Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Once a pit stop on the long, dangerous trail north to the U.S. border, Tenosique has become ground zero for a remarkably successful push to cut off the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States."
Grupo Beta [in Mexico] was established to provide food and medical assistance to migrants moving through the country to the United States. With facilities across the country along migratory routes, migrants have long become accustomed to seeking out the organization for help.
But since July, activists said that Grupo Beta workers in Tabasco and other border states have begun turning migrants into law enforcement. Several migrants in Tabasco said they had been targeted by law enforcement officials minutes after seeking out mobile Grupo Beta units providing food and water near the border. The plan had an almost immediate impact.
Three new mosaics were recently discovered in the ancient Greek city of Zeugma, which is located in the present-day province of Gaziantep in southern Turkey. The incredibly well-preserved mosaics date back to 2nd century BC.
Zeugma was considered one of the most important centers of the Eastern Roman Empire and the ancient city has provided a treasure trove of discoveries with 2000-3000 houses in remarkably good condition. Excavations at Zeugma started in 2007 and continue to this day.
Construction work on the 930km (580-mile) South Stream project began in Bulgaria in October 2013 but was suspended in June after the European Commission said it may be breaking EU competition rules.
Russian officials accused the commission of blocking the work for purely political purposes. Relations between Russia and the EU have been badly hit by the crisis in Ukraine.
"There is an old saying in Turkish: 'The Turk has no friend but the Turk.' As this country drifts towards isolation under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the proverb is ringing uncomfortably true.
During his 11 years as prime minister, Turkey rose in prominence. It began negotiations for European Union membership. It hugely increased its diplomatic presence, particularly in Africa. Its biggest city, Istanbul, now hosts one of the world's largest airport hubs with an airline that flies to more countries than any other.
But in the past months, perhaps two years or so, something has soured. The world's statesmen still stop by - the US Vice President, Joe Biden, arriving this week - but Turkey today is distinctly lacking friends."
"Nothing in sport reflects the changing demographics of the country more than college football — most especially the decline of the Big Ten Conference and the ascendance of the Southeastern Conference."
There are some delightful musings about regional geographies, nostalgic yearnings and emerging cultural patterns sprinkled in with some pithy critiques on our cultural obsession with sports.
Saddam Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later, one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream.
Solar Roadways are a great concept, but not ready for mass production yet.
The most common charge leveled against the EU in general, and the European Commission in Brussels in particular, is that Europe is drowning in rules.
The leaders of key EU nations are evidently determined to prove this globally held notion to be wrong.
"Luis Estrada has directed a political spoof, “La Dictadura Perfecta” (The Perfect Dictatorship), which brings Mr Vargas Llosa’s slur up to date. This time the dictator is television itself, which controls the president, the political system (not just the PRI), and society. It is, Mr Estrada admits, an over-simplification, but it certainly makes for a neat satire. 'This is the first time in Mexican history a sitting president has been satirized in film,' he says. Whether that’s true or not, Mexico’s high-and-mighty generally enjoy undeserved immunity from lampoon; this film makes a boisterous attempt to redress the balance."
A new film, "La Dictadura Perfecta", makes for a neat political satire of Mexican public life.
"Ignorance regarding the root causes of homelessness have led many communities across the U.S. to restrict food-sharing around town, a new report claims.
In all, 31 American cities have tried various methods of discouraging or prohibiting individuals or organizations from sharing food with their homeless populations since January 2013, according to a survey released on Monday by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)."
THE BACKDROP for our cover fashion feature—Mexico City, one of the world’s largest metropolises and home to both 16th-century churches and modernist museums—encompasses a sometimes chaotic architectural landscape. Behind the multifarious facades, however, the capital’s design history tells a fascinating story, each building contributing to its richly layered past, present and future.
Take Castillo de Chapultepec. The castle, which now houses the Museum of National History, was built in the 18th century for a Spanish viceroy and is a grand example of Europe’s neoclassical influence on Mexico at the time. Closer to the present, a uniquely modern vernacular has taken root as the structures of bygone eras are adapted to modern purposes.
One of the best examples of this synthesis is Grupo Habita’s Downtown Mexico hotel. Designed by architects Abraham Cherem and Javier Serrano, it combines vaulted ceilings and handmade tiles from the original 17th-century colonial palace with contemporary flourishes, such as blond-wood furniture and mid-20th-century lamps. “We wanted to respect the architecture and space of the building, see its real essence,” Cherem says.
Meanwhile, newer buildings, such as Luis Barragán’s Casa Gilardi and Casa Luis Barragán, David Chipperfield ’s Museo Jumex and Alberto Kalach’s Kurimanzutto gallery, often emphasize minimalism and light. “There are so many styles in Mexico City,” Cherem says. “The contrast between the contemporary texture and how we respect the old—that’s difficult to find elsewhere.”
The Showtime drama's version of the Pakistani capital is so inaccurate that it would be laughable — if it weren't so irresponsible.
T.V. producers are well-within their rights to creatively image fictitious people, places, and plots. Artists are also open to take 'creative license' re-imagine actual people, events, and places. That being said, they can be criticized for blatant misrepresentations that reinforce negative stereotypes of people and places. Given the paltry amount of geographic education given in the United States, popular media representations play a large role in shaping ideas and opinions about places with important foreign policy implications. That is why relying on stereotypes in the arts can compound cultural and political understandings between peoples. As the author says:
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks|
The world's largest producer of cacao has shut down its borders due to the virus.
The West African nation of the Ivory Coast — also known as Côte D’Ivoire — has yet to experience a single case of Ebola, but the outbreak already could raise prices.
President Obama designates the San Gabriel Mountains in California as our newest national monument.
It's not just that these are amazing mountains; this move is to protect vital water and other natural resources that are near the Los Angeles metropolitan area and are threatened but overexpansion. This is a move to help Los Angeles protect itself from itself.
"Pacific walrus that can't find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska. An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed Saturday about 5 miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Point Lay is an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage."
|Suggested by Amanda Morgan|
An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States.
The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one.
Despite healthcare spending levels that are significantly higher than any other country in the world, a baby born in the U.S. is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia. Or in Belarus. Or in Cuba, for that matter.
The U.S. rate of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births masks considerable state-level variation. If Alabama were a country, its rate of 8.7 infant deaths per 1,000 would place it slightly behind Lebanon in the world rankings. Mississippi, with its 9.6 deaths, would be somewhere between Botswana and Bahrain.
"I often ask students and audiences a quirky question: "What is the capital of Latin America?" Of course, it is a region of a couple dozen sovereign countries and the colonies of several empires, so there is no real capital. But if there were, I assert, it would be MIA: Miami International Airport. Specifically, the American Airlines hub at MIA is the nexus of most of the hemisphere, as illustrated in this 2002 route map."
"In a paper published Thursday in Science, demographers from several universities and the United Nations Population Division conclude that instead of leveling off in the second half of the 21st century, as the UN predicted less than a decade ago, the world's population will continue to grow beyond 2100."
These articles from the Guardian and National Geographic were first I'd heard of the new population projections for the future. For many years it was assumed that the global population would level out at around 9 billion, but these new projections indicate that it is much more likely that the total global population will be much higher than that.