• Danish director Lars von Trier is being investigated for possibly breaking a French law banning the “justification of war crimes.” Richard Brody notes that the real crypto-Nazis here (okay, my word, not his) are the folks in the Front National. [New Yorker The Front Row]
• Egypt’s de facto ruler asserted, “The security situation in the Sinai is 100 percent safe.” It’s true, they’ve gone almost two weeks without an attack on the pipeline. [Ynet]
• “The start of the General Assembly each year is the Super Bowl of the U.N. spy games.” Oh, so much fun. [AP/MSNBC]
• The new, optimistic issue of Text/Context, a joint venture between New York Jewish Week and Nextbook Inc., has dropped. [Text/Context]
• A U.S. diplomatic delegation in the West Bank was angrily accosted by an organized group protesting the aid freeze. [AP/WP]
• Faced with Medicaid shortages, some states want to cut (sigh) circumcision funding. Bad idea, say doctors. [Live Science/MSNBC]
Contributing editor Ben Greenman reflects on Bob Dylan’s career of pilfering. He hints at this in his headline, but one of the staunchest examples to me is “Boots of Spanish Leather,” a pretty clear rip-off of his own “Girl of the North Country,” in turn a rip-off of English folk standards.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.