There are only forty days until the election and most media outlets are almost singularly focused on the latest "who-said-what" politicking. Unless, of course, they’re talking about football. As a possible antidote, in this post Nation interns bring you eleven stories you may have missed, including Obama’s shadow wars in Africa, the closing of the Burmese Censorship Office, and a controversial anti-prostitution campaign.
Elisa Wouk Almino focuses on South America, particularly Brazil.
“Na ONU, Dilma ataca medidas de países ricos contra crise.” Veja, September 25, 2012. (To read in English, click here.)
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff opened the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations this week. In her speech, she urged underdeveloped countries to focus on social welfare and employment to escape the financial crisis. She explained that even with relatively slower economic growth, Brazil has been able to maintain a good level of employment, keep inflation in control, reduce poverty and invest in infrastructure. Overall, Dilma’s emphasis on social welfare and anti-austerity is particularly valued and important in a time of increasingly neoliberal politics.
Nader Atassi focuses on Middle Eastern politics and society.
“Unarmed people power drums Libya’s jihadists out of Benghazi,” by Chris Stephan. The Guardian, September 22, 2012.
While the mainstream media was focused on protests at American embassies against an Islamophobic film, the people of Benghazi, the center of the 2011 Libyan revolution against Gaddafi, staged a huge demonstration against the "Ansar Al-Sharia" militia that was believed to be responsible for killing the US ambassador. Despite the militia firing warning shots in the air, tens of thousands of people marched in an action that caused the extremist militia to flee. An extremely significant event that shows that the Islamic fundamentalist militias constantly in the spotlight are, in fact, on the fringes of many of the societies in which they try to embed themselves.
Stefan Fergus focuses on US media, the presidency and China.
“This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close,” by Matt Taibbi. Rolling Stone, September 25, 2012.
A good example of Taibbi’s polemical style, taking pretty much everyone to task for the absurdity of the American electoral process. This is not just an anti-Romney screed (although that forms much of the piece, too). Rather, Taibbi also goes after the "rank incompetence of the Democratic Party," a party which should have every election for the next half century sewn up, but instead has been captured and corrupted by the Washington Game. He also briefly goes after the media, bemoaning the "tendency of pundits to give equal weight to opposing views in situations where one of those views is actually completely moronic and illegitimate."