The Syrian Government and the Massacre at Houla
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After the latest massacre of civilians by the Assad regime's army, western nations have thrown Syrian diplomats out of their countries, but there's no consensus on what to do next. We hear about a tattered peace plan and calls for arming Syria's rag-tag rebels. Also, former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years for war crimes, and the prospects of making money when a YouTube video goes viral.
Banner image: Members of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) stand behind a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on May 19, 2012. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP/GettyImages
Ex-Liberian President Taylor Gets 50 Years for War Crimes ()
For the first time since the Nuremberg trials after World War II, a former head of state has been sentenced for crimes by an international court. Charles Taylor, who once ruled Liberia, is guilty of aiding, abetting and planning "some of the most heinous and brutal rimes recorded in human history." That's according to Judge Richard Lussick of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who sentenced Taylor to 50 years. David Crane, founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court, is now a professor at Syracuse University College of Law.
- David Crane: Syracuse University College of Law
Syria: Agonizing Questions with No Good Answers ()
In the aftermath of Friday's massacre in Houla -- including at least 34 women and 49 children – Washington is divided over how to accomplish regime change in Syria. Mitt Romney says the US should arm Syrian rebels. President Obama is focused on diplomacy. There's also dispute within both parties of Congress. Who are the rebels? What would it take for them to defeat Assad's army? Would arming them lead to chaos or a proxy war between other countries? How long can the world stand by while a government slaughters its own people?
- Callum Borchers: Boston Globe
- Abigail Fielding-Smith: Financial Times
- Radwan Ziadeh: Syrian National Council, @radwanziadeh
- Fawaz Gerges: London School of Economics and Politics
- Philip Gourevitch: Staff Writer, New Yorker magazine, @PGourevitch
Ketchup Video: Google-YouTube TV Create Spontaneity? ()
A hand tilts a bottle of ketchup and, instead of staying where it is until it's shaken, the ketchup easily slides out, leaving the bottle clean. That's according to CNN, which reports that the 20-second clip was viewed more than 125,000 times on YouTube. That's not what mechanical engineering students at MIT had in mind when they developed LiquiGlide. Are viral videos always accidents? Can producers study the data and deduce techniques for making it happen? Those are questions asked by John Seabrook, who wrote a lengthy piece for the New Yorker called, "Streaming Dreams: YouTube Turns Pro."
- John Seabrook: New Yorker magazine
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