Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nationinterns 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 please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
— Angela Aiuto:
Angela focuses on money in politics.
“Karl Rove vs. the Koch brothers,” by Kenneth Vogel. Politico, Oct. 10, 2011.
A competition is brewing between Republican insider Karl Rove and the libertarian Koch brothers, with each camp planning to direct more than $200 million to conservative groups in the months leading up to the 2012 election. Could their growing rivalry—already evidenced by what Vogel refers to as a "seemingly competing infrastructure"—ultimately threaten Republican electoral success this November? It’s still too early to tell, but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.
— Cal Colgan:
Cal follows the drug war and human rights in Latin America.
“Paramilitaries may have entered Mexico’s drug wars,” by Tim Johnson. McClatchy, Oct. 7, 2011.
The recent discoveries of dozens of bodies being found in houses and freeway underpasses in the Mexican port city of Veracruz over the past few weeks indicate the presence of a paramilitary death squad in the region. Authorities claim the death squad was created to conduct revenge killings against members of the notorious Los Zetas cartel. With their apparent military training, the death squad’s actions underscore the reality that President Felipe Calderon doesn’t have as much control over the military as he claims.
— Teresa Cotsirilos:
Teresa focuses on "Global South" politics, or sociopolitical developments in areas of the developing world.
“The digital revolution in sub-Saharan Africa,” Laila Ali. Al Jazeera, Oct. 12, 2011.
Here’s a statistic that should challenge long-held perspectives on the process of third world development. By 2015, it is estimated that sub-Saharan Africa will have more people with cell phone access than electricity access at home—and that people with home access to the internet, but no home access to electricity, will reach 138 million. Seizing on these unexpected trends, schools and universities throughout sub-Saharan Africa are exploring the use of mobile technology to assist in teaching. Pilot programs in Tanzania and South Africa have used video technology, downloadable by phone, to make lessons more engaging and interactive—and to reach rural students who live too far away from school to attend. As with the Aakash tablet in India, these development programs have their critics, but nonetheless promise to approach entrenched problems in creative new ways.