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.
“Russia: Investigate Police Use of Force Against Peaceful Protesters,” Human Rights Watch, May 8, 2012.
This letter, in which Human Rights Watch urges Russia to investigate abuses against protestors by police, details police misconduct during the protests of May 6th and 7th. The letter alleges that the actions of some violent protestors became a blanket excuse for police to engage in "excessive use of force against protesters and arbitrary detentions" against those participating peacefully in actions. Though protests have been occurring intermittently since December, this is the first violent action recorded by HRW.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health and the environment.
“Diary: In Fukushima,” by Rebecca Solnit. London Review of Books, May 10, 2012.
Rebecca Solnit has a track record for shining new light on high-profile disasters, and this time she turns her attention to last year’s tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan. In her lyrical narrative, Solnit probes the disasters’ impact on the relationship between citizens and the Japanese government, focusing on the alienation and distrust that many Japanese felt after the coupled disasters.
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“For Israel, Punishing Palestinians Is Not Enough,” by Amira Hass. Haaretz, May 2, 2012.
Nearly 2,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel have been on hunger strike for weeks now, demanding improvements in prison conditions and the lifting of restrictions like the one on family visits. Israel’s open-ended detention policy has touched the lives of many Palestinians; almost all males have been to prison or have family members who have. Since this piece by Amira Hass, Israel’s highest court has refused the appeal of two hunger strikers that were challenging their detention. With international pressure from the UN and human rights groups mounting, it is unclear if Israeli authorities will make concessions.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power, and political culture.
“Military-Crippling Sequester Must Be Stopped,” by Reps. Buck McKeon and Paul Ryan. Real Clear Politics, May 9, 2012.
As Chairmen of the House Armed Services and Budget Committees, Representatives Buck McKeon and Paul Ryan wrote today of the need to “spare our troops from the consequences of Washington’s failures.” With the prospect of sequestration or across the board budget cuts still looming over the inability of Congress and the White House to come to consensus on federal budgetary priorities, the Chairmen, along with an overwhelming majority of their Republican colleagues in Congress, are choosing to protect the bloated defense budget over food stamp programs and federal employee pensions. Notice how their article is wrapped around a large ad for Lockheed Martin, which is one of the largest defense contractors in the world and a company that has secured the most expensive defense project of all time. It is estimated that the F-35 fighter jet program will cost $1.51 trillion over its life cycle.