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Nation Interns Choose the Week's Most Important (and Undercovered) Stories | The Nation

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Nation Interns Choose the Week's Most Important (and Undercovered) Stories

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.

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio:
Letter from Representatives Luis Gutierrez, John Lewis, Mike Honda, and Raul Grijalva to President Obama, sent 7/22/11.
Letter from President Obama to Representative Gutierrez, sent 7/25/11.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez protested outside the White House on eve of the millionth deportation under Obama’s administration. He was promptly arrested, a fact widely reported by the media. But if we dip into some primary sources—namely, the correspondence between Gutierrez and Obama before the arrest but leaked after it—we’ll see that both politicians, ostensibly on the same side, are not even speaking the same language.

Kevin Donohoe:
The State of America’s Children.” The Children’s Defense Fund, July 2011.
This new report from the Children’s Defense Fund shows that between 2008 and 2009 child poverty jumped 10 percent, the single largest annual jump in the data’s history. While Washington focuses on budget cuts and entitlement reform, the study reminds us of just how much our current institutions have neglected American children.

Carmen García:
Bronx Catholic School, Populated by Black and Latino Students, Hires Known Racist as Principal,” by Erica Hellerstein. AlterNet, 8/2/11.
The author explores how a known racist was hired as the principal of the Bronx’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel School (which has a majority black and Hispanic student body). The now ex-principal there, Frank Borzellieri, attempted to create a resolution to teach students the “superiority” of US culture. This is local, civil and relevant racial politicking as it hits close to home:

Sahiba Gill:
Do Austerity Measures Increase the Risk of Social Chaos?” by Henry Farrell. The Monkey Cage, 8/9/11.
If empirical evidence is needed to link austerity with the rioting in Britain and Greece, a working paper from Europe’s leading economic think-tank finds that during the past century there has been a clear and consistent association between expenditure cuts and social unrest of all kinds.

Marc Kilstein:
Iranian Group’s Big-Money Push to Get off US Terrorist List,” by Scott Peterson. The Christian Science Monitor, 8/8/11.
The Christian Science Monitor is out with an important investigative piece on the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an influential Iranian opposition group, and their effort to hire former high-profile US officials to endorse the group’s push to be removed from the US government’s terrorist list. For anyone interested in US-Iran relations, this is a must read.

Shelby Kinney-Lang:
Veracruz AG Sends Wrong Message After Slaying of Journalist,” by Arturo Gallardo. San Antonio Express-News, 8/10/11.
At a scholarship event in late July, the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ) honored those Mexican journalists killed while covering Mexico’s intensifying drug war. The posthumously bestowed lifetime achievement award is perhaps the first instance of a US journalism institution recognizing the journalists that lost their lives in Mexico’s devastating war.

Anna Lekas Miller:
British Riots: Elites "Shocked" The Poor Are Rising Up Against Brutal Austerity Measures,” by Laurie Penny. AlterNet, 8/9/11.
Laurie Penny, a freelance columnist, avid member of UK Uncut, and Londoner places the riots in the context of social austerity: Britain’s poor and marginalized (a class that increases as austerity measures increases) are fighting for a sense of empowerment. It is an important piece in that it is an inside personal, yet political commentary rather than a superimposed analysis.

Zach Newkirk:
Leap of Faith,” by Ryan Lizza. The New Yorker, 8/15/11.
With Michele Bachmann steadily gaining in polls, she is slowly and surely becoming more of a legitimate contender for the GOP nomination. Lizza’s profile on the origins of the Minnesota congresswoman’s political and religious views are a sure read for individuals who only know her from occasional sound bites—or unflattering Newsweek covers.

Natasja Sheriff:
Susitna Hydro, In-State Gas Line Take the Energy Spotlight,” by Richard Mauer. Anchorage Daily News, 7/26/11.
This article caught my interest because of the issues and questions it raises. There’s a need to develop renewable energy sources, but hydropower can be contentious and the impacts uncertain. There are a lot of unknowns around this project in Alaska and the outcome could go either way. One to watch.

Britney Wilson:
The Abortion that Mitt Doesn’t Talk About Anymore,” by Justin Elliott. Salon, 8/8/11.
This article was extremely moving and it epitomizes the need for safe and accessible healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, for everyone.

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