The U.S. and Iran sparred over oil shipments in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s, a confrontation known as the tanker war. The current tensions have some parallels, but there are concerns any hostilities could quickly escalate.
There's new controversy over the New York Police Department's intelligence-gathering tactics after documents surfaced detailing information on Newark mosques and Muslim-owned businesses. Activists see it as an overly broad investigation of law-abiding Muslims, while local officials are upset by the department's reach outside New York City.
To date, U.S. military tribunals have been reserved for al-Qaida and Taliban suspects. But now the Obama administration is seeking to try a Lebanese man accused of orchestrating the killings of five American soldiers in Iraq.
The U.S. has used military force to help oust three dictatorial regimes since 2001. But other autocrats have good relations with the U.S., and some even get the red-carpet treatment. What factors account for the different responses around the world?
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