Articles from War in Context

FBI used hacking software decade before iPhone fight

The New York Times reports: In early 2003, F.B.I. agents hit a roadblock in a secret investigation, called Operation Trail Mix. For months, agents had been intercepting phone calls and emails belonging to members of an animal welfare group that was believed to be sabotaging operations of a company that was using animals to test […]

Apple iPhone unlocking manoeuvre likely to remain secret

Reuters reports: The company that helped the FBI unlock a San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone to get data has sole legal ownership of the method, making it highly unlikely the technique will be disclosed by the government to Apple or any other entity, Obama administration sources said this week. The White House has a procedure for […]

How LSD helped us probe what the ‘sense of self’ looks like in the brain

By Nicolas Crossley, King’s College London and Ed Bullmore, University of Cambridge Every single person is different. We all have different backgrounds, views, values and interests. And yet there is one universal feeling that we all experience at every single moment. Call it an “ego”, a “self” or just an “I” – it’s the idea […]

Why luck matters more than you might think

Robert H Frank writes: I’m a lucky man. Perhaps the most extreme example of my considerable good fortune occurred one chilly Ithaca morning in November 2007, while I was playing tennis with my longtime friend and collaborator, the Cornell psychologist Tom Gilovich. He later told me that early in the second set, I complained of […]

Oil industry knew of ‘serious’ climate concerns more than 45 years ago

The Guardian reports: The oil industry’s knowledge of dangerous climate change stretches back to the 1960s, with unearthed documents showing that it was warned of “serious worldwide environmental changes” more than 45 years ago. The Stanford Research Institute presented a report to the American Petroleum Institute (API) in 1968 that warned the release of carbon […]

The brutality of ISIS has many precedents

John Gray writes: The rise of ISIS is intensely unsettling to the liberal West, and not just because of the capacity the jihadist group has demonstrated to launch a mass-casualty terrorist attack in a major European city. The group’s advance confounds the predominant Western view of the world. For the current generation of liberal thinkers, […]

Report: ‘Iraq may soon reach a point beyond repair’

Al Jazeera reports: Without a coherent strategy to address the urgent needs of displaced Iraqis, the opportunity to rebuild parts of the country liberated from ISIL may be lost, a new report has warned. The report from the Minority Rights Group International and the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, released on Wednesday, highlights the dire […]

U.S. readies ‘Plan B’ to arm Syria rebels

The Wall Street Journal reports: The Central Intelligence Agency and its regional partners have drawn up plans to supply more-powerful weapons to moderate rebels in Syria fighting the Russia-backed regime in the event the country’s six-week-old truce collapses, according to U.S. and other officials. The preparations for a so-called Plan B center on providing vetted […]

Syria’s partial cease-fire shows signs of crumbling

The New York Times reports: A fragile and partial cease-fire in Syria is coming under new strains, with ground clashes and airstrikes intensifying as the government promises a new offensive and prepares to hold controversial parliamentary elections on Wednesday. France, one of the most outspoken international opponents of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and Iran, his […]