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.
“Malaysia: Security Bill Threatens Basic Liberties.” Human Rights Watch, April 10, 2012.
A security bill that could "facilitate violations of fundamental human rights" has been presented to Malaysian Parliament, and is expected to pass quickly, according to Human Rights Watch. The bill, which could lessen the harshness of some current procedures (like detention periods and arrests solely on political basis), still raises concerns among activists who contend that the improvements still violate basic human rights and open the door for significant violations.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health and the environment.
“Attacks on Climate Science by Former NASA Staff Shouldn’t Be Taken Seriously,” by Dana Nuccitelli. The Guardian, April 12, 2012.
Iran, gas prices, and Keystone dominate the energy conversation, but global climate change has’t faded completely out of the picture. Last week, leading NASA scientist Jim Hansen asserted that climate change is a "great moral issue" akin to slavery, but he was drowned out by the climate skeptics, who have recently stepped up their public attacks on decades of science. With the "balance"-obsessed news media allowing the skeptics’ untenable arguments to frame an unnecessary debate, Nuccitelli explains exactly who the latest skeptics are, and why they cannot be considered "experts" in the field.
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“Grand Prix Dilemma in Bahrain,” by Frank Gardner. BBC, April 10, 2012.
Despite a profound lack of attention from media, the uprising in Bahrain has continued for more than a year now. The annual Bahrain Grand Prix race was cancelled last year, not out of ideological or principle sympathy for protesters, but largely because the safety of international participants could not be guaranteed. This time around, more participants are voicing their concerns, but as the article points out, it is unclear if the race will be postponed again this time.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power, and political culture.
“Interview with General George Kenney.” The Mike Wallace Interview via the Harry Ransom Center, October 12, 1957.
In tribute to Mike Wallace, who passed away on April 7, I have selected a video this week from the Harry Ransom Center’s archives of The Mike Wallace Interview. In this edition, Wallace speaks with Retired Air Force General George Kenney, who served as commander of the allied air forces in the southwest Pacific from August 1942 to 1945, about Sputnik and the risk of a third world war. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into orbit and was launched by the Soviet Union via an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Though Kenney’s views are very hawkish and Cold War fanatical, in this interview he offers insights into Cold War history and ways of thinking, as well as reflections that are worthy of remembering as the United States and its allies decide how to respond to North Korea’s planned satellite launch sometime between April 12 and 16.