General News 2011
On Saturday, 4,000 women (and some men) took to the streets of London in response to a Toronto police officer’s comment that women should ‘avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised’. The Slutwalk phenomenon has gained momentum around the world, with marches materialising in numerous countries. Yet this movement is underpinned by a deep contradiction: Slutwalkers invite the world to focus on what they are wearing, yet they simultaneously call for a world in which whatever women wear – no matter how provocative it is – it should never provoke a response. Of course there is absolutely no justification for rape.
( Photo by JB Banks ) Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts. Every waking moment—and even in our dreams—we struggle to direct the flow of sensation, emotion, and cognition toward states of consciousness that we value.
How did more than 160 million women go missing from Asia? The simple answer is sex selection -- typically, an ultrasound scan followed by an abortion if the fetus turns out to be female -- but beyond that, the reasons for a gap half the size of the U.S. population are not widely understood. And when I started researching a book on the topic, I didn't understand them myself. I thought I would focus on how gender discrimination has persisted as countries develop. The reasons couples gave for wanting boys varies: Sons stayed in the family and took care of their parents in old age, or they performed ancestor and funeral rites important in some cultures.
The paranoid style in American politics is alive and well, as I learned after writing about the new Sarah Palin movie Before I say something provocative about Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, the mainstream media, and the culture wars, or revisit the short piece I wrote about "The Undefeated," I insist on airing a complaint. In four months as an associate editor at The Atlantic , I've argued the case that President Obama took us to war illegally in Libya , excoriated him for persecuting whistleblowers , insisted that he betrayed a central promise of his candidacy, and strenuously objected to his claim that he is empowered to assassinate American citizens without due process.
Q. Texas governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ”just a theory” with “gaps” and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.” Perry later added “God is how we got here.” According to a 2009 Gallup study , only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”?
29 July 2011 Last updated at 04:52 ET An estimated 250,000 people in the UK suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Scientists working on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or ME, say they are being subjected to a campaign of vicious abuse and intimidation that is hampering research into the causes of the condition.
The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were this morning firebombed, just as it was about to publish its latest edition, a spoof issue ‘guest edited by Muhammed’ , in response to the Islamist Ennahda party’s victory in the Tunisian elections. Caustic and vulgar (think of a cross between Private Eye and Viz ), Charlie Hebdo prides itself on being an equal opportunities offender, as happy to draw the ire of Christians and Jews (and, indeed communists) as of Muslims. The French press has, so far, been almost unanimously in support of the magazine. But already there have been rumblings elsewhere that Charlie Hebdo went too far, that this was the wrong time and the wrong issue upon whichto be so provocative.
Last week, a video appeared on YouTube featuring a Russian college student named Diana . Dressed in a fitted blazer, leggings, and six-inch heels, Diana teeters along Moscow’s sun-filled streets while talking on her iPhone and carrying a bag from the Apple store. In her hip Moscow accent, she says, The camera lingers on an ornate Orthodox cross resting on Diana’s tan, youthful cleavage as her narration lays out her political platform:
Brooklyn-based journalist Caitlin Curran was fired from her part-time gig at WNYC, the innovative public radio station, because her boss found out that she attended an Occupy Wall Street protest. She's written about her termination at Gawker, where she wondered whether experiences like hers will "dissuade people who have jobs they want to keep from expressing their opinions." It's a disturbing possibility, but reading her story, I couldn't help but focus on a disturbing fact. As regular readers know, Curran and her boyfriend, neither of whom I know, made a sign that displayed an excerpted phrase from an article I wrote.
Can the world's fastest growing nation restore its prime scavenger before there are untold human consequences? Before the recent species collapse, vultures were a vital part of India's sanitation, cleaning carcasses and, as here, scavenging human remains left at the burning ghats on the banks of rivers. (adam woolfi tt / corbis) White-backed vultures were once the most common raptor on the Indian subcontinent.
Like most of the indigenous men on this part of the Mosquito Coast, he made his living diving for lobsters destined for American and European restaurants. And like many of those buried around him, Carlos was killed suddenly – and horribly – by the bends. It is impossible to say what proportion of men from the Mosquito Coast are killed or left paralysed diving for lobster for the international market: there has never been a census of this region, so no one knows how many live here. Accessible only by sea or air, it is a land of wiry mangroves, indigo lagoons and thick jungle, home to an ethnic group called the Miskitos.
I wanted to do a piece on media transparency for some time, but I never imagined that the death of someone I love very much could be the catalyst for this, nor did I foresee quite how disappointed I would be with publications I had previously thought were illustrious; publications I thought valued integrity and accuracy over all else. It turns out I was sorely mistaken. In August just gone, my beautiful and dear friend Kate took her own life; she was 25.
Melinda Gates, arguably the wealthiest woman in the world, talks about behaviour change and the crucial role of luck M elinda Gates sits, calm and engaged, making direct eye contact – not the piercing variety favoured by most executives in the technology world she hails from, but an interested, almost intimate, kind. In her sixth-floor office at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , Gates describes a work life fighting poverty in the developing world, balanced with a home life as a down-to-earth billionaire in Seattle.
Adam Ferguson, Afghanistan , 2009 Adam Ferguson: 'As a photographer, you feel helpless. Around you are medics, security personnel, people doing good work. It can be agonisingly painful to think that all you're doing is taking pictures.' Photograph: Adam Ferguson/VII Network
A pro-democracy demonstrator evades plain-clothed police on the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre (Photo: AP) The liberal blogosphere got its undies in a bunch yesterday in response to some old comments of George Galloway’s on the Tiananmen Square massacre. Galloway had allegedly said: “It is a remarkable thing, that something we’ve been told for 20 years was a massacre, that not a single photograph of a single dead person has been adduced.” Yet many of those attacking Galloway have been complicit in a far more insidious and successful whitewashing of what occurred in Beijing in June 1989.