Yasser Arafat – Al Jazeera English reported the findings of a nine-month investigation July 4 that suggests “the late Palestinian leader may have been poisoned” following tests on personal items at Swiss laboratory. “[They] reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.” His widow Suha Arafat is calling for his body to be exhumed.
Mexican Election – The Associated Press covers electoral authorities’ recount of ballot boxes used in last weekend’s presidential election–which initially handed victory to Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI–after finding inconsistencies in the vote tallies. “Feeding suspicion of large-scale vote-buying were scenes of thousands of people rushing to grocery stores this week to redeem pre-paid gift cards they said the PRI had given them ahead of the election,” the agency wrote.
Marxism on the Rise – The Guardian examines the (ironic) resurgence of Marxist thought. “The domination of capitalism globally depends today on the existence of a Chinese Communist party that gives de-localized capitalist enterprises cheap labor to lower prices and deprive workers of the rights of self-organization,” philosophy professor Jacques Rancière told the paper. “Happily, it is possible to hope for a world less absurd and more just than today’s,” he added.
Rage Against the Machine – The BBC investigates “Syria’s propaganda machine,” the al-Akhbariya network, which strictly adheres to the will of the ruling Baath party, despite being privately owned. Ghatan Sleiba, one of the network’s former reporters, who fled to Turkey in June, told the BBC that “the Ba’ath party sometimes appoints a representative to give orders on its behalf” and that interviewees are instructed to “tell us that they support Bashar al-Assad and they will always support him.”
Dictator’s Daughter – The daughter of an assassinated dictator has her sights set on becoming South Korea’s first female president, Reuters reports. Park Geun-hye, whose father Park Chung-hee ruled for 18 years between 1961-1979, is expected to be the front-runner in the presidential primary for the ruling conservative New Frontier Party. In a failed bid to win the nomination back in 2007, she labeled her polices as “Korean Thatcherism,” but has since appeared to moderate her position, including taking a less hardline stance on neighboring North Korea.
Blame Game – A Japanese parliamentary panel has released a report blaming the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident primarily on collusion between regulators and the utilities industry, the Wall Street Journal writes. The report found that: “A reversal of the positions between the regulator and the regulated has led to a breakdown of the regulatory system.” The panel also dismissed claims by the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company that the disaster was the direct product of the March 2011 tsunami.