Hitting the sweet spot: How many Iranian centrifuges?

With the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, and Germany) right around the corner, the negotiating parties are starting to reveal more of their cards in hopes of striking a deal. Along with the creative solutions that the West has put on the table, there are now reports about it showing more flexibility on what remains the talks’ key sticking point: enrichment.

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The incapacitating chemical agents loophole

Twelve years ago, Russian security forces employed a secret incapacitating chemical agent (ICA) weapon believed to affect the central nervous system in their attempt to save 900 hostages held in a Moscow theater by armed Chechen fighters. Although the bulk of the hostages were freed, more than 120 of them were killed by the chemical agent and many more continue to suffer long-term health problems.

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Don’t fear Ebola, fear fear itself

Public health officials in America are trying to manage two serious threats right now. One is Ebola, the virus that causes horrible deaths from vomiting, diarrhea, and hemorrhagic bleeding in more than half the people it infects, and against which there is no protective vaccine. The other is fear. In the United States, between the two, fear is the far greater threat.

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The Lesson of Lake Toba

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, there is a large lake that used to be a mountain. How is it that a mountain becomes a lake? Simple: It erupts. This mountain on Sumatra unleashed an utterly massive volcano eruption 75,000 years ago. For perspective, it was the largest eruption in the last 25 million years. And so today, Sumatra has the beautiful Lake Toba instead of a Mount Toba.

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