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A cool billion dollars...

in security expenditures for the Olympic games in Greece this summer. Given the expense, I can understand why the IOC is purchasing cancellation insurance for the first time: "a $170 million policy to cover the risk of the Athens Games being called off because of war, terrorism, earthquakes or flooding."

These figures suggest to me that terrorists have increased the cost of staging the Olympics by close to $1 billion (i.e., over and above prior security expenditures) - yet another measure of the seriousness of the problem.