home Must Reads Must reads: Bernie in California, family farms, war criminals, Brexit, refugees in America

Must reads: Bernie in California, family farms, war criminals, Brexit, refugees in America

We’re warming up for tomorrow’s Democratic primary in the United States, and while we wait, we’re keeping ourselves occupied with some news of note. Get a glimpse into our browser tabs, and please, tell us what you’re reading too!

Bernie’s California endgame‘ (Politico)

Senator Bernie Sanders is nearing the end of the road, and California’s primary tomorrow will play a decisive role in what happens next for his campaign. Will he lay down arms, or will he keep fighting?

A win in California, his top advisers believe, will enable Sanders to make a much more aggressive pitch to superdelegates and Democrats around the country in the coming weeks. He will be able to point to victories over Clinton in more than 20 states — capped by the biggest, bluest and most diverse in the nation. The symbolic value of winning California, they think, would underscore his point that the future of the party is on his side and rattle superdelegate confidence in her candidacy.

Farm Confessional: I Hope My Family’s Farm Doesn’t Become A Golf Course—But I Won’t Take It On‘ (Modern Farmer)

Family farms may be a mainstay of life in the United States, but they’re shrinking in number. One farmer explains why she won’t be taking on the family legacy: Farming is grueling, challenging, and thankless.

When I tell her I can think of few people I know that will take over their family farm, she says, ‘It’s a hard life. You didn’t like it.’ I have distinct memories of seeing my parents fall asleep at the kitchen table after dinner, heads resting on folded arms, worn to the core from their day.

Their own public Idaho‘ (The Guardian)

The vicious fight over refugees in the United States has taken a strange turn in one of the most conservative towns of an established conservative state, where thousands of refugees have integrated with the community since the 1960s.

A distinctively different sort of refugee debate has gripped the small rural city of Twin Falls, Idaho for the past several months. Twin Falls knows more about asylum-seekers than many towns its size. Idaho, with just 1.6m people, has taken over 20,000 refugees since 1970s, with most placed in Boise and Twin Falls. The Twin Falls refugee resettlement centre is managed by the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). Go back to the 1980s and the centre brought Vietnamese boat people and Cambodians, among others. In the 1990s war in the Balkans sent waves of refugees from Bosnia (several Bosnian families stayed, and provide much oomph to the local soccer league). The most recent arrivals have come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan, as well as from Congo, Eritrea, Nepal and Iran. At the same time residents cheerfully call Twin Falls ‘ultraconservative’: the city and surrounding county, in the heart of Idaho’s dairy belt, gave the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, more than 70% of their vote in the 2012 presidential elections. Though it is a young town, barely a century old, it has links to dark chapters of history: from 1942 to 1945 there was an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in the high desert 17 miles to the north.

Daily Mail backs campaign to remain in Europe … in 1975‘ (The Guardian)

With a Brexit vote looming, The Guardian went into the archives to explore an earlier vote with a potentially very different outcome.

The referendum also took place during a period of broader political turbulence in the UK. There had been two general elections in 1974, both of them close, which had exhausted the appetites of many voters. During the referendum campaign the rate of inflation surged, seemingly uncontrollably, briefly reaching a frightening annualised figure of 50%. Throughout 1975 there was press and parliamentary talk of national crisis and emergency political solutions, encompassing everything from military coups to all-party governments.

Unimaginable Horrors: The War-Crimes Lawyer Hunting Bashar Assad‘ (Spiegel)

Prosecuting people for war crimes can be painstaking, frustrating, and complicated. Here’s a glimpse inside the fight to bring a criminal to justice.

Crane and his students hope that either the United Nations or post-war Syria decide one day to establish a special tribunal to prosecute the conflict’s war criminals. Indeed, they are collecting evidence as if such a court already existed, comparing sources from around the world, checking eyewitness reports and communicating with human rights organizations. They comb through government reports and media articles as completely and thoroughly as possible. They are keeping precise records of this war, documenting every day, thus creating the world’s most complete matrix of war crimes in Syria. It is an index of horrors, up-to-date versions of which Crane regularly sends to the UN and the International Criminal Court.


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Photo: Niklas Hellerstedt/Creative Commons