Links to Start Your Week 4/27/14

Environment

As a follow-up to my post earlier this week about climate change and its impact on security issues, here is a profile of an Oakland-based activist working to improve food security and environmental education in his community.

And these cool activists in Cleveland are turning vacant lots into urban gardens and growing crops! They are using simple greenhouses called hoop houses that allow them to grow stuff nearly year-round. The food they produce helps provide more healthy options to local residents.

 

Economics

A big of Amazon’s success, it turns out, is due to its successful exploitation of state tax loopholes.

 

Middle East

Syria still possesses around 10% of its declared chemical weapons stockpiles as a deadline for their destruction passed. While I think it is still important that they turned over 90% of their chemical weapons to international organizations, this failure is disappointing. Also, recently there was a chlorine gas attack in Syria. Rebels and government forces each cast blame on the other for it, but some U.S. commentators have pointed out that the attack seems to have been carried out using helicopters, which would indicate that it was committed by the regime. As far as I know, that theory has not been independently verified yet.

Civil war remains the legacy of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

So apparently it is kind of a thing for Israelis to sometimes claim there was never really a Palestinian state, thereby seeking to delegitimize efforts for Palestinian statehood today. Palestinian and Arab activists started the hashtag campaign #there_was_no_Palestine to collect evidence to counter this allegation. My favorite example might be the ID papers for a Jewish girl living in Haifa (a city in present-day Israel) in 1948 stamped “State of Palestine.”

 

Latin America

So El Salvador, along with Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Chile, does not allow abortion for any reason. And they are imprisoning women who have had miscarriages, accusing them of committing “aggravated homicide.” For having a miscarriage.

 

Europe

Check out this first-person account of Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist who was captured by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine and held prisoner for several days.

 

Africa

This month marks the 20th anniversary of democratic elections in South Africa. In April 1994, black South Africans were allowed to cast their ballots alongside white citizens for the first time. Africa is a Country, the ironically named and very informative blog, examines the state of South Africa’s politics today and how they reflect the enduring power of the major players at the end of apartheid.

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