Society

Washington Trained Guatemala’s Mass Murderers—and the Border Patrol Played a Role

Now two Guatemalan children have died under Border Patrol custody. But the agency’s role in Latin American oppression has a long history. Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby The Nation John P. Longan was an agent with the US Border Patrol in the 1940s and ’50s, working near the Mexican border, where two Guatemalan migrant children fell mortally ill last month in the custody of the Border Patrol—7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8, and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, ... Read More »

The new generation of Filipino women rejecting skin whitening

“Growing up as a kid, I used to hate my skin as I was teased a lot because of it.” Kirsten Jelinek SBS Whitening lotion, whitening soap, whitening deodorant, and even capsules of glutathione – an antioxidant which purports to prevent skin cells from producing darkening melanin – fill the bustling shopping centres of Manila. The Philippines beauty standard of whitening goes by many names – skin lightening, skin evening, skin-fading and even skin brightening. Avon boutique owner Mary Anne ... Read More »

Competitive elections are good for democracy – just not every democracy

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections were fierce, expensive and full of upsets, with political newcomers ousting long-tenured incumbents and Democrats unseating Republicans to retake the House of Representatives. Authors: The Conversation That makes them an exemplary democratic exercise from a political science standpoint: American voters booted the congressional representatives who they believed did not fight for their interests. That’s exactly what elections are meant to do: Hold politicians accountable. But it doesn’t work that way everywhere. In younger democracies, our ... Read More »

Government’s post-Brexit agriculture scheme falls short of protection needed to safeguard environment, farmers warn

Call for tougher policies comes after Michael Gove addressed two major farming conferences in Oxford Josh Gabbatiss Independent The government’s vision for post-Brexit farming does not provide enough protection for the environment, meaning food production is at risk, according to a farming group.Michael Gove’s agriculture bill is a cornerstone of his plan for a “green Brexit”, but campaigners say it has fallen short of providing long-term protection for UK nature. The environment secretary addressed two farming conferences in Oxford on Thursday, one focusing on traditional agriculture and the other based around ... Read More »

British Jews look to Germany for Brexit ‘insurance policy’

The German constitution allows for people whose citizenship was revoked for ‘political, racist, or religious reasons’ to have it reinstated. Hannah Roberts Politico LONDON — Sally Geppert, a legal secretary from Cologne, was 27 when she arrived in the U.K. on the last day of August 1939 — one of tens of thousands of German Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge in Britain. The next day, September 1, Germany invaded Poland, war broke out and emigration to Britain from Nazi-controlled ... Read More »

Prakash citizenship revocation could jeopardise extradition chances, says Law Council

Australia’s peak body for lawyers says the “premature” announcement that Islamic State member Neil Prakash has been stripped of his citizenship could jeopardise efforts to see him face justice in this country. David Wroe The Canberra Times Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, SC, has said that Turkey – where Prakash is currently in jail facing terrorism charges – would take into account whether or not he was an Australian in considering an… “I am troubled that this potentially ... Read More »

America’s New Democracy Movement

While media coverage since the 2018 US midterm elections has focused squarely on Donald Trump, a growing movement of citizens and activists from across the political spectrum is thinking more broadly about the future of… Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca The Project Syndicate And progressive political reforms have been winning support in some unexpected places. BERKELEY – In last November’s US midterm elections, voters sent a clear message about the concerns weighing on their minds and the values they hold most ... Read More »

Why the Singapore model won’t work for the UK post-Brexit

The city state has a strange appeal to some Tories yet even its prime minister doubts its approach would work in Britain Patrick Wintour The Guardian The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on a visit to Singapore to learn how such a relatively isolated city state has become so successful is only the latest, but most explicit, of a long line of Tory ministers to extol it as the model for the UK post-Brexit. Quite how Singapore, an authoritarian state capitalist economy akin ... Read More »

Seven minutes of chaos: The ‘flash-crash’ that rocked currency markets

It took seven minutes for the yen to surge through levels that have held through almost a decade. WAtoday Bloomberg Traders are still seeking to piece together what happened just before 9:30 a.m. in Sydney, when orders came to sell Australia’s dollar and Turkey’s lira against the yen. While some pointed to risk aversion triggered by Apple cutting its sales outlook, others said Japanese retail investors were behind the trades. Whatever the cause, the moves were exacerbated by algorithmic programs ... Read More »

German government cagey on spy cooperation in Pinochet’s Chile

The German Foreign Ministry has refused to shed light on the BND’s cooperation with the CIA to aid General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal regime in Chile. Ben Knight DW The vague responses have outraged the German Left party. The German government has offered only cagey responses to questions about cooperation between the German secret service, the BND, and military dictatorships in Chile and Greece in the late 1960s and early ’70s. The socialist Left party’s Jan Korte submitted 68 questions to ... Read More »

Poll: 72% of Labour members back second Brexit vote

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defied calls to throw his weight behind a second referendum on the European Union despite a poll suggesting almost three-quarters of Labour members want one and thousands could quit the… Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman A survey of more than 1,000 party members found 72 per cent want a so-called People’s Vote on the terms of Brexit and most would chose to stay in the EU if given the option. But Mr Corbyn has long resisted ... Read More »

China’s Atlantean ambition for the South China Sea

Beijing’s futuristic plan for an artificial intelligence-driven deep-sea submarine base promises to churn the contested sea’s already volatile waters Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Αs Southeast Asian nations look ahead to 2019, competition for control of the South China Sea looms large on the horizon. That strategic contest could enter a new destabilizing phase if China introduces as reported a new Atlantis-like deep-sea submarine base in the already volatile maritime area. The proposed new base, which could in theory be ... Read More »

How to negotiate infrastructure deals with China: four things African governments need to get right

“You don’t negotiate with China !” I was quickly told when I started interviewing African public servants about their infrastructure deals with Beijing. Folashade Soule The Conversation There is a widespread view in Africa that you accept whatever terms are offered, for fear that the money might go somewhere else instead. China is the leading infrastructure finance provider on the continent – as demonstrated by a recent pledge of US$60 billion (£47 billion), most of which is for infrastructure projects. Big projects on the slate include hydropower plants ... Read More »

A Call to Arms at the Supreme Court

Conservative judges worry that the Second Amendment has become “a second-class right.” Linda Greenhouse The New York Times A specter is haunting the Supreme Court — disrespect for the Second Amendment. Perhaps you haven’t realized that the Supreme Court’s disinclination to expand on its landmark 2008 decision creating an individual right to gun ownership means that the justices are treating the… A “watered-down right.” A “disfavored right.” If you are unaware of these outlandish claims, then you haven’t tuned into the rising chorus of ... Read More »

Malta opens waters to German NGO rescue boats beset by seasickness closer to shore

Berlin-based Sea-Watch said conditions on the boats had become dangerous, with migrants suffering from severe sea-sickness and post-traumatic stress disorder. The vessels were denied access to ports in Malta and… DW German migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 sent a desperate plea on Wednesday for a harbor to dock. Conditions aboard the ship have worsened, after 12 days at sea and bad weather conditions on the Mediterranean, Sea-Watch said in a… The Berlin-based NGO vessel rescued 32 migrants on December 22, ... Read More »

Indian Teens’ Mental Distress Was Invisible, Invalid Until A Decade Ago

Writer Himanjali Sankar says her book ‘The Lies We Tell’ emerged from wanting to understand difficult mental states in a socially and culturally familiar context. Himanjali Sankar HuffPost Mental illness no longer carries the stigma it used to have even ten years back. But it is tagged by many , ranging from disappointment to impatience and annoyance at what is perceived as self-indulgence at some level. When those in greater control of their mental states come face to face with ... Read More »