Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
Jonah Fisher has been to Rakhine state in Myanmar to meet Rohingya migrants who are being forced to return home - but at a cost.
Fremont police say vandals attacked an inflatable dam on Alameda Creek that resulted in the loss of nearly 50 million gallons of water.
Because what's more fun than losing nearly 50 millions gallons of freshwater during a drought? The selfishness of some can be so disheartening for the rest of the community.
A look at where Iran exerts influence across the region and at the emerging Saudi coalition.
From David Lizotte: "This is a neat article just published March 30. It deals with Iranian influence in specific countries throughout the Middle Eastern region. The explanations are general and perhaps lack more depth however I believe the article is geared more towards people whom truly follow the news and are aware of geo-politics and other aspects of the Middle East. Personally, I am far from being an expert but I like to think I could hold a half way decent conversation in a coffee shop. The article is good in how its basically an overview of Iran and its widening grasp grasp of the Middle East. To complement the general facts are images, specifically maps. This gives more depth to the article because the reader can see the countries (if not truly aware of the geography) and gain more awareness of how Iran is involving itself in different regions. The article then shows the flip side of the coin in displaying the countries involved with the Saudi coalition in preventing the spread of Iranian influence. Again, this complemented by a map.
Upon displaying the two opposing sides the article then demonstrates alliances or at least commonalities in how certain countries are battling (on different levels of involvement) the Islamic State.
Although general, geared towards a more versed/"up to date" audience of Middle Eastern relations this article is still informing and benefiting. It may also spark interest in regards to one reading more and forming a better understanding what the article is stating. For example, one might wonder whom are the Hezbollah and Houthis? (aspects not explained in this article)."
|Suggested by Kendra King|
"Every day, the supervolcano lurking under Yellowstone National Park belches up 45,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — much more than could be produced by the known magma chamber that lies just below the surface. They’ve discovered a magma pool containing enough hot rock to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times, the researchers report online April 23 in Science.
Geophysicist Hsin-Hua Huang of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and colleagues found the missing magma by carefully tracking the seismic waves from nearly 5,000 earthquakes that echoed off the supervolcano’s insides.
While large, the researchers say, the reservoir is only 2 percent melted rock and is too deep to contribute to a supervolcanic eruption akin to the explosion that formed the Yellowstone caldera around 640,000 years ago. The estimated odds of an impending Yellowstone doomsday remain exceedingly slim, the authors assure."
"A massive chart ranks the world's most overweight countries"
-Source: Martinez R. Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity visualization.
"Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati, small island nations in the Pacific, top the list, with roughly four out of five of their citizens being overweight or obese. They are followed by a slew of Middle Eastern countries – Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Mexico, Turkey, Chile and Iceland also rank above the U.S. The U.S. comes in 27th with 66.3 percent of its population being obese or overweight.
The least overweight countries by this measure are Ethiopia and North Korea, with 6.1 percent and 4.4 percent of their population being overweight or obese, respectively."
Sometimes confetti-wielding protesters have a point, even if they struggle to make it themselves.
That was the case during the the European Central Bank's otherwise sleepy press conference on Wednesday, when 21-year old protester Josephine Witt, who was clad in a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "End the ECB ***-tatorship," jumped onto the stage and showered ECB chief Mario Draghi with confetti and a manifesto decrying the "overwhelmingly powerful external environment of the ECB's monetary policy." She was quickly carried off, and taken into custody before being released without charges.
Modern textbooks on Russian history often include an introductory chapter on the country’s climate and natural geography. Writers, it seems, believe Russia’s physical environment is either so significant or so widely misunderstood that students must receive an explicit description. Natural geography and climate are not always important in a region’s history, however, and it is possible to overstate the impact that Russia’s geography has had on its history. The winter defeats of Napoleon and Hitler, for instance, were more than just seasonal coincidences.
What do you get when you mix corporate interest with religiously motivated temperance? A whole lot of Budweiser.
Around the nation, big beer producers contribute to the campaigns of politicians who will support policies that discourage competition from local upstarts—for example, taxes on breweries and laws that prevent breweries from selling their kegs directly to consumers (instead of through a distributor). But what's unique about the South is that there's a voting bloc—the Baptists—whose moral stance against alcohol happens to align with large producers' desires to keep new competitors from getting started in the business. The support of Baptists provides Southern politicians with a reason to hinder brewers that politicians in other regions don't have. As a result, the states with the most Baptists tend to have the fewest breweries.
|Suggested by Edgar Manasseh Jr.|
South Miami officials want to break Florida into two states. They claim Tallahassee isn’t addressing the challenge of climate change. Central Florida is caught in the cross hairs – half of the region would fall into the state of “North Florida”, and the other half in “South Florida”.
Why did ancient Wisconsinites build the mysterious Icehenge on Rock Lake? Was it for religious rites? Astronomical research? Communicating with aliens? We may never know, unless we talk to the five guys who built it. Kevin Lehner and four of his buddies used ice cutters, chainsaws, and tongs to build this massive homage to Britain's Stonehenge. The blocks weigh about 200 pounds each.
King Abdullah joined the family of a slain pilot as the country carried out airstrikes against militants in Syria.
After Jordanian warplanes carried out airstrikes Thursday against the Islamic State in Syria, the fighter jets returned to perform a teeth-rattling “victory lap” above this farm town that has been cloaked in grief.
Soon after Jordan’s King Abdullah II arrived here to offer his condolences to the family of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a pilot slain by the Islamic State, the jet fighters streaked overhead. Their arrival was good theater or good timing, or both.
The message was delivered. Abdullah pointed to the sky, touched his heart and leaned in to speak privately to the father of the airman, who was shown being burned alive in a cage in video released Tuesday.
The wildly popular tweet was aimed at a nation that stigmatized all Africans during the Ebola outbreak. While the US government recommends all its citizens get inoculations, including one for measles, many states allow exemptions for personal or philosophical concerns. Immigrants, however, don't enjoy that choice.
This is EXACTLY where twitter shines...cross-cultural snarkiness at it's finest. See the original tweet here.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Old-fashioned navigation is enjoying a renaissance on the island, where Internet access is still scant.
When Stephan Van Dam began designing two detailed tourist maps of Cuba in 2014, he couldn’t have known that one year later, the prospect of renewed relations between the country and the U.S. could effectively create a whole new market for them. At the time Van Dam, the founder of VanDam’s StreetSmart maps, was catering to a smaller audience: the Americans who could only visit the country if they were Cuban-American or embarking on a “people-to-people” tour run by a licensed guide, and the 1.1 million Canadians and hundreds of thousands of European travelers who visited last year.