Russian Roulette, Fuming Frenchmen

Article excerpt

Byline: Tunku Varadarajan

Invisible Man

While most of the world was giddy with geeky joy over the discovery of the Higgs boson--or "God particle"--India reacted like a bride jilted at the altar. "Scientists from India seldom get their due," sulked one headline in a Delhi daily, highlighting the fact that in all the celebration of Peter Higgs's research, scant credit was accorded to Satyendra Nath Bose, a Bengali physicist who worked with Albert Einstein in the 1920s. "Boson famous, Bose remains forgotten," huffed another Indian paper, explaining that "boson" is a technical term of Einstein's invention, coined to describe the subatomic particle discovered by Bose--a scientist who, The Times of India said with a blast of astrophysicist jingoism, "towers over Higgs" in ability and achievement. Remarkably, the Indian government also chose to wade into the debate, issuing a brief press release: "The CERN experiment has once again brought focus on Satyendra Nath Bose. For India, God Particle is as much Boson as Higgs."

Perfect Storm?

Here's a recipe for a lively little donnybrook in the eastern Mediterranean: NATO has set up a patrol group of three frigates--one Turkish, one French, one German--to police the Syrian and Turkish coasts days after a Syrian projectile brought down a Turkish F-4E Phantom II that had briefly traversed Syrian airspace. At the same time, Russia has advanced plans to boost the defenses of its cherished naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Diplomatic worrywarts believe that this sets the stage for a Cold War-style naval confrontation, especially after reports--now emerging--that it was a Russian-made Pantsir surface-to-air missile that brought down the Turkish plane. Adding spice to the bubbling brew are additional reports, in The Sunday Times of London, that Russian personnel are stationed at Syrian missile battery centers, causing the edgy (and historically Russophobic) Turks to ask whether it was a Russian officer who shot down their plane.

Daddy Dearest

Robert Diamond may have made an ignominious exit as CEO of Barclays after the bank admitted to widespread rigging of global interest rates, but his daughter, Nell, is fighting the good fight for her old man. …