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American drought: California’s crisis

Esidronio Arreola never gave much thought to the well that so reliably pumped water to his traditional clapboard house in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. But one day in March, he opened the tap and all he got was air.

Through the searing summer heat, the Mexican immigrant to California’s Central Valley and his family endured a daily routine of collecting water in his pickup truck from an emergency communal tank, washing from buckets and struggling to keep their withering orchard alive while they waited for snow to return to the mountains and begin the cycle of replenishing the aquifer that provides water to almost all the homes in the region.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/14/-sp-american-drought-california-crisis

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in North America, Reportages

 

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They Have Miao

Beijing Journal on a Personal Matter

We have held off from publishing this story for a long time: A Chinese woman working as an assistant to DIE ZEIT has been detained for more than 12 weeks. We didn’t want to complicate diplomatic efforts being made to secure her release. But since these have yet to yield any result, we consider it necessary to make public now the fate of our colleague Zhang Miao. Angela Köckritz, our Beijing correspondent, is no longer in China. In this article, she describes her experiences with Chinese authorities.

via Freedom of press: They Have Miao | ZEIT ONLINE.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Asia

 

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After years of silence, Turkey’s women are going into battle against oppression

As a high-school student in Turkey, whenever I took the bus I would make sure to keep an open safety pin in my hand – to poke molesters with. By the time I started university, I was carrying pepper spray in my bag, as did many of my female friends. We spoke about these things among ourselves, quietly. Today, Turkey’s women are publicly sharing stories of sexual harassment, opening up and speaking out. We are worried. We are mourning. At the same time, we are angry.

via After years of silence, Turkey’s women are going into battle against oppression | Elif Shafak | Comment is free | The Guardian.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Middle East, Reportages

 

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In South Sudan, a renewed bid to pull child soldiers out of conflict

Some 300 boys in army fatigues sit under a grove of spindly trees in Pibor, a remote outpost in east South Sudan that —until last year— was the heart of a bloody rebellion that killed thousands. The boys are underage members of the Cobra Faction, a militia of the Murle ethnic group led by local general David Yau Yau.

via In South Sudan, a renewed bid to pull child soldiers out of conflict – CSMonitor.com.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Africa

 

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Madurando una salida de fuerza en Venezuela

La detención arbitraria del Alcalde Mayor de Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, bajo señalamientos de conspiración, marca un hito crucial en el progresivo –y ya casi definitivo– estrangulamiento de la pluralidad democrática en Venezuela. Por el despliegue de brutalidad fascista y el desconocimiento del debido proceso, el caso de Ledezma, una autoridad democráticamente electa, puede ser más grave aún que el de Leopoldo López, dirigente de Voluntad Popular, acusado de instigar la violencia popular para derrocar a Maduro. El gobierno ha amenazado con seguir deteniendo líderes opositores en su simulacro de desmontaje del llamado “golpe lento continuado”. Hay que tomarle la palabra, porque es muy probable que la cumpla.

via Madurando una salida de fuerza en Venezuela; por Boris Muñoz « Prodavinci.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in South America

 

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Myanmar’s Ethnic Stew Will Determine Its Future

Myanmar’s presidential elections, set to take place towards the end of this year, will be crucial in determining the country’s ultimate direction. Yet, in many ways, what matters for the future of a unified country depends on what happens in its ethnic areas. Without a lasting peace in the fringes, political stability in the rest of the country will be next to impossible.

Myanmar is anything but a unified state. Since the second half of the 20th century, more than a dozen armies, most of them formed around ethnic groupings, have been actively fighting the Burmese army, the Tatmadaw, in a series of stop-and-go conflicts. An understanding of these conflicts and their historical development is critical.

via Myanmar’s Ethnic Stew Will Determine Its Future – Asia Sentinel | Asia Sentinel.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Asia

 

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Un an après, la justice impossible du Maidan

«Recevoir des compensations ou un titre de héros, ce n’est pas important. Ce que je veux, c’est la justice. Les responsables de ces violences doivent être punis. Mais jusqu’à présent, il ne se passe rien», soupire Vlad Tsilitskiy, 23 ans. Sans émotion apparente, il raconte comment, dans la soirée du 20 janvier 2014, il s’est fait battre par les forces de police antiémeute ukrainiennes. Il se tenait alors à l’entrée du stade Dynamo, derrière la barricade des révolutionnaires de la rue Hrushevskoho. «Je n’étais affilié à aucun groupe. Comme des centaines d’autres, je venais de temps en temps sur le Maidan, pour aider quelques heures», raconte-t-il. Puis il y a eu cette charge de police, qui l’a bousculé, violenté et défiguré. Pour Vlad Tsilitskiy, ça a été la fin de l’Euromaidan.

via Un an après, la justice impossible du Maidan – Libération.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Europe

 

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The No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy law

Last weekend, public attention in Turkey was focused on the limited military operation in Syria. Some 100 Turkish armed vehicles and 570 soldiers crossed the border to relocate the tomb of Süleyman Şah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) territory to a safer Kurdish zone. The opposition has engaged in a lot of nationalist brouhaha about this supposedly unpatriotic move by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

via The No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy law – MUSTAFA AKYOL.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Middle East

 

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Slavoj Žižek on the Charlie Hebdo massacre: Are the worst really full of passionate intensity?

Now, when we are all in a state of shock after the killing spree in the Charlie Hebdo offices, it is the right moment to gather the courage to think. We should, of course, unambiguously condemn the killings as an attack on the very substance our freedoms, and condemn them without any hidden caveats (in the style of “Charlie Hebdo was nonetheless provoking and humiliating the Muslims too much”). But such pathos of universal solidarity is not enough – we should think further.

http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/01/slavoj-i-ek-charlie-hebdo-massacre-are-worst-really-full-passionate-intensity

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in European Union, Reportages

 

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In the Grey Zone

The formula of pathetic identification ‘I am …’ (or ‘We are all …’) only functions within certain limits, beyond which it turns into obscenity. We can proclaim ‘Je suis Charlie,’ but things start to crumble with examples like ‘We all live in Sarajevo!’ or ‘We are all in Gaza!’ The brutal fact that we are not all in Sarajevo or Gaza is too strong to be covered up by a pathetic identification. Such identification becomes obscene in the case of Muselmänner, the living dead in Auschwitz. It is not possible to say: ‘We are all Muselmänner!’ In Auschwitz, the dehumanisation of victims went so far that identifying with them in any meaningful sense is impossible. (And, in the opposite direction, it would also be ridiculous to declare solidarity with the victims of 9/11 by claiming ‘We are all New Yorkers!’ Millions would say: ‘Yes, we would love to be New Yorkers, give us a visa!’)

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2015/02/05/slavoj-zizek/in-the-grey-zone

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in European Union, Reportages

 

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