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HKS in the News May 22, 2012

1. Israel’s Undersea Gas Bonanza May Spur Mideastern Strife (O’Sullivan) Bloomberg News

2. Politicians can find start-ups hard to resist (Glaeser) The Boston Globe

3. US Hopeful about Upcoming Talks with Tehran (Burns) Fars News Agency (Iran)

4. Candidates wary as opposition cameras roll ( Mele ) The Boston Globe

Israel’s Undersea Gas Bonanza May Spur Mideastern Strife

Bloomberg News

May 21

Commentary by: Meghan O’Sullivan, Belfer Center

Topic: Israel’s energy prospects

Professor O’Sullivan was also quoted in Globes (Israel)

Egypt’s decision last month to stop selling natural gas to Israel could be a harbinger of increasingly confrontational Egyptian-Israeli relations, an indication of a worsening Egyptian economy, or both.

In any case, the end of the arrangement, which provided 40 percent of Israel’s supply, suggests the need for more Israeli creative thinking and assertive diplomacy -- not with Egypt but, counterintuitively, with Turkey and Lebanon.

The Egyptian move would have raised greater concerns just a few years ago than it does today among Israelis, who import 70 percent of natural gas and all of their oil. Then, Israel saw no alternative to a near-complete dependence on other countries to meet its energy needs. …

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Politicians can find start-ups hard to resist

The Boston Globe

May 22

Quoted: Edward Glaeser, Taubman Center, Rappaport Institute

Topic: Investing tax payer dollars in business ventures

…government officials must be more skeptical about diverting taxpayer funds to business ventures, economists said. But, they added, politicians, are unlikely to stop taking these risks as they feel pressure to show voters they are doing something immediate and tangible about the economy. …

Edward Glaeser , an economist and director of Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, laughed when asked if politicians would ever stop investing taxpayer dollars directly in specific companies. The problem, he said, is the broad policies that create a favorable business climate, such as improving schools, transportation systems, and workforce training, typically take much longer than a two- or four-year term to pay off.

“By investing in specific companies, you have this image of someone taking charge of the economy, of doing something,” said Glaeser. “It creates a strong incentive to keep doing it.”

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US Hopeful about Upcoming Talks with Tehran

Fars News Agency (Iran)


Quoted: Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center

Topic: US – Iranian relations

Senior US administration officials said they are hopeful about the upcoming round of talks with Iran, and stated that the six world powers involved in negotiations with Tehran are prepared to offer an incentives package to encourage Iran to suspend enriching uranium to the purity level of 20 percent. …

European Union and Iranian officials have already met in Geneva to prepare the agenda for the meeting in Baghdad.

"You could really use the summer to have weekly, if not daily, meetings to get to the point where the US could say, 'We think there is a deal out there to avoid war,' " said R. Nicholas Burns, who led talks with Iran under President George W. Bush and is now a professor at Harvard. But, he added, the Obama administration "has also got to be willing to walk away from it." …

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Candidates wary as opposition cameras roll

The Boston Globe

May 22

Quoted: Nicco Mele, Shorenstein Center

Topic: How video trackers can effect campaigns

… The political equivalent of paparazzi, trackers have been used for at least 16 years in Massachusetts, since the 1996 Weld-Kerry Senate race. But this campaign season, with the Brown vs. Warren contest emerging as one of the most closely watched in the country, two media-savvy candidates have found themselves dodging the ubiquitous cameras, even demanding they leave.

… “We live in an age where anyone can record anything at any time and publish it with global reach to anyone at practically zero cost,’’ said Nicco Mele, an expert on integrating politics and technology who was webmaster for Howard Dean’s presidential race and now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “If you are a leader in this day and age, you need to operate under the assumption that even small private meetings of three people could be recorded and released on the Internet.’’ …

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Broadcast Notes

Robert Blendon

NPR “All Things Considered,” 5/21

Topic: Healthcare in America

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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