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Tal Abbady: Facebook: Talk politics and see how long your ‘friends’ last

Shortly after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in 2009, a close Muslim friend I’d known since elementary school suddenly disappeared from my Facebook feed. She’d been excoriating Israel in her posts, and I’d said nothing. Then I posted a statistic showing the number of Hamas-fired missiles landing in southern Israel, where my husband has family. That same day, I noticed my friend had written “OMG!!” under my post. And then she was gone.

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Tom Malinowski — A silver anniversary no one will celebrate

Twenty-five years ago, it was possible to believe that the contest between democratic and authoritarian ideas of how societies should be organized was ending. East Germans breached their wall; Chileans voted to end the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; and on June 4, 1989, in Poland, Solidarity won the first round of Eastern Europe’s first free, post-Communist election. But June 4 was also the day Chinese troops put down student-led protests in Tiananmen Square, ending hopes that China would join the changes sweeping the world. Ballots and bullets competed to define the age. The contest of ideas continued.

John Delaney — Giving states a way to reduce emissions

This week the Environmental Protection Agency will take an important step in addressing the ever-increasing threat of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions when it releases new guidelines under the authority of the Clean Air Act. These guidelines will apply to existing power plants, which produce more than a third of the United States’ greenhouse gases.

Trains and crude oil are too often an accident waiting to happen

The fiery derailment in Virginia recently of a train transporting oil was the latest in a series of alarming accidents involving oil transport in North America in the last year. In 2013, more oil spilled from U.S. trains than in the previous four decades combined _ and that doesn’t include a Canadian spill that incinerated the downtown core of Lac-Megantic in Quebec last year, killing 47.

60 years later: Was Brown v. Board of Education worth it?

At 90 years old and not traveling much, Jack Greenberg didn’t make the NAACP’s symposium here commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. But the former head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund still teaches at Columbia Law School and follows the nation’s civil rights laws to the minutest detail.