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NUKING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT

America has 7,000 nuclear weapons. A new doc suggests a disastrous accident is just a matter of time

SPY TALK

A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST, like death itself, is something we’d rather not think about. So we don’t, much, except when some figure of note starts talking about using hydrogen bombs to settle a problem. Someone like Donald Trump.

But the shock and outrage over Trump’s recent loose talk about making Japan and South Korea develop their own nukes or dropping a bomb on the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS, obscures a more prosaic but arguably more imminent danger, according to a new documentary—that of a warhead going off by accident.

Command and Control, directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on a best-selling book of the same name by Eric Schlosser, aims to widen the discussion about the threat posed by the thousands of nuclear weapons in U.S. hands (and, by extension, other countries’ as well). Developed in concert with PBS’s long-running American Experience series but slated for a limited September theatrical release in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the uncommonly gripping documentary focuses more on the frightening number of weapons mishaps than the missteps that could trigger a nuclear war. It skips over near-disasters involving panicky U.S. and Russian radar crews picking up incoming missile “ghosts” and nearly launching massive counterstrike orders. Instead, citing recently declassified Energy Department figures, it burrows into one of the “more than a thousand accidents and incidents involving our nuclear weapons,” including the loss of eight warheads, one still buried somewhere in the soil of North Carolina.

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THE ART OF THE BAD DEAL: DONALD TRUMP’S BUSINESS FLOPS, EXPLAINED For opponents of Donald Trump’s presidential run, the con-tretemps about American Indians might seem like a distant but familiar echo of the racism charges that have dogged his campaign, including his repeated taunting of Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” because she claims native ancestry. But, in this case, there was more to it than that: Trump, with his tantrum, was throwing away  nancial opportunities, yet another reminder that, for all his boasting of his acumen, the self-proclaimed billionaire has often been a lousy businessman.
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