North America

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

At a moment when there is a longstanding heated debate over how artists and pop culture figures should engage in social activism, the life and career of musical legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington offers a… Authors: The Conversation Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. His tight-knit black middle-class family nurtured his racial pride and shielded him from many of the difficulties of segregation in the… Washington was home to a sizable black middle class, despite prevalent ... Read More »

Will 2020 Democrats condemn the Armenian genocide?

Only four lawmakers running for president have signed on to remembrance resolutions Niels Lesniewski Roll Call Whether the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to a genocide is still a fraught political question for U.S. presidential candidates more than a century later. The question for now is how many of the growing field of candidates might weigh in on Wednesday for the annual commemoration. April 24, 1915 is generally considered to mark the start of actions that led ... Read More »

The Risks of Maximising Pressure on Iran

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is more likely to fuel resistance and retaliation than capitulation. Ali Vaez ICG Washington should heed past lessons lest it provokes a new nuclear crisis or a regional escalation. The U.S. decision on 22 April to end sanctions exemptions for Iran’s remaining oil customers, following on an earlier designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), significantly escalates the… The intent is clear: bankrupt Iran into… The Risks of… Read More »

Bernie Sanders: Israeli government ‘racist’

Manchester: US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is standing by his criticism of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying Israel is “now run by a right- wing, dare I say, racist government.” McClatchy, AP WAtoday Sanders said on Monday, US time, at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire that he believed the United States should try to bring people together and deal with the Middle East on a level-playing-field basis, “not just support one country”. The senator from Vermont said ... Read More »

US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance Julian Borger The Guardian The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual ... Read More »

New NOAA OceanReports Tool Brings Ocean Data to Your Fingertips

A new web-based interactive tool for ocean mapping and planning created by NOAA and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is giving… Tammy Waitt American Security Today The new OceanReports web tool, available at http://www.marinecadastre.gov/oceanreports/, provides users specialized “ocean neighborhood analyses” including maps and graphics by… U.S. ocean waters comprise nearly four million square miles and is one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the world. What is the EEZ? The exclusive economic zone ... Read More »

Mike Gravel: The Cambodia Genocide is Part of Henry Kissinger’s Legacy

Forty-four years ago last week, Cambodia was taken over by the Khmer Rouge. From 1975 to 1979, in what is referred to as the Cambodian Genocide, a quarter of the country’s entire population was wiped out. Mike Gravel Florida Daily There is some debate over the exact number: 1.6 million dead? 2.5 million? In the 2000s, Cambodia held a national tribunal. Two prominent party members were convicted for crimes against humanity. But someone else should have been tried, too. And ... Read More »

US to end Iran oil waivers to 8 countries, including Turkey

The United States announced on April 22 it will no longer grant sanctions exemptions to eight countries, including Turkey. Washington Hurriyet The White House said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates- close U.S. allies that back President Donald Trump‘s hawkish stance against regional rival Iran– would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked. “This decision is intended to bring Iran‘s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” ... Read More »

Hard Truths in Syria

America Can’t Do More With Less, and It Shouldn’t Try Over the last four years, I helped lead the global response to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS)—an effort that succeeded in destroying an ISIS “caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East that had served as a… Brett McGurk Foreign Affairs Working as a special envoy for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, I helped establish a coalition that was the largest of its kind in history: ... Read More »

Meet ‘Mr. Earth Day,’ the Man Who Helped Organize the Annual Observance

Nearly 50 years after 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, more than 190 countries mark the annual day for raising awareness of environmental causes. Olivia B. Waxman Time And the stakes only grow as the years go by. Though Earth Day has been dogged by rumors that it was founded by a murderer and as communist propaganda, the truth is much more straightforward — but no less fascinating. TIME spoke to Denis Hayes, ... Read More »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »

The Church of Living Dangerously: How One of America’s Biggest Pastors Became a Drug Runner for a Mexican Cartel

He looked like Sammy Hagar, preached like Billy Graham, and brought a 350-pound tiger to church. David Kushner Vanity Fair Then he shot heroin with his son and was busted at the border for running drugs for a Mexican cartel. A little after five A.M. on December 11, 2017, a gray Volkswagen Passat inched through the darkness of Tijuana toward the brightly lit Customs and Border Protection port of entry at San Ysidro, California. It was in the SENTRI lane, ... Read More »

14 Must-Read Moments From the Mueller Report

A breakdown of the massive, 448-page document Attorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Thursday. Olivia Paschal and Madeleine Carlisle The Atlantic Though some of the findings have been redacted, the report will give the public a clearer sense of what the special counsel found—and whether Barr’s short summary, made public in late March, was accurate. The report covers the special counsel’s investigation into ... Read More »

Will Conservatives Abandon the Free Market?

Conservatives would either “combat” or “convert” business or base their politics “squarely on it.” But, he warned, conservatism “founded on money,” is “fickle, selfish, and irresponsible.” Joshua Tait The National Interest WHEN FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable ... Read More »

Trump forces Brussels’ hand on trade despite tariffs backlash

Trump’s threat of auto tariffs has finally spurred EU leaders into action on a new trade deal with Washington. As the US president seeks reelection next year, will Europe hold more clout in upcoming negotiations? Nik Martin Deutsche Welle Nine months after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to Washington to stave off the prospect of US tariffs on European cars, the European Union signaled this week it was ready to restart trade talks with… EU leaders have been grappling with the ... Read More »