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Articles

Articles
“They Eat Money”: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption
Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan: In the generation since apartheid ended in 1994, tens of billions of dollars in public funds — intended to develop the economy and improve the lives of black South Africans — have been siphoned off by leaders of the A.N.C., the very organization that had promised them a new, equal and just nation ... Many trace the deep corruption in the nation to a fundamental flaw in South Africa’s transition from white rule to democracy a generation ago. ... The black majority was allowed to control politics, but much of the country’s economic resources, including land, has remained in the hands of white South Africans and a small group of other elites. ... In the early years of A.N.C. rule, Mr. Mandela and other top leaders, who had helped defeat apartheid but had no personal savings, received houses, vehicles and money from white business leaders — essentially bribes, critics say... Visit Website ]
Apr 19, 2018, 3:23pm

Articles
Supreme Court case tests weight of old Native American treaties in 21st century
On April 18, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Washington v. United States, which pits the state of Washington against the United States and 21 Indian tribes. The main question in the case is narrow – whether the state must quickly replace hundreds of culverts that allow the flow of water under roads but also block salmon migration. Yet the underlying issue is far broader. ... In the mid-1800s, the United States’ zeal for expansion and growth resulted in the removal of Indian people and the acquisition of their territory, often through the use of treaties. ... Isaac Stevens, the first governor of the territory of Washington, negotiated treaties on behalf of the United States with tribes ... emphasized language in the treaties that would preserve the tribal “right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations... Visit Website ]
Apr 17, 2018, 4:48pm

Articles
Despite Fake News and Dire Threats, Migrant Caravan Carries On
Ruth Conniff: They don’t look like much of an invading army. ... The migrant caravan moving through Mexico that triggered a Trump Twitter storm last week straggled into a park in Puebla, Mexico, on Friday, April 6. It was the end of a long week of presidential threats and international headlines ... The caravan is pressing on to Mexico City on Monday, said Irineo Mujica, head of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the group that has organized annual “stations of the cross” caravans in Mexico to aid Central American migrants and dramatize their plight since 2008 ... Here in Mexico, the refugee caravan has been met with food, medicine, and other offers of help. Tents full of volunteer medics surrounded the park in Puebla... Visit Website ]
Apr 10, 2018, 3:43pm

Articles
5 Indigenous Women Asserting the Modern Matriarchy
Chelsey Luger: They’re reclaiming the tradition of female leadership and turning the old, white, male-dominated perspective of history on its head. ... Today, contemporary indigenous women are taking the matter into their own hands and showing the public how to rethink, reframe, and relearn a new American-Canadian story that seamlessly incorporates the voices of indigenous women. These women are living in the tradition of their ancestors, whose societies and nations were often matriarchal. ... Autumn Peltier (Anishinaabe) ... While most 13-year-olds are taking selfies on SnapChat, she is on the front lines of environmental and social justice activism. Her mission? To protect clean water. So far, she has met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (and later called him out for not upholding his promises to her)... Visit Website ]
Mar 31, 2018, 12:29pm

Articles
National Identity, Great Thais and Eyes Rolling
Linh Dinh: History is primarily a chronicle of wars and invasions, most often among neighbors, so every inch of every border has been fiercely fought over, for that’s how any population maintains its autonomy, integrity and identity. Plus, you need land to prosper so, often, you grab your neighbor’s when he’s weak. Everyone has done this. Everyone. ... Peace, then, can only be achieved when you’re strong enough to defend your borders, and if you’re no longer willing to do this, then you’re already lost, conquered, and not necessarily by an external enemy. ... Take Thailand. It has fought against China, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Malay state of Kedah, all of its neighbors, in short... Visit Website ]
Mar 30, 2018, 11:51am

Articles
“Decolonization Starts Inside of You”
Photographer Josué Rivas spent seven months living at Standing Rock, documenting the gathering force of Native Americans and their allies. He says it wasn’t just a protest; it was an awakening. ... Colonization, at its core, is about creating separation—separation among people and separation from spirit and our connection to the Earth. Humans have been taking more than we need, and we haven’t been giving enough back. ... Decolonization starts inside of you. It is a lot about finding compassion and kindness, and less about anger and fear. We should remember that it begins with an internal process of healing and reconciliation. Once we find that peace, then we will be able to move forward and unify as peoples. We must remember that we are all related... Visit Website ]
Mar 27, 2018, 12:08pm

Articles
The Battle for Paradise
Naomi Klein: In the Rubble of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans and Ultrarich “Puertopians” Are Locked in a Pitched Struggle Over How to Remake the Island ... In a sense, both are utopian projects — the vision of Puerto Rico in which the wealth of the island is carefully and democratically managed by its people, and the libertarian project some are calling “Puertopia” that is being conjured up in the ballrooms of luxury hotels in San Juan and New York City. One dream is grounded in a desire for people to exercise collective sovereignty over their land, energy, food, and water; the other in a desire for a small elite to secede from the reach of government altogether, liberated to accumulate unlimited private profit... At the core of this battle is a very simple question: Who is Puerto Rico for? Is it for Puerto Ricans, or is it for outsiders?... Visit Website ]
Mar 20, 2018, 11:11am

Articles
‘Hostiles’ and Hollywood’s Untold Story
Jada Thacker: A theatrical poster for the recent American Western movie “Hostiles” depicts its principal characters – a Frontier widow, a hardboiled Indian fighter, and an Indian chief – with a helpful blurb stating the story’s theme with the subtlety of a striking rattlesnake: “We are all hostiles. ... Unacknowledged by the silver screen, contemporary America remains as hostile as it ever was to the Frontier dwellers of tee-pees, log cabins, wigwams, or army outposts. ... No government existed in North America at the time of European contact. The societies that pre-existed there lived in a condition of anarchy. ... Anarchy is the voluntary self-organization of people without the use of authoritative force. Thus, anarchy does not denote an absence of social order, but only the absence of a forcible social order... Visit Website ]
Mar 16, 2018, 2:57pm

Articles
It’s taken thousands of years, but Western science is finally catching up to Traditional Knowledge
Our knowledge of what the denizens of the animal kingdom are up to, especially when humans aren’t around, has steadily increased over the last 50 years. For example, we know now that animals use tools in their daily lives. Chimps use twigs to fish for termites; sea otters break open shellfish on rocks they selected; octopi carry coconut shell halves to later use as shelters. ... A team of researchers led by Mark Bonta and Robert Gosford in northern Australia has documented kites and falcons, colloquially termed “firehawks,” intentionally carrying burning sticks to spread fire. While it has long been known that birds will take advantage of natural fires that cause insects, rodents and reptiles to flee and thus increase feeding opportunities, that they would intercede to spread fire to unburned locales is astounding... While new to Western science, the behaviours of the nighthawks have long been known to the Alawa, MalakMalak, Jawoyn, and other Indigenous peoples of northern Australia... Visit Website ]
Feb 27, 2018, 11:04am

Articles
Investigation of a SEAL Team Raid That Killed Women and Children in Yemen
A little more than a year ago, on January 29, 2017, Iona Craig was at the tail end of a month-long reporting trip to Yemen. On that day, special operators from the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 launched a surprise raid in a remote part of Yemen, apparently trying to capture or kill an Al Qaeda leader. This was the first covert assault of the Trump era, and the White House, which was not challenged in the U.S. media, hailed it as “highly successful.” ... Except it wasn’t. ... local sheikhs she knew from her previous work in the country told her that the U.S. was getting the story wrong. A large number of women and children had been killed, and the targeted village did not appear to have had a standing Al Qaeda presence... (Here is the story of her investigation and how she won a Polk Award for her work!)... Visit Website ]
Feb 24, 2018, 1:58pm

Articles
Are Citizens Finally Waking Up to Fight Gerrymandering?
Max Skidelsky: The practice of gerrymandering has subverted US democracy for more than 200 years. Now it finally seems as though voters are fed up with being disenfranchised in this way and are pushing for changes through grassroots movement. ... Currently it is the GOP that is primarily guilty of this undemocratic practice — for the obvious reason that they control a solid majority of state legislatures. ... But Democrats are doing the same thing where they can ... Grassroots movements are installing independent districting commissions ... Gerrymandering not only has a 200-year history in the United States, its very purpose is to maintain power... Visit Website ]
Feb 6, 2018, 2:10pm

Articles
Pennsylvania Keeps All Death-Row Inmates in Solitary Confinement. The ACLU Calls That Unconstitutional.
Maryam Saleh: The 156 death row inmates in Pennsylvania state prisons go to sleep every night the same way they wake up: in an 8-by-12 foot cell illuminated by artificial light around the clock. On weekdays, they are allowed out of their cells for a maximum of two hours to exercise in a small, enclosed space. They leave their cells thrice a week to take showers and are occasionally allowed to go to the law library. ... The disastrous psychological and physiological effects of prolonged isolation are well-documented. It can lead to hypersensitivity to stimuli, delusions, hallucinations, and panic attacks. Prisoners’ lack of interaction with other people can lead to paranoia, anxiety, nervousness, and depression... Visit Website ]
Jan 26, 2018, 10:54am

Articles
Finding Your Voice - Forget About Siri and Alexa — When It Comes to Voice Identification, the “NSA Reigns Supreme”
Ava Kofman: ... Classified documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has developed technology not just to record and transcribe private conversations but to automatically identify the speakers... The technology works by analyzing the physical and behavioral features that make each person’s voice distinctive, such as the pitch, shape of the mouth, and length of the larynx. An algorithm then creates a dynamic computer model of the individual’s vocal characteristics. This is what’s popularly referred to as a “voiceprint.”... Although the NSA is known to rely on finger and face prints to identify targets, voiceprints, according to a 2008 agency document, are “where NSA reigns supreme.”... Visit Website ]
Jan 19, 2018, 4:24pm

Articles
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Chris Welzenbach: Policy lies at the heart of Abraham Polonsky’s Force of Evil, arguably the most anti-capitalist film ever to emerge from Hollywood. Released 70 years ago to puzzled critics and an indifferent public, over time it would achieve cult status among devotees of film noir while offering a tantalizing glimpse of what might have been accomplished by Polonsky and other members of the Hollywood Left had the blacklist not intervened. ... Typical of Polonsky’s dialogue in his 1947 screenplay is the following declaration by Roberts, the boxing impresario played by Lloyd Gough: “Everything is addition or subtraction. The rest is conversation.” I cannot imagine a more succinct summation of capitalism... Visit Website ]
Jan 17, 2018, 1:05pm

Articles
The Biggest Secret - My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
James Risen: I was sitting in the nearly empty restaurant of the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, getting ready for a showdown with the federal government that I had been trying to avoid for more than seven years. The Obama administration was demanding that I reveal the confidential sources I had relied on for a chapter about a botched CIA operation in my 2006 book, “State of War.” I had also written about the CIA operation for the New York Times, but the paper’s editors had suppressed the story at the government’s request. It wasn’t the only time they had done so... Visit Website ]
Jan 3, 2018, 3:25pm


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