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Compelling Explanations

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As the home-mortgage industry continued to reel in January from the Countrywide Financial Corp. debacle, a federal bankruptcy judge learned that the company, in at least one case (with others suspected), had not only backdated crucial documents but fabricated them altogether and then told the judge the company was merely trying to be "efficient." A court had approved the recasting of a client's debt to Countrywide in March 2007, closing the case, but the next month, Countrywide "discovered" a way to get extra money and thus created three letters supposedly sent to that client before March 2007. However, Countrywide later acknowledged that the letters were actually written after March 2007 but that making up documents was merely "an efficient way to convey" information.

A prize-winning paper from a Hebrew University researcher, seeking to explain the paucity of rapes by Israeli soldiers of Palestinian women, concluded that the soldiers were merely using a "strategy" of non-rape, according to a December report on Arutz Sheva. Such a hands-off policy "strengthens the ethnic boundaries," wrote Ms. Tal Nitzan, seemingly suggesting that Israeli soldiers primarily feared increasing the Palestinian population. Nowhere, critics pointed out, did Nitzan suggest that rape is rare because Israeli culture condemns it.

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