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Skepticism Abounds as Six World Powers Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran. War on Terror is the West's New Religion. UK spends fortune on army ‘as if it still had Empire’

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The New York Times - Skepticism Abounds as Six World Powers Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran - Since talks in Moscow last June, Iran has continued to increase its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, has begun to install a new generation of centrifuges and has not yet completed an agreement on inspection of suspect military sites with the International Atomic Energy Agency, a deal originally advertised as all but done last May.

Associated Press - Chinese hackers seen as increasingly professional - Beijing hotly denies accusations of official involvement in massive cyberattacks against foreign targets, insinuating such activity is the work of rogues. But at least one piece of evidence cited by experts points to professional cyberspies: China's hackers don't work weekends.

Information Clearing House - War on Terror is the West's New Religion - And so the war goes on. What was it the splendid Leon Panetta – my favorite US Defense Secretary – said in Kabul 18 months ago? "We're within reach of strategically defeating al-Qa'ida." And in London a few days ago? He called for "relentless pressure" on the group. Did al-Qa'ida's press office write this stuff for him? Or is there some dark, unspoken knowledge shared by both us and al-Qa'ida? That we both, in our souls, want the war to go on.

The Diplomat - Can Park Geun-hye Deliver? - Sworn into office on Monday, South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye, has warned of a “global economic crisis” and the nuclear threat from neighboring North Korea. Can she match her late dictatorial father’s growth record and deliver the promised “People’s Happiness Era”?

The Atlantic - Global Pandemics All Wrong - Five hundred years ago, the spread of disease was largely constrained by the main mode of transportation of the time: people traveling on foot. An outbreak in one town would slowly ripple outward with a pattern similar to what occurs when a rock drops onto a surface of still water. The Black Death moved across 14th century Europe in much this way, like concentric waves unfurling across the continent.

The Washington Post - Michelle Obama’s Oscar presentation raises questions about the role of a first lady - The first lady became the buzz of the weekend when she beamed into the Academy Awards from the White House to present the award for best picture with Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson. Attendees and viewers were flabbergasted at the satellite image of the elegantly dressed Obama, flanked by young service members in full regalia, opening the envelope to name Ben Affleck’s “Argo” the winner.

RIA Novosti - No Grounds for New ‘Cold War’ Says PM Medvedev - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has again dismissed speculations that the Russian-US relations are entering a new stage of the Soviet-era ‘Cold War’ and reiterated that Moscow and Washington can successfully cooperate on a variety of issues.

Xinhuanet - Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" wins most Oscars at 85th Academy Awards - Chinese-American filmmaker Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" won four Oscars Sunday night at the 85th Academy Awards, including Best Director for Lee himself.

Russia Today - UK spends fortune on army ‘as if it still had Empire’ - Earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was “very open” to spending money from the UK's 10-billion-pound ($US15.2 billion) aid budget on peacekeeping and other security operations.

The move sparked a wave of criticism in Britain, with opponents insisting that money should be spent on things like hospitals rather than the military.

The Guardian - White House warns of cyber threat from 'aggressive' China and Russia - "We judge that the governments of China and Russia will remain aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive US economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace," the report stated.

February 26 2013, 10:13

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