More: the killing of bin Laden, the decline of war

"The killing of Osama bin Laden," Seymour M. Hersh, London Review. If this story is true, pretty much everything we've been told about this event was a lie. Is a good reminder not to equate the Kingdom with any single nation and its actions, and not to accept elaborate stories as they are first told. For that matter, I remain somewhat cynical of all the stories around this event, including this one.Vox, Washington Post say the story is bogus. The New Republic says they say its bogus because of political issues. Carlotta Gall (New York Times) says Hersh's story tracks her own reporting. "Years in which European countries took part in an international war, 1500-2000," a spectacular graph by Max Roser. 'Being at war was the normal state for many European countries.' But since 1950 there has been a notable decline (in the world in general, too). Will this state of affairs continue? Bayesian analysis would say, ehh.... "Chinese province [Zhejiang] [set to ban] rooftop crosses on churches, and [already have removed] 400 crosses," from Persecution in China varies greatly by province. Some places are more open, and others are clearly more closed. The draft of the ban is not yet approved. "A 5% improvement in child survival rates raises economic growth by 1% per year over the next decade," says World Vision.