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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
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Meet the Other Terror Group in Syria That Could Actually Threaten the US

11:32 AM ET For all the barbarity of ISIL and the focus on the military campaign against them, security analysts say the group doesn’t have the capability to directly attack the US—its threat is regional disruption. But US intelligence officials have spent the last week dropping hints about another al Qaeda off-shoot that ...

Here Are The Defense Industry Dollars Behind The Votes to Arm Syria’s Rebels

September 19, 2014 This week, US lawmakers voted to arm and train “vetted” Syrian rebels as part of the US efforts to fight the extremist group ISIL. Each chamber voted separately on the issue, which was packaged in a relatively uncontroversial bill to keep the US government funded through November’s elections. The House ...

Air Power Alone Can't Defeat the Islamic State

September 17, 2014 Barack Obama says that there aren’t going to be US combat troops fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. His top generals say, well,maybe there will be. No one should be surprised. The recent history of US interventions suggests that air power alone isn’t enough to defeat insurgents. While ...

The US Will Spend $6.8 Billion Hiring Boeing and SpaceX to Build New Spacecraft

September 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The United States will go from space hitch-hiker, dependent on Russia to visit the International Space Station and other points orbital, to the proud owner of not one but two viable space craft in 2017. NASA, the American space agency, has awarded a $4.2 billion contract to Boeing and a ...

Boeing and SpaceX Tapped To Free NASA from Russian Launches

September 16, 2014 The United States will go from space hitch-hiker, dependent on Russia to visit the International Space Station and other points orbital, to the proud owner of not one but two viable space craft in 2017. NASA, the American space agency, has awarded a $4.2 billion contract to Boeing and a ...

A New Satellite Can See Through Forest Fires From Space

September 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Where there’s fire, there’s smoke, and that makes getting a birds-eye view of a forest fire—in this case, a blaze in a California national forest—extremely difficult: Hard to see what’s going on under there, right? Now look at this: Both of these pictures come from Digital Globe’s WorldView 3 satellite, ...

The Cease-Fire in Gaza By the Numbers

August 27, 2014 Israel and the Palestine Authority have agreed to a long-term cease-fire brokered by the US and Egypt. While it remains to be seen if this cease-fire will last longer than others that quickly fell apart, diplomats seem to have more confidence in the current agreement. How did we get here? ...

What Makes a Pope Sign Off on War Today?

August 18, 2014 ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) - Pope endorses use of force in Iraq to protect minorities; says UN should approve intervention. — Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 18, 2014 That statement from Pope Francis, the current head of the Roman Catholic Church, offers a contrast with that of then-Pope John Paul ...

Texas Makes a Big Bet on SpaceX

August 6, 2014 To beat out six other competitors, Texas is putting up $2.3 million in cash and invest $13 million in infrastructure developments to bring a SpaceX launch facility to Brownsville. In return, SpaceX will invest $85 million in the launch facilities and, according to Texas’ governor, Rick Perry, create 300 jobs ...

SpaceX Scores an Early Win in its Lawsuit Against the US Government

July 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket and spacecraft company, has scored a partial victory in its bid to get a slice of government contracting. Court filings show that a federal judge will review a multi-billion-dollar contract that was awarded without competition last year to the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of ...