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Tag Archives: USA

A Sexual Assault Memoir Women Deserve

In June 2016, “Emily Doe” read her 12-page victim impact statement to the court before the sentencing of Brock Turner, the Stanford undergrad who’d been convicted of sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious. It was a brilliant piece of writing—frank, angry, straight from the heart—and it seemed to sum up everything about the trauma of sexual assault and the many ways that society, especially the legal process, makes that trauma worse.

Turner’s lenient sentence of six months in county jail and Judge Aaron Persky’s explanation (“I take him at his word that, subjectively, that’s his version of events”) set the public on fire. Within days of being published on BuzzFeed, Doe’s statement had been viewed more than 15 million times.

https://www.thenation.com/article/stanford-brock-turner/

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Posted by on October 17, 2019 in North America

 

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What If The World Treated The U.S. Like a Rogue State

THE PLANETʼS DENSEST EMBODIMENT of international cooperation lies in the heart of Geneva, in the few square miles around the lake. From the lakeshore, a brief walk through a park will bring a visitor to the Palace of Nations, built in the 1930s as the seat of the League of Nations, and now the United Nations’ office in the city. To the east, the World Trade Organization; to the north-west, the World Health Organization; an amble away, the headquarters of the Red Cross, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, among dozens of others. Also nearby is the InterContinental Hotel, where in November 2013, Iran agreed to dilute its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief—the first edition of the pact that President Donald Trump abandoned last year.

It’s entirely fitting that just down the road from the InterContinental is the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, which occupies a complex named Maison de la Paix, its six buildings arranged like strewn flower petals. The InterContinental is of particular interest to Thomas Biersteker, a political scientist at the Institute, who has made a career studying sanctions. Biersteker, an American who taught at Brown University until 2007, is prone to discussing the antics of nation-states in a tone of wry curiosity, as if relaying the activities of ant colonies in his backyard. He lives for part of the year in a house in the Swiss Alps, where he hosts so many discussions on his preferred topic that his colleagues call it the “Sanctions Chalet.” Typically, Biersteker’s case studies deal with bad actors: states gone rogue, dangerous leaders thumbing their noses at the world. Increasingly, though, these descriptions seem to fit not just autocracies flush with oil or tinpot dictatorships but also the United States of America.

https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/sanctions/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kdWNrZHVja2dvLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHVp6j9Fox4M2Fptyh27d2Ed2WVMjlvD-EOugVEe3ceSA7yM_VIBoxLGqxWccZ_tTN7C_TWgeDYhgAK9NJr9k6P2W0hLAVhLkclsdI5csgWHq5hViPd5jGTE2Delmp4TjSLD2nLE7TK9uJS7ugyib2Zvgy0SjqcVm9lAsvhFTC-G

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2019 in Reportages, Uncategorized

 

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Trump and Erdogan have much in common – and the Kurds will be the tragic victims of their idiocy

What perfidy. Is there any more solemn a word that can be developed in the English language for such treachery? The west’s Kurdish allies are being betrayed all over again. Like Kissinger, like Trump. And here come the Turks again, once more playing their border games, pretending they are fighting against “terrorism” when they were perfectly prepared to assist al-Nusra in Afrin while oil from Isis flowed into the country. And Trump now suddenly realises that the Turks are not good allies when he was perfectly happy to let them invade northern Syria four days ago.

If anything could be more illustrative of the madhouse in Washington it has been the divisive, insane “policy” which the Americans still claim to uphold in northern Syria. A hundred thousand displaced, dozens of civilians dead. In Damascus, the Assad regime must be appreciating this farce, although the chances of taking back territory from Turkey probably looks a good deal more dangerous. But the prospect of Syria’s invaders fighting each other will evoke only bitter reflection in a state where the government had almost won its war.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-erdogan-syria-turkey-kurds-isis-bombing-a9153116.html

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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The cult of Columbine: how an obsession with school shooters led to a murder plot

It was an extremely online romance, as many were in 2014: they followed each other on Tumblr, then they became Facebook friends, then they started chatting. James Gamble was 19, aimless and unemployed. Lindsay Souvannarath was 22, with a newly minted degree from a small liberal arts school in Iowa and vague plans to join the Peace Corps.

Over the next seven weeks, Lindsay and James would come to feel that their meeting was part of some great cosmic plan. They were in similar places in their lives: young adults still living with their parents, socially awkward, virgins. They did not spend much time talking about the mundane building blocks of adulthood – school, family, work – in part because those parts of life had felt hostile to both of them for a long time. Instead, they discussed the other things they had in common – how they both walked stiffly and too fast; how as soon as they entered a room, other people could sense that something about them did not quite fit. How they could tell that strangers were afraid of them. How they had grown to like it, in a way, the perverse kind of power that came from being the kind of person everyone else wanted to stay away from.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/20/cult-of-columbine-how-the-high-school-shooting-motivated-a-murder-plot

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2019 in Reportages

 

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Defying the World, Turkey Launches a War Against a U.S. Ally in Syria

Two of America’s closest allies in the Middle East went to war on Wednesday—and Donald Trump didn’t seem to care. In what may have been the first declaration of hostilities on Twitter, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced that Turkey, a NATO ally, had launched an invasion of Syria, to clear out a Kurdish-led militia that controls about a third of the country. The militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, has been allied with the United States for the past five years in the war against ISIS. Both sides have been equipped by the United States, albeit in vastly different ways.

Erdoğan dubbed the invasion “Operation Peace Spring.” It is anything but. Panic swept across northern Syria as Turkey’s warplanes pounded Kurdish towns and artillery fired across the border, in order to—in ironic military jargon—“soften up” the terrain for a ground offensive. The S.D.F. posted videos on social media of the aftermath, showing fires, destruction, and bodies on the ground.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/defying-the-world-turkey-launches-a-war-against-a-united-states-ally-in-syria

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2019 in Middle East

 

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In Its Fight with Venezuela, the Trump Administration Takes Aim at Cuba

Amid the barrage of breaking news in the ongoing Trump scandals, one overlooked story is that of Cuba, which is experiencing severe fuel shortages and other difficulties, owing to sanctions levied by the Trump Administration. On September 28th, Sarah Marsh, a Reuters correspondent in Cuba, uploaded a video to Twitter. The thirty-second clip, shot on her phone from a moving car, shows vehicles stalled on a roadway: trucks, buses, modern taxis, and vintage nineteen-fifties Chevys and Studebakers in a line that appears to be half a mile long. All of them were waiting for gas. Marsh tweeted, “So I thought the fuel situation in #Cuba had improved somewhat, until I passed this multi-hr queue for diesel on the highway. This is only a fragment of what I filmed.”

Cuba’s energy shortage has begun to affect life on the island in a wide variety of ways. A week before Marsh posted the video, she reported that the government had urged its citizens to save fuel during daylight hours, warning that its supply was inadequate to cover the island’s needs for the month. Air-conditioning had been shut off in public buildings, while schools and universities had cut back on school hours, and some public-sector workers were told to stay home, because of a lack of fuel for public transportation. Oxen were replacing tractors in agricultural fields; wood was being used to to fire ovens in state-run bakeries, and a number of factories had either cut back on production or shut down altogether.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/in-its-fight-with-venezuela-the-trump-administration-takes-aim-at-cuba

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2019 in Reportages, South America

 

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Kurdish soldiers I spoke to feared Trump would be a treacherous ally. But the scale of his betrayal is terrifying

In a field beside a disused railway station on the plain just south of the Syrian-Turkish frontier, a brigade of Syrian Kurdish soldiers were retraining in order to resist an invasion by the Turkish army. “We acted like a regular army when we were fighting Daesh [Isis],” Rojvan, a veteran Kurdish commander of the YPG (People’s Protection Units), told me. “But now it is we who may be under Turkish air attack and we will have to behave more like guerrillas.”

Rojvan and his men had just returned from fighting Isis for 45 days in their last strongholds in eastern Syria. I had met him first in a cemetery in the Kurdish capital Qamishli where he was burying one of his men who had been killed by an Isis rocket when driving a bulldozer to build field fortifications in the middle of a battle.

But now he and his men were learning new tactics to combat the Turkish military units that were beginning to mass on the Turkish side of the border.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/kurds-trump-turkey-syria-ethnic-cleansing-war-invasion-a9148561.html

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Middle East

 

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After Trump Announcement, Syrian Kurds Brace for Turkish Invasion

Sherin Tamo remembers watching the U.S. airstrikes hit the Syrian town of Kobane from across the border in Turkey. It was September 2014, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had laid siege to the border town from three sides. Turkey had refused to let reinforcements through the border but let residents like Tamo escape. She watched from the Turkish side of the border as ISIS pressed farther and farther into the majority Kurdish area. Then came the U.S.

On September 27, the U.S.-led coalition began a massive, prolonged, and deadly bombing campaign in Syria, targeting ISIS units around Kobane and initiating a partnership with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known by their Kurdish initials YPG, that would go on to become arguably the most effective force against ISIS. “When we heard the U.S. airstrikes, we were very happy,” recalled Tamo, a Kurdish resident of Kobane. “We applauded with every airstrike on our city by saying, ‘Let our houses collapse over their heads, ISIS.’”

https://theintercept.com/2019/10/08/syria-kurds-trump-turkey/

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Middle East

 

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The U.S. Is Now Betraying the Kurds for the Eighth Time

The White House announced Sunday night that the United States is giving Turkey a green light to invade northern Syria, with the U.S. troops there now apparently pulling back to another area of the country. This is the scenario that Syrian Kurds have long feared. It will almost inevitably lead to a Turkish attack on Kurdish militias in Syria — fighters who loyally helped the U.S. destroy the Islamic State, but whom Turkey bogusly claims to be terrorists.

On Monday morning, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman asked why Donald Trump made this decision:

What Krugman left out, however, is the most likely explanation: (d) Trump is president of the United States. Nothing in this world is certain except death, taxes, and America betraying the Kurds.

The U.S. has now betrayed the Kurds a minimum of eight times over the past 100 years. The reasons for this are straightforward.

https://theintercept.com/2019/10/07/kurds-syria-turkey-trump-betrayal/

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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L’abbandono dei curdi sarebbe stato un errore strategico

Era una decisione personale di Donald Trump, presa senza alcuna discussione e contro l’opinione della sua stessa amministrazione e il suo stesso partito. Se fosse stata messa in atto avrebbe avuto delle conseguenze importanti. La scelta del presidente degli Stati Uniti riguarda anche l’Europa, perché Francia e Regno Unito mantengono forze speciali nel nordest della Siria e diverse migliaia di jihadisti stranieri sono prigionieri delle forze curde in Siria, compresi molti europei.

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/pierre-haski/2019/10/08/stati-uniti-curdi-siria

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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