Asawin Suebsaeng

Asawin Suebsaeng

Reporter

Asawin Suebsaeng is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. He has also written for The American Prospect, the Bangkok Post, and Shoecomics.com.

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A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., Asawin came back to DC with hopes of putting his flimsy Creative Writing major, student newspaper tenure, and interest in human rights and political chicanery to some use. He started cutting his teeth at F&M's student-run weekly, The College Reporter, serving as editor in chief. He has interned at The American Prospect, been a reporter for the Bangkok Post, and scribbled for ShoeComics.com. His favorite movie is either Apocalypse Now or Pirahna 3D, depending on the day or mood.

Report: Congressional Intel Committees Delay Aid to Syrian Rebels

| Tue Jul. 9, 2013 10:25 AM PDT

The House and Senate intelligence committees are reportedly holding up the Obama administration's recently announced plan to send arms and military hardware to rebels at war with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The main—and obvious—reason? Fear of weapons falling into the hands of unfriendly Islamist militants.

Reuters has the story:

None of the military aid that the United States announced weeks ago has arrived in Syria, according to an official from an Arab country and Syrian opposition sources.

Democrats and Republicans on the committees worry that weapons could reach factions like the Nusra Front which is one of the most effective rebel groups but has also been labeled by the United States as a front for al Qaeda in Iraq...Funding that the administration advised the Congressional committees it wanted to use to pay for arms deliveries to Assad's opponents has been temporarily frozen, the sources said...Anti-Assad groups have been calling for more advanced weaponry since the government launched a new offensive in central Syria with the help of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah...Over the weekend, the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood said it felt "abandoned and disappointed" that the United States and Europe had failed to deliver rebels promised military support.

According to national security sources, the committee members want to learn more about the administration's overall policy and arms-delivery plan before they decide on unfreezing funding. The State Department and Senate Intelligence Committee have not responded to Mother Jones' requests for comment, and the House Intelligence Committee had no immediate comment on the story.

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How Disney and Johnny Depp Dealt With "The Lone Ranger" Racism Problem

| Sat Jul. 6, 2013 10:23 AM PDT

"[The] Native American community…is so behind this movie, it's fantastic," producer Jerry Bruckheimer said in a recent interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Bruckheimer was there promoting The Lone Ranger (Walt Disney Pictures, 149 minutes), a film released on Wednesday that he made with Gore Verbinski, a director who previously worked with Bruckheimer on the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as his Comanche partner Tonto, is a $250 million big-screen adaptation of the famous American western franchise of the same name. (Click here to listen to the classic Lone Ranger theme song, which you've probably had committed to memory since you were a kid.) The new film, and past incarnations, show the Lone Ranger and Tonto combating injustice in the Wild West. The movie has an exciting, perfectly worthwhile start and finale (each showcasing a prolonged action sequence with fast trains), but it's ultimately dragged down by a two-hour stretch of soporific, mismanaged middle. So the film was critically panned, but it has received some surprisingly positive press coverage for something many assumed would be its primary hurdle.

Gabby Giffords Kicks Off Her 7-State Background Checks Tour by Firing a Handgun

| Tue Jul. 2, 2013 8:08 AM PDT

On Monday, former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords began her seven-day, seven-state "Rights and Responsibilities Tour" at a firing range in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the first time Giffords has fired a gun since sustaining a gunshot wound to the head during a January 2011 assassination attempt in Tucson, Arizona. (The shooting rampage, which occurred at a "Congress on Your Corner" event held in front of a Safeway, left six attendees dead and another thirteen wounded). Here's footage of Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly at the firing range (via ABC News):

Giffords and Kelly's "Rights and Responsibilites Tour"—which includes stops in Alaska, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio—is part of an effort to revive and rally support for gun background checks legislation, which collapsed in the Senate in April. The opening event in Vegas fits with Giffords and Kelly's insistence that, while pushing for stricter gun measures, the two are proud gun owners and staunch supporters of the Second Amendment. "I'm a patriot who believes in [the] 2nd Amendment," Giffords writes in a USA Today op-ed this week. "My 7-state tour will promote common-sense action."

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