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Must Reads of the Week: Militants in the Middle East, AI's Impact on Employment, and More

Author: CFR.org Editors
August 7, 2014

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"Hamas's Chances"
By Nathan Thrall
London Review of Books

"The real barrier to a West Bank uprising has not been, as Hamas has claimed, Abbas's collaboration with Israel. It has been social and political fragmentation, and the widespread Palestinian acquiescence that national liberation should come second to the largely apolitical and technocratic projects of state-building and economic development. These are far greater obstacles for Hamas."

IDF soldiers search for hidden tunnels in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces)
"Islamic Militants in Iraq Are Widely Loathed, Yet Action to Curb Them Is Elusive"
By Somini Sengupta
New York Times

"International cooperation to check the organization's rise has so far proved elusive, even as its influence has hurt the interests of world powers and complicated the regional rivalries among Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Among its latest victims are members of an Iraqi minority group, the Yazidis, who have been hiding in the mountains."

"What Does It Mean to Be Iraqi Anymore?"
By Rania Abouzeid
National Geographic

"Lines on a map are just one type of boundary. In some ways Iraq is already partitioned. The mental and emotional borders between some communities are as real as the concrete barriers that separate neighborhoods."

"Watching the Eclipse"
By David Remnick
New Yorker

"In the three months between McFaul's appointment and his arrival in Moscow, a great deal changed. Putin, feeling betrayed by both the urban middle classes and the West, made it plain that he would go on the offensive against any sign of foreign interference, real or imagined. A raw and resentful anti-Americanism, unknown since the seventies, suffused Kremlin policy and the state-run airwaves."

"AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs"
By Aaron Smith and Janna Anderson
Pew Research

"The vast majority of respondents to the 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing anticipate that robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as health care, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance. But even as they are largely consistent in their predictions for the evolution of technology itself, they are deeply divided on how advances in AI and robotics will impact the economic and employment picture over the next decade."

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