The Atlantic Daily: Russian Crash Investigation, Kunduz Hospital Report, Bush Book Drama

The United Kingdom said a bomb likely brought down the jetliner, Doctors Without Borders released an account of a deadly airstrike, Bush 41 knocked Bush 43’s former employees, and more.

Eric Vidal / Reuters

What We’re Following: A Terrorism Theory

Prime Minister David Cameron says the Russian airliner crash in Egypt was “more likely than not” caused by a bomb. U.S. officials suspect the same. But Russian and Egyptian officials have labeled these reports as speculation, and are awaiting results of an examination of the aircraft’s black boxes, which were recovered at the crash site in the Sinai Peninsula. Starting Friday, British airlines will begin flying home thousands of Britons in Sharm el-Sheik, where the doomed plane took off.

A Horrifying Account: Doctors Without Borders released an initial internal review of the U.S. air strike that killed 30 people at its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last month. The U.S. has said the “hospital was mistakenly struck,” but the medical organization says it’s “quite hard to understand and believe” that. The chilling report details the hour-long attack, including calls made by hospital employees and accounts of patients “burned in their beds.”

Some Serious Shade: In a new biography, former President George H.W. Bush tells readers just what he thinks about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld’s work in his son’s administration—and it’s not pretty. The elder Bush says Cheney became “just iron-ass” and that Rumsfeld is an “arrogant fellow.” As David Graham puts it, “One of the benefits of being 91 is you don’t have to hold back anymore—you can say what you want.”


Monopoly celebrates its 80th birthday today. In this photo, young actress Veronica Hurst, second from left, plays Monopoly with family members in England in February 1951. See more photos from the beloved board game’s history here. (Maurice Ambler / Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis)


Morgan Craven, a lawyer who focuses on school discipline: “It can be uncomfortable for people to say ‘I am biased against people with color,’ but a majority of people in this country, and a majority of teachers, have those biases.”

Keri Wilson, a professional apple farmer, on people who pick apples for fun: “They come out to have this experience, but we become part of the zoo. They look at you as if you’re … under the microscope.”

Charles O’Brien, who studies addiction: “This is a free country. You can set up a program to treat anything you like, including possession by the devil or by space people.”

News Quiz

1. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named the most diverse government in his country’s history, the first to feature an equal number of _______.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2.  Mars loses oxygen atoms at a rate ___ times greater than what occurs on Earth under the same conditions.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. ________ announced that it would close its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, after 96 years.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Evening Read

David Barno and Nora Bensahel on brain drain in the U.S. military:

The military services today are losing talent. Bright, capable young men and women—almost all combat veterans—are leaving the services in sizable numbers, shifting their lives from khaki and camouflage to chinos and corporate attire. They are entirely of the Millennial generation, those Americans born after 1980, and since 2001 they have only known a military at war. While the ebb and flow of young people into and out of the military is always a steady tide, the ongoing drain of experienced and bright young officers departing service today after five to 15 years in uniform is a concern. A 2010 survey of Army officers found that only 6 percent of those asked agreed with the statement, “The current military personnel system does a good job retaining the best leaders.” The military must always shed leaders since there is only so much room to move up. But it is essential to shed the right people—and not to lose too many of those with the brightest prospects or the most innovative minds. The military needs to know just who is going out the door, and why.

What We're Eating

Every once in awhile, with a regularity that is both astounding and reassuring, Americans will gather together to raise their voices, lock their eyes, and engage in a passionate, high-stakes debate about one of the grand questions of our time. Is a hot dog a sandwich? No, we say. What do you think? Tell us at

Reader Response

We reported yesterday on a new study that showed middle-aged white Americans have been dying in greater numbers since 1998. A reader adds:

What I find shocking isn’t so much that non-Hispanic U.S. whites with less than a high school education are suffering in the highly unstable economic climate that has gotten progressively worse since the 1970s. What I find surprising, and what this article didn’t mention, is how U.S. Hispanics have been tracking down in average mortality rates since 1990, on par with the UK and even better than France and Germany. And this despite the fact that U.S. Hispanics tend to have even less education on average than U.S. whites, and that, proportionally, more U.S. Hispanics live in poverty and with less secure healthcare than U.S. whites.

There are other major variables at work here—most likely robust family cohesion and less social isolation among middle-aged U.S. Hispanics when compared to middle-aged U.S. whites. As a Hispanic American, I can attest that, anecdotally, robust family and social cohesion is definitely the case. My parents, who are in their mid-50s, have settled in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood where they know most of their neighbors. … My siblings have also not moved out of my parents’ house, and they’re in their mid to late 20s. … I certainly don’t fear that my parents will live in isolation and without community any time soon.

Read the full response, and find more information, here.


Indonesian volcano erupts, that pesky air inside bags of chips measured, 6 a.m. no-booze dance party on a boat attended, a hypochondriac’s worst nightmare realized.