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.
“Revealed: CISPA — Internet Spying Law — Pushed by For-Profit Spy Lobby,” by Lee Fang. AlterNet, April 13, 2012.
While the backlash against SOPA legislation was swift and palpable, a new bill with serious implications for Internet privacy is quietly making its way through Congress without as much fanfare. CISPA, as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 is known, is actually backed by tech companies like Facebook and Verizon. This article from AlterNet details how this bill threatens Internet privacy and who stands to gain from it.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health and the environment.
“A New Front in the War Against Malaria,” by Matthew Power. Harper’s, April 11, 2012.
Malaria, a mosquito-born parasite, has been our deadly companion through thousands of years of human evolution. Recently, an ambitious effort to eradicate the disease has been undercut by rising levels of resistance to artemisinin, a derivation of sweet wormwood once hailed as a "magic bullet." Matthew Power reports on the attempt to contain artemisinin-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia and the geopolitics that complicate the endeavor. (Read the complete article from the April 2012 issue if you're a subscriber.)
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“The Movement for Peace Marches On Against the Drug War,” by Bill Conroy. The Narcosphere, April 9, 2012.
The War on Drugs has ravaged American inner cities for decades, but its most devastating effects are saved for the countries meeting our demands for consumption. In Mexico, furious families of the war's victims began a grassroots movement last year, calling it the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and embarking on a goal to end the bloodshed. This article by a long-time drug reporter summarizes two forces behind the violence: American demand for drugs, and American weapons sales.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power and political culture.
“ICBM Coalition Of Rural Senators Fights Nuclear Weapons Cuts,” by Andrea Stone. Huffington Post, April 17, 2012.
On New Year’s Eve, 1983, The Nation published an article by Kurt Vonnegut in which he wrote: “If Western Civilization were a person, we would be directing it to the nearest meeting of War-Preparers Anonymous. We would be telling it to stand up before the meeting and say, ‘My name is Western Civilization. I am a compulsive war preparer. I have lost everything I ever cared about. I should have come here long ago.’” Today, almost thirty years later, the US Congress and defense policymakers remain in desperate need of such a meeting. They have become subjugated by insecurity and beholden to dealers of influence, money and industrial-military power. So it goes.
Connor Guy focuses on racism and race relations.
“Federal Court ruling could open door to equal funding for native kids,” by Tanya Talaga. The Toronto Star, April 18, 2012.
This article sheds light on some native rights issues in Canada—which are sometimes easy to forget when faced with the vast, systemic inequalities and problematic dynamics that are so prevalent in our own country. An interesting read, and an issue that needs more attention.
Ebtihal Mubarak focuses on human rights.
“Einstein on Palestine,” by Albert Einstein. Falestine via El Pias, March 15, 1930.
In a letter published in Falastin in March of 1930, Albert Einstein suggested that an even number of members of each community form a “Secret Council,” consisting of a physician, jurist, worker and a clerical man, who will hopefully lead to a “state in which the differences will gradually be eliminated.” Many activists on both sides nowadays would agree with Einstein’s conclusions that the challenges are still “more of a psychological than an actual nature, and that they can be solved if honest good will be manifested by both sides.”
Hannah Murphy focuses on sex and gender.
“How Organized Labor Helped Win Marriage Equality in Maryland and Washington--And What We Can Learn,” by James Cersonsky. AlterNet, April 15, 2012.
"Fighting for working families, not just certain families," unions played a vital role in passing gay marriage in Maryland and Washington this year. In this article, James Cersonsky demonstrates how a unified progressive front was able to find common ground implement change and how we could recreate it throughout the country.
James Murphy focuses on migration in the 21st century.
“Breivik's toxic legacy,” by Aslak Sira Myhre. The Guardian, April 16, 2012.
As the trial against self-confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik gets underway in Norway, international media is focusing primarily on the details of the case: the killings, the police mistakes, the suits, the uniforms, the guns, the crazed manifesto. But what about the future? This should be the time to confront the hate, to deal with a future where people of different religions and people live side by side. As Asiak Sira Myhre writes in the Guardian, "We are looking so intensely into the eyes of the terrorist that we are becoming blind."
Erin Schikowski focuses on the politics and business of healthcare.
“Study suggests breast cancer is clutch of 10 diseases,” by Kate Kelland. Reuters, April 18, 2012.
A study recently published in Nature shows that breast cancer can be classified into ten different subtypes, with unique genetic signatures. One of the study's leading researchers explained that breast cancer should actually be thought of as an "umbrella term" for what is in fact a larger number of diseases. In the future, he said, treatment can be tailored to the genetic footprint of a tumor.
Elizabeth Whitman focuses on the Syrian uprising, its implications and the wildly varied domestic and international reactions.
“In ‘dream city’ for Syria refugees, hope of return dims,” by Erika Solomon. Reuters, April 13, 2012.
Described by one Turkish official as "a city," the refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey is expanding and becoming more permanent. Schools are being constructed, and instead of tents, refugees are now living in rows of identical cubicles. Some residents are growing accustomed to daily life in the camp, but all of them know why they're there and wonder how long they will be staying.