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HKS in the News May 25, 2012

1. Researchers Find Link Between Isolated State Capitals, Corruption (Campante) NPR

2. Nuclear waste expert tapped as top nuclear regulator (Allison) Reuters

3. Iran may prepare to boost nuclear work: diplomats (Heinonen) Reuters

4. Group promoting third-party candidates faces rebellion (King) California Watch

5. Egypt with dread (Freilich) The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

6. Bo Xilai's son graduates from Harvard (Bo) Reuters

Researchers Find Link Between Isolated State Capitals, Corruption


May 24

Cited: Research by Filipe Campante

Topic: Political corruption

Do state capitals relatively distant from the major population centers have more corruption than those in more densely populated areas?

Researchers report that they have found an intriguing correlation between political corruption in state capitals and population density.

Political scientists have long noted the propensity for self-dealing among politicians in out-of-sight, out-of-mind state capitals like Albany, NY and Springfield, Ill. But Filipe R. Campante of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Quoc-Anh Doh, of Singapore Management University, decided to see if data supported that view. They compared federal public corruption convictions from 1976 to 2002 with the population surrounding state capitals and found that, indeed, there does appear to be a strong connection. …

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Nuclear waste expert tapped as top nuclear regulator


May 25

Quoted: Graham Allison, Belfer Center

Topic: Obama’s nomination of Allison Macfarlane to lead Nuclear Regulatory Commission

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he will nominate Allison Macfarlane, an expert in nuclear waste, as the nation's top nuclear safety cop, seeking to turn the page on a period of bitter acrimony at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. …

Macfarlane is unlikely to get mired in personality conflicts, said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, describing Macfarlane as "somebody you might like to go to a Celtics game with.

"She has a winning way. She has a wonderful smile; she is a friendly person; she is a nice person.

"None of those things, per se, get you very far in Washington. I think she'll find it stressful, but I suspect she'll be very adaptable and successful," Allison said. …

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Iran may prepare to boost nuclear work: diplomats


May 24

Quoted: Olli Heinonen, Belfer Center

Topic: Iran’s nuclear program

A U.N. watchdog report is expected to show that Iran has installed more uranium enrichment centrifuges at an underground site, potentially boosting the output capacity of nuclear work major powers want it to stop, Western diplomatic sources say.

Olli Heinonen , until 2010 head of IAEA safeguards inspections worldwide, said Iran would likely have a stockpile of more than 250 kg of uranium refined to the 20 percent level by the end of this year.

"Iran would be able to turn the stock to highly enriched uranium components of a nuclear weapon in a couple of months time," Heinonen, now at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, wrote in a paper. …

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Group promoting third-party candidates faces rebellion

California Watch

May 25

Quoted: David King

Topic: The future of Americans Elect

Americans Elect – the innovative effort to jolt the political system with a third-party presidential candidate – is facing a democratic uprising of its own.

A hastily organized contingent of Americans Elect activists is agitating to reverse the group's decision last week to pull the plug on its nomination process after failing to generate sufficient interest in its candidates. Complaining that the group’s leadership hasn't listened to the membership, the insurgents are pushing for Americans Elect to forge ahead. They don't want the $35 million the group raised to get on the ballot in 29 states, including California, to go to waste. …

David King , a member of Americans Elect's advisory board and a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, said the group made the right decision.

"I think the rules were well understood from the beginning, and Americans Elect didn’t have candidates that seized the opportunity, so it doesn’t seem right to change the rules this late in the game," King said. "A wonderful stadium was built, but not enough players got on the field. The next time there’s a major-league season, we’ll see what happens." …

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Egypt with dread

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

May 23

Commentary by: Chuck Freilich, Belfer Center

Topic: Egyptian presidential elections

Egypt will hold its first ever free presidential elections this week, a victory for democracy in which Israel and the entire democratic world should rejoice, but which fills me instead with a sense of dread.

No matter who is elected, the outcome bodes poorly for Israel, American interests in the region and probably for Egypt as well. In a field of candidates in which Amr Moussa, the anti-Israel hardliner of the Mubarak era, is the leading voice of moderation, little good can be expected.

Indeed, it will be a very pleasant surprise if the peace treaty remains in force a few years from now – and if the peace with Egypt comes to an end, it is hard to imagine that Jordan could remain the only Arab country at peace with Israel. …

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Bo Xilai's son graduates from Harvard


May 24

Cited: Guagua Bo, MPP 2012

Topic: Kennedy School Commencement

Bo was also cited in the Wall Street Journal

The achievement capped a tumultuous academic year that also placed Bo Guagua at the centre of China's biggest leadership crisis in two decades.

Bo Guagua, 24, whose perceived lavish lifestyle overseas has created a firestorm on the internet in China, wore a black cap and gown with crimson hood when he accepted his diploma at a commencement ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He flashed a broad smile and joined several hundred other students who came from all corners of the globe to study at the Ivy League school. …

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

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