ll migrants have two lives — the one they are living now, and the one from before. In El Salvador, Rosa Maria was a sociologist. After fleeing to Long Island, N.Y., in 2002, she found work cleaning Manhattan apartments by day and fast-food restaurants by night. Her children have embraced the American dream. One daughter is studying to be a psychologist; her son is a journalist.
The Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protected status for about 200,000 Salvadorans will soon bring Rosa Maria’s second life to an end. Salvadorans were first granted TPS in 2001 after a large earthquake struck El Salvador, but the Department of Homeland Security now argues that the “original conditions” no longer exist.… Seguir leyendo »
Princess Diana has been a staple of headlines for so long that articles and documentaries marking the 20th anniversary of her death may seem unremarkable. But the coverage is more than a stream of TV shows and newspaper and magazine special editions. It’s a meta reminder of the extremes that media coverage of Diana reached during her lifetime, and of the overexposure that continued after her death.
Diana was a 19-year-old nursery school teacher when she started dating Britain’s future king — and became a media sensation. Prince Charles bowed to pressure and proposed even though they had seen each other only about a dozen times.… Seguir leyendo »
In recent weeks, international headlines regarding Brazil have focused on the country’s widening corruption scandal, including allegations leveled against President Michel Temer. Amidst this ongoing turmoil, a significant development last week has received little global attention: the passage of a new immigration law, which explicitly embraces human rights principles, emphasizes equality between migrants and Brazilian nationals, and provides a thoughtful framework for the development of future migration-related policies. Although various provisions were subjected to a line-item veto by President Temer, the law overall represents a progressive and inclusive approach to managing migration – a standout, given rising xenophobia and stricter border controls in many parts of the world.… Seguir leyendo »
Venezuela’s violent crime epidemic appears to be escalating into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The precise dimensions are hard to know, however, because along with the collapse of the economy and widespread hunger has come a near blackout of reliable government crime statistics.
The Venezuelan government stopped publishing comprehensive crime data more than a decade ago, and the discrepancies between what authorities say and data released by independent organizations are extreme.
For instance, local officials announced that 17,778 Venezuelans were victims of homicide in 2015. But the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a nongovernmental group, estimated that there were 27,875 murders that year, which would make Venezuela’s homicide rate one of the highest in the world, at 90 killings per 100,000 residents.… Seguir leyendo »
During a visit to Seoul last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson drew some reddish lines around North Korea.
“Twenty years of talking has brought us to the point we are today,” Tillerson said at a news conference. “Talk is not going to change the situation.” If North Korea threatens South Korean or American forces or elevates the level of its weapons program, Tillerson warned, preemptive military action is “on the table.”
Tillerson’s comments did not come entirely out of left field. For months, Washington has been abuzz over the possibility that North Korea may successfully test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to an American city.… Seguir leyendo »
I remember the trembling fear that engulfed my body. I would hold my pee for hours; I normalized lower belly pain because it was less uncomfortable than choosing a bathroom. It was a constant dance, one that consumed my mind and eclipsed my lessons: how to be able to pee, when to pee and where.
There was a boys’ bathroom on a lower floor, for second graders, that I figured was less risky than the fourth-grade one, because those kids wouldn’t know me, or think that I wasn’t supposed to be in there. I didn’t question why bathrooms were segregated, I just felt, in my tensed muscles, that being caught in the “wrong one” would be deeply shameful, humiliating, disgusting.… Seguir leyendo »
“Did six million really die”? Is the Holocaust the “hoax of the 20th century” and “the greatest lie ever told”? Are Jews secretly planning for “Satan to crush their enemies”?
Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites needn’t look further than Amazon to satisfy their search for titles containing these exact words, written by some of the most notorious bigots of recent generations. These publications clearly violate Amazon’s guidelines prohibiting the sale of products that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance,” and yet they are available for purchase at the click of a button — some through third parties, others through Amazon directly.… Seguir leyendo »
On a visit to Mexico City in August 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “No one wins in either country when human smugglers and drug traffickers prey on innocent people, when cartels commit acts of violence, when illegal weapons and cash flow from the United States into Mexico.”
Since then, Trump has continued to complain that Mexicans bring crime northward, while studiously ignoring the very real threat that U.S. firepower flowing in the other direction poses to Mexicans.
Although Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, Mexican criminal organizations have no trouble buying firearms, which they use to control territory, extort business owners, and threaten citizens as well as members of the security forces.… Seguir leyendo »
Takara, a 25-year-old orca living at SeaWorld San Antonio, has already delivered four calves in four different cramped tanks across the country, and is about to deliver her fifth. Due any day now, the calf will be the last killer whale born at a SeaWorld. Last March, the park announced it would stop its orca breeding program following years of protests.
Takara’s story makes clear why the captive breeding of orcas needed to end. She was born in captivity, in what is basically a cement box, at SeaWorld San Diego to parents who were captured rodeo-style off the coast of Iceland in 1978.… Seguir leyendo »
If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it,” Daniel Reisner concluded in 2009, after a decade serving as head of the Israel Defense Force’s international law department. “An action that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries.”
As proof, Reiner cited the “targeted killings” Israel conducted continually until the practice was, in his words, “in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.” The Israeli government’s latest attempt at legitimization takes the form of a new law passed by Parliament on Monday. The bill retroactively legalizes government expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land on which settlements or outposts were built “in good faith or at the state’s instruction.” In effect, it makes the illegal legal.… Seguir leyendo »
In 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured her hip while skiing in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Doctors ordered her to rest. Feeling bored, she picked up “The Transformation of the World,” a 1,500-page tome by the German historian Jürgen Osterhammel. It argued that the most successful 19th century economies championed open markets and liberal immigration laws, and that these policies spurred technological advances. Merkel liked what she read; she felt it reflected her world view. She even invited the academic to give a lecture when she turned 60 later that year.
Merkel has been described as “the liberal West’s last defender” and the virtual antithesis to President Trump.… Seguir leyendo »
Sugar may well be a killer. The conventional thinking is that it’s an “empty calorie” — it fills you up without providing nutrients. But there’s a growing body of research suggesting that sugar actually triggers a disorder known as metabolic syndrome, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says now afflicts 75 million Americans. If it does, then it plays a critical role in virtually every major chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia. The catch is that the evidence is ambiguous. At this point, scientists can’t tell us definitively whether this accusation against sugar is true.… Seguir leyendo »
I recently followed a drone through the ruined Syrian city of Aleppo, courtesy of YouTube. The destruction was sobering, to say the least. The camera glided by exploded apartment buildings and streets piled with rubble, block after city block. The political situation in Syria is contemptible, the impact of war on human lives horrendously tragic, all silently conveyed in the aftermath captured on video. It also captured something more subtle, something that could easily go unnoticed: Aleppo was built almost entirely of concrete. Concrete dominated every shot. That observation might seem strange, but bear with me.
Of all the multitudinous things we humans manufacture, concrete is among the most common.… Seguir leyendo »
When the United Nations Security Council voted on Friday to censure Israel’s settlement-building policy, the United States shocked its allies by abstaining. This shock was a little odd given that the Obama administration has always opposed the settlements. Odder still, Secretary of State John Kerry felt the need to deliver an excruciating 80-minute speech on Wednesday that was essentially an apology for the abstention. The whole song-and-dance says a lot about Kerry’s well-meaning but ultimately ineffectual Mideast strategy.
While many, not just in Israel’s government, have already described Kerry’s speech as deeply critical, even “anti-Israel,” it was nothing of the sort.… Seguir leyendo »
To a lot of commentators, Canada looks like a sanctuary for progressive thinking on immigration, an exception to the nativist wave sweeping the United States and Europe.
A recent cover of the Economist put a maple leaf crown on the Statue of Liberty and proclaimed Canada “an example to the world.” Famously, on election day, the Canadian immigration website crashed because of the number of Americans reportedly considering a move to their northern neighbor as Donald Trump won the presidency. Year after year, polls show that Canadians are, by far, more open and more optimistic about immigration than the citizens in any other Western country.… Seguir leyendo »
The death of Fidel Castro was long in coming, and so world reaction was somber and introspective from foes and friends alike.
One exception came from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who cited the “passing of a brutal dictator,” while apparently ignoring recent history and adding that “Cuba remains a totalitarian island.”
He described Castro’s legacy as one of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
Trump’s future policies toward Cuba, and whether he continues with diplomatic normalization with the Communist-led government, are a matter of much speculation. He has said he would toss out Obama administration reforms that opened economic and diplomatic ties with Havana as well as saying he would merely modify them.… Seguir leyendo »
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is on a tear. In just the last two weeks, he has expressed a desire to separate his country from the United States, declared his intention to kick U.S. military personnel out of the Philippines, and appeared ready to drop territorial sovereignty claims in the South China Sea in return for investment guarantees from Beijing.
Duterte’s behavior might be considered brazen, boorish, even occasionally entertaining. But what’s worth noting is what it tells us about the state of alliance politics in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. As China has grown in economic, geopolitical and military power, its neighbors have reacted almost uniformly negatively.… Seguir leyendo »
Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for literature is something even he could not have prophesied with his pen when we were young musicians together in Greenwich Village. I was astonished at the news, overjoyed. A sense of validation swept over me. It seems we built a long-lasting platform of sorts, a fortress of folk music, that can still carry the strength of our convictions.
Not everyone agrees with my delight about Dylan’s prize, and he has barely acknowledged it. But I am buoyed that his messages might inspire us again to act on those convictions.
The night Dylan introduced himself to me at Gerdes Folk City, I was struck by how pale and thin he was, looking as if he just stepped out of the pages of a Charles Dickens novel.… Seguir leyendo »
Every year, Jews around the world seek repentance before the holiday of Yom Kippur through an atonement ritual known as kapparot. In exchange for a donation, a rabbi gently waves a chicken over one’s head, reads a blessing, and then the bird is humanely slaughtered according to the precepts of Jewish dietary laws. Animal rights groups have repeatedly tried — and failed — to stop this ancient ritual. They tried again this year, filing a federal lawsuit in California against Chabad of Irvine, and seeking a restraining order just 12 days before Yom Kippur.
With less than 72 hours left to complete the ritual, U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Bob Dylan recorded his first LP for Columbia Records 55 years ago next month. John Hammond, the legendary Columbia producer responsible for discovering Bruce Springsteen, Billie Holliday and Aretha Franklin among others, signed the adenoidal wunderkind. Just a few weeks earlier, New York Times pop music critic Robert Shelton had anointed Dylan as the next big thing. It looked like a golden lift off for the 20-year-old college dropout from Hibbing, Minn., although no one would have predicted a Nobel Prize in literature.
But Dylan’s Carnegie Hall debut, on Nov. 4, 1961, attracted only 52 people. Dylan got lost on the subway and arrived 40 minutes late.… Seguir leyendo »