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HKS in the News July 11, 2012

1. Russian views on Syria more nuanced than they may appear (Burns) CNN

2. Preview: Michael Semple interviews a senior member of the Taliban (Semple) New Statesman (Great Britain)

3. Egypt's High Court Blocks Parliament (Masoud) The Wall Street Journal

4. Former Gov. Doyle to be Harvard fellow The Associated Press

5. LGBT Leaders: Born or Built? The Huffington Post

Russian views on Syria more nuanced than they may appear


July 11

Quoted: Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center

Topic: Russian - Syrian relations

The Russian government shares many of the U.S. concerns about the continuing violence in Syria, but Moscow is reluctant to embrace Washington's proposals to solve them because it is wary of its motives, experts say. …

"With respect, I don't agree with Dmitri Simes," responded Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, in an interview Tuesday with "Amanpour."

He said the Russians would still block any kind of planned international military intervention in Syria. "Russia's just trying to put itself in the driver's seat to be a potential peacemaker between Assad and the opposition," he said. …

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Preview: Michael Semple interviews a senior member of the Taliban

New Statesman (Great Britain)

July 11

Quoted: Michael Semple, Carr Center

Topic: The Taliban and Afghanistan

The article was also cited in The New York Times

In David Miliband's guest-edited issue of the New Statesman, former diplomat and author Michael Semple has interviewed a veteran leader of the Afghan Taliban movement – “one of the most senior surviving Taliban commanders and a confidant of the movement’s leadership”. The identity of his interviewee is protected, to allow him to speak freely about the upper echelons of the movement, but Semple has verified his seniority and cross-checked his account.

You can read the full interview in the magazine, but here are a few extracts to whet your appetite.

On relations with al-Qaeda:

At least 70 per cent of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaeda. Our people consider al-Qaeda to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens. Some even concluded that al-Qaeda are actually the spies of America. Originally, the Taliban were naive and ignorant of politics and welcomed al-Qaeda into their homes. But al-Qaeda abused our hospitality. It was in Guantanamo that I realised how disloyal the al-Qaeda people were... To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country. …

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Egypt's High Court Blocks Parliament

The Wall Street Journal

July 10

Quoted: Tarek Masoud, Ash Center

Topic: Egyptian politics

Egypt's high court moved swiftly to block the Islamist-dominated Parliament only hours after the legislature's first meeting in weeks, turning a political row between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military into a constitutional crisis.

The Supreme Constitutional Court suspended a decree issued on Sunday by Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's newly inaugurated president, that had reversed the military leadership's earlier order to dissolve Parliament. …

"They can keep going back and forth like this and at the end of the day it's a test of dueling legitimacy. Either you follow the president or you follow the court," said Tarek Masoud, a public policy professor at Harvard University. "There is no body that can adjudicate these disputes." …

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Former Gov. Doyle to be Harvard fellow

The Associated Press

July 11

Cited: The Institute of Politics

Topic: IOP fall fellows announced

The IOP was also cited in Milwaukee Public Radio, The Greek Reporter , and The Harvard Crimson

Former two-term Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle will be joining Harvard University's Institute of Politics as a resident fellow this fall.

Harvard says in a release that Doyle and the other fellows will interact with students, lead weekly study groups on a wide variety of issues and participate in the intellectual life of the university community.

Other fellows in addition to Doyle participating in the program include Nina Easton, senior editor of Fortune magazine and political strategist Brett O'Donnell who worked for John McCain's presidential campaign. …

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LGBT Leaders: Born or Built?

The Huffington Post

July 11

Cited: Harvard Kennedy School

Topic: HKS student financial aid

Great athletes are born with potential, but it takes intense training, great coaching, and the right equipment and support from families and communities to turn that potential into winning talent. The same is true of leaders in the LGBT community, whether they work in politics, government, or nonprofit organizations. …

This week the David Bohnett Foundation made a substantial investment in the future of LGBT leadership when it announced a grant of $800,000 to help send mid-career, openly LGBT professionals to Harvard Kennedy School. The gift to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute funds the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellows program, now in its 10th year, which allows out leaders to partake of Harvard's renowned executive education programs. In fact, this is Bohnett's second major gift to the program, a commitment that has totaled more than $1.3 million over the past five years. …

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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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