Looking for some good reads to start off the week? Here’s what’s been intriguing us lately…
What’s happening in the Middle East, from the heart of those dealing with it.
What went wrong? In 2011, there had been a united and victorious battle against Gadhafi’s troops. That was Libya’s zero hour. But then the rebels split into different camps — Islamists and non-Islamists — reigniting old tribal feuds. Only this time everyone had plenty of weapons. Gadhafi’s former fighters joined the non-Islamists, as did the army of Khalifa Haftar, the powerful general in the east of the country. Islamic State joined the side of the Islamists. Regional conflicts had already existed even before and today the country is divided between east and west and countless militias, with some disappearing and new ones emerging each week.
In a state that blocks access to health services for women, it’s perhaps not surprising that women are struggling to carry healthy pregnancies to term.
In the wake of the report, reproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state. The remaining clinics managed to provide services – such as low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams – to only half as many women as before.
‘Brooklyn Bound‘ (Guernica)
What happens when multiple law enforcement agencies are fighting over extradition rights?
Brooklyn isn’t the only place that wants him. Seven different US federal districts have indicted Guzmán over the years, starting with San Diego in 1996, followed by Chicago, Brooklyn, Miami, Manhattan, El Paso and finally, in 2016, Concord, New Hampshire. The jurisdictional basis isn’t hard to find. Narcotrafficking, like much of organized crime, is a globalized, diversified business. Anywhere the Sinaloa cartel’s tentacles extend—wherever its drugs are sold; wherever its money is stashed or its personnel operates; wherever the chemicals, arms, and humans are smuggled—El Chapo is vulnerable to prosecution, provided, of course, the district that wants to do the prosecuting can manage to get a hold of him.
Read up on your US election history!
Since 1790, when Congress passed the nation’s first immigration act, prevailing law had restricted naturalized citizenship to “free white persons.” What constituted a white person was by no means clear. While today it is intuitive to classify German, Irish, or Italian Americans as white, in the mid-19th century, many native-born Protestants regarded newcomers as unwhite and therefore singularly unfit for citizenship. In establishment outlets like Harpers Magazine, editorialists lampooned Irish immigrants as drunken, lazy and idle, while cartoonists portrayed immigrants as possessing ape-like, subhuman physical attributes.
‘Here’s Why the Navajo Nation Is Suing the EPA Over Colorado’s Mining Catastrophe‘ (Pacific Standard)
Environmental racism has an ugly legacy.
Two contractors, four mining companies including Gold King Mines Corporation, and 10 other unnamed defendants are also named in the suit. The lawsuit alleges that, despite knowing of the potential for an entryway to burst, officials were unprepared for any major accidents when excavation began last August to assess the mine seal. The EPA should have known of the environmental risks, the suit alleges, as the agency has twice already considered listing the Upper Animas Watershed as a Superfund site — once in the 1990s and again in 2008. After the mine initially exploded, it took nearly two days for the EPA to alert the Nation that millions of gallons of toxic water was making its way down the watershed.
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