With warrior cops, Massive Open Online Courses, mulling mullahs and a new Great Game in the Arctic, this week's articles are full of powerful images, phrases and ideas, some exciting and most disquieting. And to wash it all down, there's even a piece on Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban.
— Alleen Brown focuses on education.
“California Bill Seeks Campus Credit for Online Study,” by Tamar Lewin. The New York Times, March 13, 2013.
Legislation introduced Wednesday in California's Senate would force universities to grant students credit for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Online classes have been proposed as an alternative to oversubscribed, required courses that many students have been shut out of because of space issues. The article points out that the problem stems in part from state-level budget cuts.
— James Cersonsky focuses on labor and education.
“Day Laborers Defend Their Right to Public Space in Court,” by Michelle Chen. In These Times, March 6, 2013.
A lesser known provision of Arizona's notorious SB 1070 allowed police to arrest people for soliciting work in public. The law targeted workers—especially undocumented day laborers—for "obstructing traffic" while seeking work. In February, a Phoenix federal district court struck it down on free speech grounds. As Michelle Chen writes, this is obviously good news, though, for one of the most exploited class of workers, only one step for justice on the job—or, rather, the search for the job.
— Catherine Defontaine focuses on war, security and peace-related issues, African and French politics, peacekeeping and the link between conflicts and natural resources.
“Preventing an Arctic Cold War,” by Paul Arthur Berkman. The New York Times, March 13, 2013.
The effects of global warming have transformed the stakes for the Arctic. So far there has been cooperation among countries regarding the exploitation of the region’s natural resources and fisheries. Since 1996 eight nations surrounding the Arctic and groups representing indigenous communities have created the Arctic Council to promote cooperation and address “common Arctic issues”: sustainable development and environmental protection. However, even though tensions are now low, the potential for conflict is extremely high. For the Arctic states, the main challenge is to maintain peace in the region.