11.6.2014

Thousands protest missing Mexico students despite mayor arrest

Mass protests engulfed Mexico City on Wednesday, November 5, railing against the federal government’s weak response to the notorious kidnappings of 43 student protesters in Iguala. Despite the arrest of Iguala’s “Imperial Couple” – the mayor and his wife – in connection with the kidnappings and other cartel-related crimes, the people of Mexico express immense discontent with the way that their authorities handle (or are handled by) the organized crime problem.

After long years of criminal violence and intimidation throughout the nation of Mexico, amounting to 22,000 missing since 2006 alone, will it be possible for a popular movement to peacefully upend the powers that be in favor of a fairer and more secure society?

The Lost Children: France Takes Stock of Growing Jihadist Problem

Since the rise of the Islamic State, a surprising number of European citizens – including many young women and girls – have begun filtering toward Syria and the Middle East to join the jihadist cause there. France has seen the most emigration at over 1,000.

Has our socially atomized yet highly interconnected global society led to such a need for belonging that even children of nonreligious families have begun to seek meaning in violent sectarian extremism? If the disenfranchised citizens of the West so badly need a compelling narrative, then what can our liberal democracies and corporate oligarchies do to compete with the passion, sense of history (false or true), and missionary conviction of sectarian zealots?

China Says It Will Build An Ebola Hospital in Liberia

China’s recent contribution to the struggle against Ebola comes just as Liberia sees a drop in cases. The UN fund remains dangerously underfunded, but this new assistance seems to indicated the Asian superpower’s readiness to pitch in.

Recent decades have seen China extending more commercial influence over the Indian Ocean, to the extent that some African states have a significant and growing Chinese minority. Does this medical mission represent a Chinese incursion into the Atlantic seaboard? Would ensuing Chinese commerce and influence see a more highly developed and versatile West Africa? And by that token, could we see China consolidating an Atlantic foothold in the near future, leveraging its economic and cultural power in this vulnerable region not only to offset its inevitable return to normal domestic growth, but to claim a share in the Atlantic sphere? 

Gaza Flotilla Raid: No Israel charges over Mavi Marmara

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has decided not to press charges against Israel for the 2010 raid on Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. The ship, attempting to break an Israeli blockade to get supplies to Gaza, was boarded and suffered nine civilian casualties when Israeli commandos allegedly encountered resistance and opened fire. In her ruling, Bensouda said that “the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify further action by the ICC.”

In the humanitarian puzzle presented by the perennial Israel-Gaza conflict, would it be more ethical to use lethal force to defend a blockade against civilians, or to attempt to break that blockade in order to deliver precious supplies to those in need?

Vladimir Putin ‘mankini’ bonfire effigy angers Russians

Does it still count as a hate crime if the subject of mockery could quite literally nuke you where you stand?

Advertisements
11.6.2014

10.30.2014

A Horse Race in Thug Land

The rebel leadership of Eastern Ukraine pushes to elect a prime minister despite being engulfed in conflict and hounded by questions of legitimacy.

The Russian-backed Eastern Ukraine may give itself a winning score, but even if they stabilize their borders and keep the old regime out, will they ever win approval from NATO and the global community?

Abbas Warning over Holy Site Closure 

The Temple Mount is closed and tensions in Jerusalem escalate yet again after the shooting of an Israeli prayer rights campaigner, allegedly by Palestinian Moataz Hejazi, who was subsequently surrounded and shot dead by Israeli police.

Has anyone considered locking the two factions in a room together and forcing them to break bread until lasting peace is achieved? If they can’t achieve peace on their own, I hear Russia is still looking for a warm water port…

Tunisia Takes Partisan Turn after Islamist Loss

Parliamentary elections in Tunisia saw a surprising upset in which the underdog Nidaa Tounes party, “an amalgam of former regime figures and secular leftists,” nosed ahead of the Islamist Ennahda party, prompting anxiety about the democratic process and the future of cooperation in Tunisian politics.

Does this signal a turn toward secularism in Tunisia, or is it simply a sign of partisan division after the high sentiments and relative success of the revolution?

High Levels of Dangerous Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Sites

Toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene have been found in 40 percent of air samples taken from fracking sites in five US states. The levels exceed federal limits, and anyone living within the immediate vicinity of these plants is likely to suffer from serious skin and respiratory ailments.

The story of toxic sites in the industrialized world should be familiar by now – but how can the poor and working class escape this plight, when their economic survival and their geographical heritage are often linked to these unlivable zones?

Mexico Is Looking for 43 Missing Students. What Has Been Found Is Truly Terrifying

In their search for nearly 50 kidnapped student protesters, investigators have uncovered a massive underworld connecting police and government corruption directly to the cartels. 

To what extent can a state’s infrastructure be compromised by direct involvement in organized crime before it can be considered a failed state?

Dog Helps Police Arrest Owner

The loyalty of dogs: easily swayed?

10.30.2014