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The 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival presented several discussions focused on the Middle East region in an effort to consider what the United States' role is and should be in resolving conflict there. Featuring international relations experts who have worked on these issues and studied them for years — some native to the region — here are some of their main points about how much the US should be involved in Syria, Iraq, and their neighbors now and in the future.
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Former US Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael McFaul addressed diplomatic concerns between Russia and the US during the second half of the Aspen Ideas Festival. During the discussion, McFaul conveyed what factors he thought contributed to the nations’ tense relationship. While serving as ambassador, McFaul observed Putin’s foreign policy tendencies and motivations.
From exploring the evolution of the journalism industry to commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Right Act, Day 6 of the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival brought more insights and inspirations to the Aspen Institute campus. Here are the latest takeaways from the Festival that are being circulated across social media.
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Seven years ago, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington experienced burn out. She was so overtired and overstressed that she collapsed in her office, hit her head, and temporarily damaged her eye. That’s when she knew she needed to make a change. Huffington spoke at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival about unplugging, resting, and enjoying life; and her fourteenth book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder."
At Facebook and Google, there are thousands of requests to remove content each day. Facebook Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and Google Vice President of Legal Nicole Alston discussed their view of where free speech will be in 10 years at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The first full day of Fest 2 at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival brought together an ecclectic mix of speakers from the worlds of policy, politics, media, and the arts. Here are the latest ideas and inspirations from the Festival that are being circulated and shared on social media.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke about her memoir "Hard Choices" at the Aspen Ideas Festival’s Afternoon of Conversation. Clinton discussed not only the difficult decisions detailed in her book, but also those America faces today. “One of the reasons I called the book "Hard Choices" is we’ve got to, number one, start talking to each other again and, two, rebuild trust,” Clinton said.
Before PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi took the stage with Atlantic Media Chairman and Owner David G. Bradley, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sent a text to say Nooyi has done a marvelous job of “leaning in.” But for Nooyi — a mother, wife, and CEO of PepsiCo — the reality is simple: “I don’t think women can have it all,” she said. “We pretend we can have it all."
The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, in conjuction with Burson-Marsteller and consulting-firm Penn Schoen Berland conducted an online study to find out exactly what America thinks lies ahead in 2024.
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Day 4 of the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival featured the annual Afternoon of Conversation event with prominent leaders from the worlds of business, academics, and politics, including Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, former Secretary of State

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