From Nation Interns: The Week's Top Stories (3/7/12)
Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out nearly everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week and use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Laura Bolt focuses on human rights and revolution.
“Why Hungary's Youth Are Angry—and Drifting to the Far Right,” by John Nadler. TIME, March 7, 2012.
Young people have been leading the process of dissent and revolution across the globe. While the vast majority of these young people come from and have flocked to the left, in Hungary, a surprising right ring party has captured the attention and loyalty of some young protestors. The article looks at why this is and if it will last.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health, and the environment.
“The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom,” by Jeff Goddell. Rolling Stone, March 1, 2012.
Goodell's tough profile of Aubrey McClendon, one of the billionaire executives responsible for inflating the natural gas bubble, makes it clear that beneath the fracking craze lies a quagmire of financial, health and environmental hazards. Goodell's story isn't merely about strange cases of explosive tap water—it's about land grabs, ponzi schemes and levels of debt and obfuscation reminiscent of the mortgage crisis.
Umar Farooq focuses on the worldwide movement for democracy.
“High Turnout in Iran Elections Could End 'Paranoia' of Leaders,” by Scott Peterson. The Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 2012.
Iran held parliamentary elections recently, the first since the disputed 2009 Presidential race. The government claims up to 64 percent voter turnout, which if true, would be a resounding piece of evidence against the Green movement, whose leaders have been under house arrest for a year. This piece touches on the larger positive implications that a high turnout could have in Iran, and echoes concerns some had in 2009 about western intervention and its possible negative effects for the Green movement in Iran.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power, and political culture.
“NATO Hopes Putin Will Maintain Efforts to Reach Missile Defense Deal.” Global Security Newswire, March 6, 2012.
With the re-election of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency and the approaching NATO summit in Chicago, the US-NATO alliance is continuing it's diplomatic dance of danger with Russia over missile defense. Mr. Putin has been invited to the summit and birthday party for European-based missile defense operations, but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabko said he is not likely to attend if substantive discussions of Russia’s concerns are not on the menu. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded in kind by saying that the summit and birthday party might be cancelled due to Russian disagreement with NATO's plans. So it goes.
Connor Guy focuses on racism and race relations.
“Black Students Face More Discipline, Data Suggests,” by Tamar Lewin. The New York Times, March 6, 2012.
The Department of Education report that this article centers around doesn't really show us anything that wasn't already suspected, but it does call renewed attention to the startling reality that children of minority backgrounds in this country must put up with not only less opportunity, but also with a system that works against them from the minute they walk in the door.
Ebtihal Mubarak focuses on human rights.
“Stratfor Emails: Covert Special Ops Inside Syria Since December,” by John Glaser. WarisaCrime.org, March 8, 2012.
This enlightening review of Elizabeth Holtzman's book, Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution—and What We Can Do About It, proves that prosecuting Bush administration over charges "of lying to Congress about the grounds for war, wiretapping Americans, and conspiring to torture," is not only still a possibility, but it's primarily a national duty in which we've got only twenty-three months to do.
Hannah Murphy focuses on sex and gender.
“Rape in the US Military: America's Dirty Little Secret,” by Lucy Broadbent. The Guardian, December 9, 2011.
News of the lawsuit filed against the US military for rape and sexual harassment has spread across headlines, but the media have predominantly treated it delicately, and from a distance. This article parses through personal testimonies of the victims, taking time in particular to address one of the more overlooked issues—the male victims involved in the suit.
James Murphy focuses on migration in the 21st century.
“The Crossing Point: Would-be Immigrants to Europe Can Go Almost Anywhere—For a Price.” The Economist, March 3, 2012.
Despite its current economic woes, Europe remains a very attractive destination for millions of would-be immigrants. This feature in The Economist charts the well-worn path from the banks of the Evros River in Turkey, across the Balkans, to the Schegen Area—the prosperous free movement zone at the heart of the continent that is so attractive to the many Asians and Africans seeking a better future.
Erin Schikowski focuses on the politics and business of healthcare.
“Coverage Denials Draw Ire of Emergency Docs,” by Emily Walker. MedPage Today, February 29, 2012.
In this article, Emily P. Walker reports that Medicaid officials are denying coverage for emergency department visits in which a doctor concludes that a patient's condition is non-urgent. The danger here seems to be that patients with symptoms that might indicate an urgent problem may choose to forgo a visit to the emergency room, knowing that they could be denied coverage.
Elizabeth Whitman focuses on the Syrian uprising, its implications and the wildly varied domestic and international reactions.
“The Fearful Realities Keeping the Assad Regime in Power,” by Robert Frisk. The Independent, March 4, 2012.
In this op-ed, Robert Fisk highlights the utter hypocrisy of countries involved or invested in the Syrian crisis, from Saudi Arabia to the United States to Britain to Syria. Fisk's analysis underscores the paradoxical relationship between the principles upon which foreign policy decisions are supposedly based and the realities of domestic situations, such as upcoming elections or a status quo that a rulers may be determined to preserve.