brenner.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

A shadowy trade

After an eight-month,11-country investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists,the team has found that the human tissue industry’s good intentions sometimes are in conflict with the rush to make money. On February 24,Ukrainian discovered bones and other human tissues crammed into coolers in a grimy white minibus. What the security service had stumbled upon was not the work of a serial killer but part of an international pipeline of ingredients for medical and dental products that are routinely implanted into the people around the world. The seized documents suggested that the remains of dead Ukrainians were destined for a factory in Germany belonging to the subsidiary of a US medical products company,RTI Biologics. As the ICIJ team found,the industry has flourished even as its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities of the business.

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