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Planet Money
2:27 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Crony Capitalism, Syria Style

Syrian President Bashar Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf, Syria's most influential businessman, looks on during the laying the foundation stone of a hotel project, in Damascus, Syria.
STR Associated Press

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:08 pm

This week in the New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson writes about the surprising diversity of Syria's economy. There are pockets of affluence in the cities, a budding private sector, and even a few American franchises.

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Mitt Romney Vs. Rand Paul In 2016?

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., talk at a campaign event for the elder Paul in Des Moines, Iowa, last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:07 pm

As sort-of-still-a-presidential-candidate Ron Paul continues to collect delegates at state Republican Party conventions, the question of what the libertarian Texas congressman wants has become more urgent in GOP circles.

A speaking role at the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney is expected to accept the nomination?

A seat at the party's rule-making table to advocate making it easier for non-mainstream candidates to compete in future GOP nominating contests?

Well, yes, as a start.

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Opinion
2:25 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Foreign Policy: The Socialist In Office

French President Francois Hollande holds a press conference at the conclusion of the NATO 2012 Summit in Chicago on May 21, 2012.
Eric Feferberg AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:47 am

Eric Pape is a writer in Paris.

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Opinion
2:24 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Weekly Standard: Keep It Simple, Team Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he speaks during a campaign stop at Lansing Community College May 8, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:15 am

Jay Cost is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard and the author of Spoiled Rotten, a new critical history of the Democratic party.

Now that Mitt Romney has sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, the general election battle has begun. Team Obama obviously recognizes this; since Romney basically sealed the deal after the Wisconsin primary in April, the president and his team have launched a series of attacks designed to distract the country from the real stakes of this election.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

As Egyptians Prepare To Vote, Jimmy Carter Watches 'Complete Transformation'

In Cairo on Monday, Egyptian Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni (left) met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:44 pm

On All Things Considered today, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will look ahead to Egypt's first free presidential election — voting begins Wednesday and is expected to lead to a mid-June runoff — and how some Egyptians who played roles in last year's revolution there are refusing to take part because they don't trust the military leaders who run the country.

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