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In defense of the 'hot take'

If your reading habits are marked more by page clicks than page turns these days, chances are you've come across a "hot take" -- or 20.

After a recent contretemps over BuzzFeed's shaky definition of the hot take, it's arguably become the favorite, much-maligned bane of modern, self-proclaimed "smart …


Opinion: Who polices the 'Ethics Police'?

"The experiment worked," the doctor told me, "but the patient died."

The patient was my father, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Three months earlier, the doctor said my father would probably live only three months. No effective therapy existed. Most doctors would not offer any intervention.

"We …

Evidence-Based Medicine

Brazile: Democrats should welcome Sanders' move

As a rule of thumb, being called a socialist isn't a good thing in American politics. But if you're brave enough to describe yourself that way? Well, that might be enough to take a little bit of the sting out of your opponents' attacks.

That, at least, is what U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont …

Donna Brazile

A harrowing reminder in prison sex abuse suit

Two women who were inmates at Rikers Island have sued New York City's Department of Corrections and one of its officers, Benny Santiago, in federal court, alleging that he and other officers raped them, infected them with sexually transmitted disease, and threatened and retaliated against them for …

Rikers Island

Yang: Stop using Asians as role models

When I was growing up, one of the things that always made me crazy was my parents' habit of constantly praising other kids in my presence: "Oh, remember Olivia Chang? Did you know she's going to be performing at Carnegie Hall next month? Original composition! She wrote it herself!" Or "Mrs. Lee's …

Role Models

Hillary Clinton's emails: A tangled mix of conflicts?

The mere fact that Hillary Clinton's official emails were kept on her personal computer system is turning out to be one of the least important things about them. What matters most about this first batch of messages released by the State Department is that they reveal Clinton, as secretary of state, …


The general who apologized to the dead soldiers on Memorial Day

Memorial Day 1945 was a somber time for most Americans, and 70 years later it still carries with it a special poignancy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been dead just over a month, and while the war in Europe had concluded, it was too early to begin celebrating victory over the Axis powers. …

International Relations

Why do peacekeepers have immunity in sex abuse? - CNN.com

Story highlights

Rosa Freedman: French peacekeepers accused of sex abuse in CAR. Peacekeepers are protected by UN immunity
• She says this is unacceptable and makes U.N. complicit in preventing justice.

Rosa Freedman is a senior lecturer at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, in the UK. The …


Why Ireland said 'yes' to same-sex marriage

Considerable surprise has been expressed around the world about the fact that traditionally conservative and Catholic Ireland approved same-sex marriage in a referendum May 22 by a majority of nearly two to one.

The fact is, Ireland is no longer a Catholic country in the old sense. Much of the …


Band of sisters on Special Ops battlefield

"I remember when they were firing at these guys, the brass from the machine gun falling right over top of us," then-2nd Lt. Ashley White wrote from her base in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

In the early hours of an August 2011 night, White boarded a helicopter alongside the men of the Army's 75th Ranger …


Is there a criminal case in Amtrak crash? (Opinion)

More than a week later, and it's still unclear what led to Amtrak train 188 derailing in Philadelphia, leaving eight passengers dead, and some 200 injured.

To be sure, the National Transportation Safety Board is working feverishly to establish how this happened, and the findings will no doubt be …


What's behind Jay Z and Beyonce's charity?

Music's first family, Mr. and Mrs. Shawn "Jay Z" Carter — that is Jay Z and Beyonce -- have been on quite the philanthropic streak, blurring the distinction between entertainer and saint.

Recent reports -- based on tweets from author, filmmaker and protest organizer Dream Hampton -- suggest the …


Secrets of the bin Laden treasure-trove

In his final years hiding in a compound in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden was a man who at once showed great love and interest in his own family while he coldly drew up quixotic plans for mass casualty attacks on Americans, according to documents seized by Navy SEALs the night he was killed.

On Wednesday …

Osama Bin Laden

Opinion: What really motivates biker gangs

Even after spending five years as a private government informant infiltrating three of America's deadliest biker gangs -- the Vagos, Mongols and Outlaws -- I remained perplexed by members' single-minded motivation for warring with rival gangs to acquire turf. What was it that made them want to …


Opinion: The madness of writing for Letterman

For the first 13 of his 33 years on the late-night airwaves (does anyone still say "airwaves"?), I was a writer for Dave Letterman. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The best because working with Dave was endlessly entertaining. He was and is the smartest, funniest, quickest and …


Why West's refugee response is all wrong

The world is facing a massive refugee crisis. Yet there's something missing from the international response: compassion.

Claiming threats to national security, economic and political stability, and social cohesion, governments are building fences, patrolling the high seas, pushing migrants and …

World Politics

Opinion: Women on Capitol Hill face bias?

As the media likes to point out on a regular basis, it's hard enough being a woman in certain male-dominated industries — tech, banking, politics among them — despite the considerable strides made toward gender equality. And a recent study revealed that things are perhaps about to get much worse.

In …


Boston survivor: Our 25 months

My phone buzzed. My friend texted and said, "It's coming." We made a deal -- if one of us heard first we'd tell the other. I was at home. Alone.

The verdict was in. Twenty-five months to the day, almost to the exact minute, since Boylston Street changed forever. Innocent lives were taken. No matter …


Opinion: In Waco carnage, message to America

Even while the horrific details from the fatal gang battle in Waco, Texas, filter in, it's not too soon to ask: Is this who and what we have become as a nation? A place where a shootout between five heavily armed criminal gangs can unfold at a restaurant, in full view of law enforcement, leaving …


Opinion: Sentence has us in cycle of violence

As a Christian, I can't but feel horrified at the news that a federal jury has imposed the death penalty on Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the young man who (with his brother) was responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

This punishment only continues the cycle of violence, and it will not bring peace. …

Boston Marathon Bombing

Obama, Arab nations dance to different tunes

What we have been watching is a carefully choreographed diplomatic dance, starring President Barack Obama and the Arab leaders who came to the United States for high-level talks at Camp David, Maryland. But the truth is that Obama's dance partners started moving to a different beat even before they …

World Politics

No easy answers for rail safety (Opinion)

The derailment of an Amtrak train near Philadelphia, which claimed the lives of eight people and injured more than 200 more passengers, is only the latest in a rash of serious railroad accidents this year. In February, a Metro-North Railroad crash near Valhalla, New York, killed six people and …


Kerry's pointless diplomacy in Russia (Opinion)

From the moment John Kerry's trip to Russian President Vladimir Putin's summer residence in Sochi on the Black Sea was announced, it was hard to see what the U.S. secretary of state hoped to achieve. Indeed, of the three objectives on Kerry's official agenda -- seeking Russian assistance in ending …


Kim an effective tyrant or panicking? (Opinion)

Late last month, North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un, reportedly ordered his defense minister killed for disloyalty.

In an unsubtle lesson, hundreds of people were required to watch as Hyon Yong-Chol was apparently obliterated by an anti-aircraft gun. Being a top official in North Korea, it seems, …


The dangerous militarization of our police (Opinion)

As Philadelphia comes to terms with the train derailment that has left six people dead and some 200 injured, it's also worth remembering another tragic event that took place in the city exactly 30 years ago. It was an incident that claimed the lives of almost a dozen people, including five …


Opinion: Attacks on aid workers attack on all

The recent visit to Somalia by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry understandably made news as a signal of support for a nation struggling to rebuild itself. But the visit also turned a spotlight on the enormous challenges the Somali people still face to build a more peaceful future -- and how …

John Kerry

Opinion: Another snub for Obama?

It's hard not to read some strong messages from last-minute decisions this past weekend by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The King reportedly declined a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, and also said he would not join a summit at the President's private …

World Politics

North Korea returns to old strategy

Defying expectations, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not attend the Russian celebration commemorating the end of World War II in Europe. After Moscow confirmed Kim's attendance, it retracted it, stating that domestic issues would keep Kim at home.

Many had expected the Russian ceremony to serve …


Sexton: Are you surprised by Deflategate?

So Ted Wells' report is out, and now there is a renewed media frenzy surrounding the New England Patriots, Tom Brady and "Deflategate."

Among the findings of this extensive, gravely serious investigation into the air pressure inside the oblong leather pouch we call a football is that Tom Brady, New …

Tom Brady