Keep calm, whatever you do

Blues Buzz

The best piece I've read on how heterosexual women see friendship and how that hurts queer women and non-binary folks. Appalachia's booming Latinx population is changing food. Like most Americans, I was raised to be a white man. Imposter syndrome reigns. The extreme cyclists of Navajo Nation. Queer fabulismStreet art in Richmond. How to win elections in a system not set up for us. Returning to a Mennonite homeland. An ode to Adrienne Rich. Hola, partner. What are white writers for? The word America is pretty ugly. The joys and pains of watching today's young queer stars. The fatphobia of Insatiable. Sleeping birds and limp dicks. A great piece on, IMO, the biggest issue with Sorry to Bother You, a fascinating film. On Irish immigration and race.

  © E.A. Crunden

© E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Florida algae bloom = very bad (and it's becoming a huge midterm election issue.) Michigan's Democratic primary centered environmental issues. Baltimore is set to be the first major U.S. city to ban water privatization. Rashida Tlaib is set to be the first Palestinian woman and first Muslim woman elected to Congress -- and she's a champion for environmental justice. Green groups are probing the Trump administration's plans to house immigrants at Superfund sites. Puerto Rico finally admitted the death toll from Maria was 20 times higher than originally stated. 

 


Around the Globe

Africa. A ceasefire and power-sharing agreement in South Sudan. Uganda is hopeful about the agreement -- the country is hosting around one million refugees. Congo continues to eye anti-Ebola measures. Boko Haram killed nearly 20 soldiers in a fresh attack in Borno state. Eritrea wants tourists. Sudan's authoritarian leader eyes another term

Americas. Costa Rica rules against same-sex marriage ban. Venezuela's president survived a seemingly targeted assassination attempt by drone. Colombia's new president has been sworn in. Argentina shot down the chance to legalize abortion -- but seems to have birthed a movement. Chaos in Portland, Oregon after neo-Nazis rally with D.C. up next. Trump slams sanctions on Iran despite outcry from E.U. leaders

Asia & Australia. An earthquake killed more than 300 people in Indonesia. Road protests dominate Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia faces off with Canada. Overcrowding in Australia is becoming a major problem. Israel may have assassinated a top Syrian scientist. Israel's nation state law is still wildly unpopular. No rest for Afghanistan, ever.

Europe. Georgia and Russia butt heads over potential NATO membership. The Trump administration slammed Russia with new sanctions (much to Russia's displeasure.) U.S. tariffs are hurting the Turkish lira. Anti-government protests exploded in Romania.

 


Green Scene

Caribbean islands beg Trump to rejoin Paris deal. In Indonesia, an effort to help children enjoy the nature tourists love -- and to inspire them to protect it. In the Permian Basin, a sea of "man camps." California faces the largest wildfire in its history. Climate change is threatening rice, a Native American staple. Living between life and death in Pakistan as glaciers melt. Inuit dogsled racing is running out of time. Endangered birds in Alabama are threatened by beachgoers. The Green Climate Fund is in crisis. A huge victory for anti-pesticide activists. From Flint to Nigeria. Turning beach plastic into 3-D inventions. A view of hog farming's changing landscape. Fish arrive in the Arctic.


Spoken & Written

"It’s troubling to see how privilege accumulates over generations, particularly white privilege in the U.S., and, when people reach a certain level of safety, to see how they pull the ladder up after themselves." -- Maeve Higgins

 


Recs

MAN, it's been a rough week for your newsletter curator, for entirely personal reasons. To that end, I'm embracing:

Taking care of yourself, even if it's not socially acceptable. | Buying beautiful vegetables from the farmers market (or wherever!) | Having long, good discussions with friends about things that resonate with you, like this article did for me. 

 

The daily grind

Blues Buzz

Life in Iran under sanctions. Immigrant, Montana. Why writing matters in the age of despair. Southern mothers, cruel, loving, nuanced, and fascinating. And how one Southern father is atoning for the tragedy he caused his queer daughter. Confessions of the Fox is excellent and we need more trans writers. (Related: queering the novel.) Queer Midwestern writing and art. Defend Sarah Jeong at all costs. In Austin, reckoning with the Confederacy might include the city's name.

  Advertising hitting too close to home these days. © E.A. Crunden

Advertising hitting too close to home these days. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

California's heinous wildfires. Philadelphia ends cooperation with ICE. Appalachians win against pipelines, but an uphill battle remains. Trump's border wall is threatening a beloved Texas state park renowned for its birdwatching. Portland wins big in fight against fossil fuels. The Trump administration will defend an Obama-era ozone regulation against a lawsuit brought in part by Scott Pruitt. Amid raging wildfires, a bipartisan display of support for fossil fuels in Colorado. 

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Zimbabwe's election drama took a tragic turn, as did Mali's. Tunisia swore in a new interior minister. South Africa is doubling down on a controversial land policy. Who holds the balance of power in Nigeria?

Americas. Nicaragua's government faces off against the Catholic Church and at least 317 people have likely been killed in the violence sweeping the country. Trump threatens shutdown over border wall. 3-D printed guns sparked drama and a last minute intervention in the U.S. 

Asia. Ahed Tamimi is free. Now Trump is willing to meet with Iran but Iran is not willing to meet with Trump. North Korean missiles return. Gunmen took dozens of hostages in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. At least 29 Shia worshippers were also killed in the country when militants targeted a mosque. Israel's nation state law remains a source of controversy for minorities, including the Druze. Guess what, the U.S. and China are still in a trade war! Yemen is on the brink of another cholera outbreak.

Europe. The Pope comes out swinging against the death penalty. It's Spain and Portugal's turn for a heat wave. Turkey's escalating feud with the U.S. over the detention of an American citizen has sparked sanctions. No deal Brexit?

 


Green Scene

California's horrifying wildfires; Greece's horrifying wildfires. China will close 1,000 manufacturing plants to curb pollution. Kolkata, a city of water, struggles in the midst of global warming. Solar power on Navajo land. A retired furniture maker fights for climate justice in West Virginia. The future of coal.

 


Spoken & Written

"A white American telling an Asian American to “go back to where you came from,” for instance, isn’t the same as an Asian American saying the same to a white American, even if neither individual can claim ancestral roots as America’s first residents. To claim otherwise is to be blind to the history and social dynamics of this country." -- from this most excellent Slate rebuttal

 


Recs

This poem: "A position at the university". | Confessions of the Fox, and, more generally, literature in which you can see yourself. 

 

 

Very hot or very wet with no in-between

Blues Buzz

Millennial financial resentment. One furious comic genius. ...Anna March... The problem with dead girl stories. My body image issues also did not go away when I started dating women. Brooklyn's literary makeover through the eyes of its natives. Black, gay, and Catholic in Texas. I do not love or watch Queer Eye, a show straight women love, and this is a good essay diving into that. Paying for stuff is weird now. Aww, Michelle Williams. Jesmyn Ward's true South. When marriages fall apart. Sun dogs. Georgia has a coast. White fragility. Baptized into a Southern summer. Sex toys will never do the hardest work for you. Ask rural Southerners what would improve life in the rural South.

  Cherry almond pancakes for your pains. © E.A. Crunden

Cherry almond pancakes for your pains. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Sweltering heat is overwhelming Texas. The Interior Department purposefully sought to downplay the benefits of national monuments in favor of industry interests. In a letter quietly sent last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers blasted a Pentagon report that altered references to climate change. Activists in Louisiana are fighting the Bayou Bridge pipeline with everything they've got. Fallout from Flint's water crisis continues amid reports that the death toll could be nearly ten times higher than the official count.  Turning SNAP recipients away from farmers markets has environmental implications. Michigan is once again grappling with water problems -- this time over PFAS. Rick Scott, brought to you by oil money!

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Ethiopia eyes democratic reforms while Eritrea may ease its conscription service, which has pushed a number of young men out of the country. India expands its Africa presence. Congo's Ebola outbreak is over. In Nigeria, a crisis between cattle herders and farmers is spiraling. Mali set to vote

Americas. A gunman opened fire in Toronto. Former FARC members took their seats in Colombia's parliament. Argentina's president opened a can of worms with military involvement in national affairs. Venezuela's horrifying inflation rate is still skyrocketing. Trump may strip former U.S. national security officials of their security clearance over their criticism of him. California grapples with the murder of Nia Wilson.

Asia. Iran and the U.S. began the week trading barbs. Israel organized the evacuation of members of the Syrian White Helmets, amid dwindling opportunities for the opposition to win against the government, but left 300 behind. Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet. Pakistan chooses PTI's Imran Khan, who has doubled down on support for blasphemy laws, amid allegations of vote-rigging. North Korea hands over the remains of U.S. soldiers

Europe. Greece is on fire and Britain is drying out, to give you an idea of the weather in Europe. Brexit wars continue because Theresa May can't have nice things. Farmers' protests in France halted the Tour de France. Poles mass-protested the erosion of the country's judiciary. 

 


Green Scene

Aid is coming for farmers suffering from the trade war -- but what about the soybeans? One in every 14 acres in Central Appalachia has been altered by surface coal mining. Crisis in Laos following damn collapse becomes Cambodia's crisis as well. Climate change is making deadly wildfires worse. Deforestation is effecting global water cycles. Drillers and miners won't have to pay for the damage done to U.S. federal land. Seabirds are pooping out plastic. Where did all the BP oil spill oil go? Louisiana's indigenous communities want recognition so they can fight climate change. 

 


Spoken & Written

"I like to think that after I die, my children will look at that place and see a place of refuge, of rest. I hope they do not flee. I hope that at least one of them will want to remain here in this place that I love more than I loathe, and I hope the work that I have done to make Mississippi a place worth living is enough." -- Jesmyn Ward

 


Recs

Drink water, eat less bread (sorry). | Hike, walk, or generally enjoy some place green outside of a car. | Reach out to someone who could be a new friend; they could be cool, you never know. 

 

A dull ache

Blues Buzz

The wonders of Appalachian food. This small Texas town has a complicated relationship with ICE. TopsNow more than ever. Growing up Northern in the South. Countering stereotypes about Indian Americans -- when it comes to sex, among other things. Queer AppalachiaThe truth of Sharp Objects. Korean souls. What do novels about evil children say about us? Everyone has an accent. Eight books about Jewish queer women. When anti-Blackness comes to town.

  Storm coming in the direction of Bar Harbor, Maine. 

Storm coming in the direction of Bar Harbor, Maine. 

 

 


Me

Democratic lawmakers introduced a host of proposed minibus amendments in an effort to limit future scandals like the kind Scott Pruitt generated (they mostly failed, but hey, they tried). The EPA's "secret science" rule is deeply, deeply unpopular. More than half of U.S. school districts aren't testing for lead in their drinking water. Ryan Zinke is doing his best to catch up to Scott Pruitt in the federal investigations count. Setbacks in NYC and California aren't stopping Baltimore from suing Big Oil over climate change.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. A commercial flight carried passengers between Ethiopia and Eritrea, a historic moment. Zimbabwe's former president stepped down voluntarily, per a court ruling, which will allow his successor to take power. The trade war isn't helping Africa. Much ado about Africa and the World Cup. Kenya's mobile phone scam.

Americas. Haiti's prime minister resigned following heated protests. Cuba eyes democratic reforms. Venezuelan refugees pour into Colombia. The head of Peru's judicial branch has resigned amid protests over corruption. Canada's child benefits see a boost. The Trump circus goes on forever.

Asia. A major trade deal between the E.U. and Japan flies in the face of U.S. trade threats. Israel adopted a hardline new law discriminating against non-Jewish residents and launched yet another attack on Palestinians. Pakistan's elections are marred by attacks and accusations, along with potential military interference. 

Europe. Trump met with Putin in Helsinki and essentially sided with the Russian government over the FBI; then he (sort of) backtracked. Hungary panned a global migration agreement. The gas pipeline controversy dividing Europe. Turkey and the Netherlands have resumed full diplomatic ties.


Green Scene

Climate change is killing Lebanon's cedars. Texas is sweltering and California is on fire. India's slow, sweltering suffering. Wildfires are hindering air pollution progress. A win for Minnesota pipeline protestors. Oil king Texas. Meat and dairy emissions are BAD. Coal ash regulations are weakening. Black farmers say they were intentionally sold inferior seeds. Also via Southerly, Georgia could have the world's first sustainable highway. The Endangered Species Act is endangered. Black lung haunts central Appalachia. Oil and gas is hurting rural Texas.


Spoken & Written

“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t'." -- POTUS

 


Recs

I had a spectacularly terrible week, something I don't say lightly as someone with a very glass-two-thirds-empty approach to life. Estranged family members wreaking havoc! Impossible student loan costs I can't afford! Horrifying things happening to close friends! Anyways I'm in a state of trying to pull myself together, so, things I am recommending to myself that you may also find useful are:

Hiking (I'm eyeing the C&O Canal and praying it doesn't rain). | Cutting something maybe bad out of your diet to see how you feel (unfortunately for me I think bread is on the chopping block). | Trying a new recipe.

 

Only the World Cup is good

I was on a brief vacation in Maine last week! Shorter, sparser newsletter as a result, mea culpa. 

Blues Buzz

NEW MAGGIE NELSON. The love for Native literature makes sense. The rise of cli-fi. 'A White Man's World.' My favorite Southern environmental newsletter is now a website and an independent newsroom -- subscribe to Southerly! Seeing women in power. Sharp objects. What even is a Southern writer? What even is queer foodFear of a Black France. The personal politics of being laid off. Hoejabi.

  Bar Harbor, Maine. © E.A. Crunden

Bar Harbor, Maine. © E.A. Crunden


Me

Last week: U.S. cuts to global climate funding are taking a steep toll. In Michigan, polluting industries will now have oversight over the very watchdog meant to hold them accountable. People tried hard to teach Pruitt and aides about climate science -- I verified two such attempts. Drillers in Utah won big with Pruitt.

This week: Undocumented immigrants are afraid to seek shelter amid raging Colorado wildfires. Historic flooding devastates Japan. In Puerto Rico, even the smallest storm can be a threat. Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, does not like it when the media talks about his coal lobbying. Immigrant detainees are being housed within an EPA Superfund site. FEMA finally admits it made mistakes during the 2017 hurricane season that devastated Puerto Rico. 

And a special report from Austin and D.C. highlighting immigration rallies in Texas, with some reporting help from an old friend from home.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. South Sudan almost immediately contradicted a ceasefire. Eritrea and Ethiopia are not at war and people are overjoyed. Social media riots in Uganda. An explosion rocked the Cairo airport mid-week. 

Americas. Andrés Manuel López Obrador will be the next president of Mexico, breaking with years of two-party, more conservative rule. Trade wars, still hot. In Idaho, a man stabbed nine people, many of them refugees, during a birthday party for a toddler, who later died.

Asia. A Sikh leader running for office and a number of other religious minorities were killed in Afghanistan. Istanbul's Pride ended in tear gas. Twelve young Thai footballers were rescued from a cave in a daring, gripping mission. Trade war between U.S. and China going about as expected. India is hearing challenges to the country's homophobic 377 laws, a hangover from British colonialism. India eyes guaranteeing net neutrality. Syria's enduring tragedy. An explosion in China killed 19 people. Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan as 132 people were killed in a devastating bomb blast. 

Europe. The U.S. is just so popular with NATO and also with Britain. The best French prison escape story ever. In Germany, Merkel is forced to make concessions on migration. Boris Johnson dramatically departed U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, along with other prominent names, in a response to Brexit. 

 


Green Scene

A decrease in soil diversity. The Congo will allow oil drilling in protected wildlife areas. Rhode Island sues Big Oil. Who milks America's cows? Cocoa's poverty problem. A technical difficulty is set to keep nearly 2,000 farmers' markets from accepting SNAP benefits. Ireland divests from fossil fuels. Incredibly stressful time to be in Greenland. Black churches set their eyes on food security

 


Spoken & Written

"I'm here in the crowd for my 'Golden Boy' and my partner in Barcelona. I hope you have a lot of fun on Sunday, without forgetting that it is a competition and that regardless of the result you are already champions." -- Brazilian footballer Neymar to his current and former teammates Kylian Mbappé and Ivan Rakitic, who play for France and Croatia respectively


Recs

Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which I had not read when Greer won the Pulitzer and yet I was overjoyed -- that feeling you get in any marginalized community when One Of Your Own wins big. Finally marathoned the book on a very, very long train ride. Absolutely incredible, made somehow all the more incredible by the ability of a gay writer to write gay joy, complete with an upbeat conclusion. Perfect.

&

The new Florence & the Machine album was worth the wait. Lots of highlights, but I just keep playing The End of Love on loop. We were reaching in the dark/that summer in New York is somehow the perfect chorus for this summer, which I am not spending in New York at all. 

 

Contender for worst week ever

  Throwback to a calmer time. © E.A. Crunden

Throwback to a calmer time. © E.A. Crunden


Me

NOAA is reportedly pivoting away from a focus on climate change and towards...the economy and national security? California's war on fossil fuel companies just faced a huge setback. Ryan Zinke really loves "clean" coal and is under watchdog scrutiny. For low-income, Black, and Latinx Texans displaced by Harvey, relief is no guarantee. Native activists are preparing for Standing Rock-style protests following the approval of a Minnesota pipeline.


Around the Globe

Africa. Dozens of people were injured at a political rally during a seeming assassination attempt targeting the president of Zimbabwe. A Sudanese woman who killed her husband after he raped her will not be put to death. Senegal is out of the World Cup and now no African teams will advance, this is devastating news and UNFAIR.

Americas. Meet the man who is most likely to lead Mexico. Trump's border separation policies sparked mass-lawsuits. A socialist woman of color soared to victory in New York City. It was a hard week in SCOTUS rulings, which saw blows to anyone in need of an abortion, anyone impacted by the travel ban, unions, and more. SCOTUS Justice Kennedy is retiring in what is probably the worst political news any U.S. progressive you know has received since November 2016 and no links can possibly convey that. 

Asia. Another term for Turkey's Erdogan, with democracy activists beyond worried. Women in Saudi Arabia can now drive but prominent activists are being arrested. Anti-trafficking activists were raped in India following a street play. Malaysia's former prime minister is in hot water. Iran's economy tumbles. Following the arrival of Yemenis, South Korea is set to tighten its asylum laws.

Europe. Attacks against the Roma appear to be regaining traction in Europe. A breakthrough deal on migration comes for the E.U., but with few details. Even the Swedes are now questioning the "welfare state".


Green Scene

Rain is getting worse. So is deforestation. The Bayou Bridge pipeline seems to be coming, whether environmentalists want it or not. Disposable America. Corn wars are still coming for Pruitt. From the wonderful Southerly newsletter: polluted groundwater found at 14 Kentucky sites and four southern West Virginia water systems are in the top ten for violations across the country. The Mountain Valley pipeline has also been momentarily halted.


Spoken & Written

"Thanks for your prayers, but I couldn't give a fuck about them if there's nothing else." -- Phil Davis, Capital Gazette staff writer


Recs

Be with the people you love most and do the things you love most, or whatever else it is you need to feel ok. I for one am enjoying Mexican enthusiasm for South Korea

Unspeakable evils

Blues Buzz

Contemporary queer classics. The unending impact of closing rural schools. The strange case of the missing James Joyce scholar. Jews, Muslims, South Asians, Arabs, and Sikhs -- all disproportionately pushed in New York while waiting for the subway. Queering romantic comedy. Islam's new native informants. And another from my awesome friend Aysha's newsletter: a radical bookclub. Turning away refugees is an American tradition. Making it less gay. How can we expand the way we write about identities? Amandla Stenberg is gay as hell. I reject your asterisks. The expansion of lesbian pop culture narratives. A woman chef regrets joining the boys.

  A mood. © E.A. Crunden

A mood. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Michigan sets the new standard for confronting the danger posed by lead pipes. A Michigan gubernatorial candidate is behind the push to strike climate change, LGBTQ rights from the state's school curriculum (he has also argued the KKK is an "anti-Republican" organization as opposed to a white supremacist group.) Environmental advocates are suing over Pruitt's Oklahoma coal ash green light. To add to the Pruitt spending list: "tactical pants" and "tactical polos" as well as one lone email for a 10-month period.


Around the Globe

Africa. More than 30 people died in Nigeria's Borno state following an explosion. Ethiopia's prime minister admitted the government had previously tortured prisoners. Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea? The pope thinks Europe should start treating Africa better. Efforts at peace in South Sudan have once again fallen through.

Americas. A conservative candidate triumphed in Colombia's elections. Violence continues in Nicaragua. Canada legalized marijuana in a landmark move. El Salvador is warning migrants against traveling to the U.S. So much to be said about the separation of parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, some of which is being said by the Mexican government.

Asia. Deadly suicide bombings have resumed in Afghanistan. Japan suffered a 6.1-magnitude earthquake earlier this week. Around 200 people are believed to have died in the sinking of a ferry boat in Indonesia. New Zealand's prime minister gave birth to a baby girl. Big week to be a Netanyahu.

Europe. Italy's radically conservative new government has re-upped an old European tradition: targeting the incredibly vulnerable Roma community. Trade war! Don't even talk to me about how I feel about Iceland's loss in the World Cup on Friday, I'm still sad. 


Green Scene

India is facing what some are calling the worst water crisis in its history. At the same time, the country is making big steps on renewables. The human cost of Appalachia's fracking boom. In South Carolina, support for offshore drilling is about to cost Republicans. Privatization comes for Puerto Rico's bankrupt electric company. Holes in the farmer-suicide-crisis story and the struggles of female farmers. Iceland's team of volunteer glacier keepers.

 


Spoken & Written

“When will I see my papá?” -- One of thousands of children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.


Recs

Check in on your friends, especially if they're in a more vulnerable situation than you -- but also just in general. | Go to a march

 

Hotter and hotter

Blues Buzz

Three new Morgan Parker poems and new Carmen Maria Machado. Happy Loving Day. The best writing about Anthony Bourdain. Lost literary treasures of the American Midwest. Hero raccoon. Physical and mental health during Ramzan. Two years after Pulse, not enough has changed. It is the World Cup, here are books! Southern waters. In Athens, Georgia, immigrant servers walk a delicate line. Apologies for the PoPville link but for D.C. residents looking to watch the World Cup. Misogyny is boring, Carmen Maria Machado is anything but.

  The history of women in Northampton, Massachusetts. © E.A. Crunden

The history of women in Northampton, Massachusetts. © E.A. Crunden


Me

Booming oil in West Texas amid a national pipeline shortage may force environmentalists to make hard choices. The G7 summit solidified the "G6-plus-one" dynamic, especially on climate issues. Republicans have thrown their weight behind an Obama-era climate amendment. The DNC has unanimously banned accepting donations from fossil fuel PACs. Trump has nominated a conservative D.C. insider to lead the CEQ. A former solar company employee has sued alleging racial discrimination, including a "White Only" clubhouse. An Oklahoma energy executive helped Pruitt obtain Rose Bowl tickets. Farmers are furious with Pruitt -- but not because of his scandals.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. A fair election in Madagascar? Health officials are still worried about Ebola in Congo. Land-locked Ethiopia may rebuild its navy. That country will receive $3 billion from the UAE to ease its currency shortage. Wage protests are threatening South Africa's power supply.

Americas. The NAFTA World Cup. Mexico eyes a far-left candidate amid brutal election violence. Trump blew up the G7 summit. Crime is costing Brazil a lot. Big time for big mergers. Argentina's big abortion vote brought the country one step closer to legalization. A sex abuse scandal in Chile isn't going away for the Catholic church. James Comey is back.

Asia & Australia. North Korea talks. The U.S. has a new embassy in Taiwan. War is still waging in the Gulf and a Yemeni city is under siege. Japan's labor shortage could be an opportunity for international labor. U.S.-China trade escalation, round five hundred. The leader of the Pakistani Taliban is believed dead in Afghanistan.

Europe. Spain will take the refugees that Italy will not. A lot of super fun things going on in Italy in general! Say hello to North Macedonia. Crimea, back in the headlines. The U.K.'s hardline stances on immigration and visas are hurting the country's ability to stay competitive

 


Green Scene

Australia's devastating drought. A water pipeline for West Virginia. For fish in the Gulf of Mexico, global warming is a mixed bag. "Craft" meat? The Texas town that's all renewable despite the oil boom. Hurricane Sandy created a culture of radical environmentalism. Delhi's smog is back. Kinder Morgan broke rules for months. Antarctica is melting very, very fast. Virginia's sinking island. Can farming save Puerto Rico? Climate change and Greenland's Inuits. Georgia's solar state vibes. Inside Exxon's fight to stop climate change litigation. Amid water scarcity, fish or farms? Bangladeshis are fleeing rising waters.

 


Spoken & Written

“Agriculture is not very happy with Mr. Pruitt at this point." -- David Fremark, whose family runs a farm in South Dakota. 


Recs

Pr(EID)e parties. Combine great things. | Stay cool, stay hydrated if you're in a hot place, be smart about the sun.

 

The worst kind of familiar

Last week's newsletter was eaten for a lot of people -- if you missed it, it is here, with some very Puerto Rico-heavy coverage!

Blues Buzz

The devastating loss of Anthony Bourdain, who you should always read. The evolution of queerness in crime fiction. Life in the borderlands. Alabama's Republican women might still make history. Jane Fonda is and has always been an icon. Southernmost. I am intrigued. Mo Salah is an icon. How Native is Native enough? Artemisia. For writers, having children (or not) is always fraught. Unapologetically lesbian Latinx poetry. The abortion clinic that wasn't. Boston Review's terrible Junot Diaz response has prompted an exodus. A Socialist strategy in Jackson. How Killing Eve subverts the male gaze. Butch love letter. Memo to Shaun King from a Black Jew. No one really understands the South. 

  We have taken up bread-making. © E.A. Crunden

We have taken up bread-making. © E.A. Crunden


Me

I got a sunburn covering this week's efforts by the Poor People's Campaign, which highlight the intersection between ecological devastation and health care

West Virginia coal miners sue Gov. Jim Justice over bounced paychecks. Prominent Democrats are calling for a hearing into Puerto Rico's possibly staggering death toll. A bipartisan effort countering the White House's offshore drilling plans emerges in the South. Amid resignations and new scandals for Pruitt, Trump still maintains the EPA administrator is doing a good job. Trump will miss a key climate change meeting at the G7 summit by mere hours.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Egypt's president began his second term amid crackdowns on various freedoms. Ethiopia will lift its state of emergency two months early. The country is also eyeing a peace deal with Eritrea. South Africa's Zuma appeared again in court over corruption charges. 

Americas. At least 75 died in Guatemala following a volcanic eruption. The U.S. is pushing for the Organization of American States to suspend Venezuela. Mexico hit back at the U.S. over trade. U.S. ambassador to Germany is a real fun, Nazi-loving time.

Asia & Australia. China-Australia relations not so hot right now. South China Sea drama returns. Israel brushed off the death of a young Palestinian medic, dismissing her killing as an accident. Afghanistan and the Taliban announced a ceasefire for Eid-al-Fitr.

Europe. NATO began a massive exercise in Poland and the Baltics. Hungary eyes even harsher measures for those considering helping undocumented immigrants. Spain gets a pro-E.U., mostly-female government. The U.K. gave Northern Ireland a slap over its abortion laws.


Green Scene

China takes aim at diesel. Fatventure coming soon. A plan to dam the Pearl River in Mississippi is meeting with opposition. Texas ag is falling victim to Trump's trade disputes. A town struggling with its history of toxins wants help from the EPA. Toxic drinking water becomes a campaign issue.

 


Spoken & Written

“If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” -- Anthony Bourdain, who like all men went awry many a time, but had many a decent thought

 


Recs

Start something and see it through -- I took up running 2-3 months ago and ran a 5k on Friday. | Eat a burrito, maybe even eat two, if it is a very, very trying day.

 

Fear is a demon from hell

Programming note: this newsletter is taking a one-week hiatus to accommodate both a reporting trip and an undergrad reunion. Mea culpa.  

Blues Buzz

An ode to Marfa, Texas. Getting the fuck out of Raqqa. Re-writing the narrative of Appalachia. I live for Michelle Tea. A beautiful piece on Ramzan (Ramadan) and fasting. For Muslim Puerto Ricans, a time of healing and hardship. An Irish Problem: On the country's coming abortion reckoning. I will read absolutely anything connected to Dorothy Allison. Notes on dyke camp. Her Appalachia. The many voyages of Walter Anderson. Hunting for a lesbian canon. Migration season.

  Summer spring rolls we did, in fact, make. © E.A. Crunden

Summer spring rolls we did, in fact, make. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Indigenous groups, environmental activists, and institutional investors representing more than $2.5 trillion are calling on oil and gas companies to steer clear of Arctic drilling. Following the release of emails revealing White House and EPA officials sought to block a health study pertaining to toxic chemicals, lawmakers are demanding answers. A North Carolina solar group partnered with a Black church in a failed effort to flout a utility monopoly. Everyone is mad at Scott Pruitt except for Scott Pruitt. MORE Virginia pipeline updates: a nonprofit is suing the Forest Service after an anti-pipeline protestor was denied medical care. An axed NASA climate science program is back from the dead.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Kenya is set to investigate a deadly dam burst. Political unrest haunts Burundi. South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel following deadly Israeli crackdowns on Palestinian protestors. The country is also facing a listeria outbreak.

Americas. There will be an independent probe into the killing of anti-government protestors in Nicaragua. A dam burst in Colombia has displaced 5,000 people. Canada eyes adding a third gender option to its next census. First whale sighting of the year goes to Nova Scotia! 

Asia. Suicide bombings in Indonesia were carried out by one family. Diplomatic drama in Pakistan. More than 50 Palestinians died and more than 2500 were injured when Israeli soldiers fired on protestors in Gaza. The UN has condemned the violence. Iraqi elections yielded surprising results. Maybe no North Korea talks? But trade talks with China continue.

Europe. Another knife attack in Paris. In Hungary, the war on Soros is working -- at least in so much that it is shutting down democracy efforts. The Russian ex-spy allegedly poisoned by the Kremlin has been released from a hospital in Britain. 

 


Green Scene

The hidden costs of Romanian coal. The Appalachian boom. In the Ivory Coast, intense rainfall could harm cocoa production. One West Virginia town is still haunted by a coal mine explosion. Erosion of a culture. Let us now blame the rocks. Texas and California may not be as prepared for the summer as everyone else. Unmasking a salmon virus. Ship soot phones? This snail memory story is both cool and terrifying.

 


Spoken & Written

“Stop being so uptight and boring and xenophobic and just let people figure out how to lives their best lives.” -- Michelle Tea

 


Recs

Don't save packing for your reporting trip to the last minute. | Be okay with saying no (or yes, whichever you need.) 

 

We will never be here again

Editor's note: I'm back from Puerto Rico and Northampton and thus so is this newsletter! Slightly fuller in some areas and sparser in others as a result, evergreen mea culpa. 

Blues Buzz

In the wake of damage. Sure, straight people love to talk about the LGBTQ cinema boom, but what's happening to QUEER cinema? The deeply complicated Philip Roth, A Problematic Man but also An Important Jew, has passed away. Rural America is a hospital desertTowards a greener Ramzan (Ramadan). Icelandic fiction is a family affair. Poland, my love, and the International Man Booker Prize. The original Southerners: Native Americans. Men see their writing as canon (it is not.) Sad white men. Queer movements -- forging community in anti-queer spaces. Eighteen Black women running for office in Alabama. The new generation of indigenous chefs. Beto v. Ted and the fight for Texas Latinx voters. Finland's radical libraries. Learning to write characters like you can make you feel less alone. On the poetics of fatness. The queer history behind A League of Their Own. A podcast for LGBTQ Alabama. The closure of Atlanta's homeless shelters. Honoring food justice in the South.

  San Juan, Puerto Rico. © E.A. Crunden

San Juan, Puerto Rico. © E.A. Crunden


Me

I was reporting in Puerto Rico last week! I wrote about how islanders are reeling from Maria, but also from Puerto Rico's many pre-existing problems -- which they wish they could be addressing instead. I also wrote about how Puerto Rico's most vulnerable communities lived in a state of constant emergency before Maria ever arrived; since the storm, the solidarity and unity they have built has been put to the test. Back on the mainland (a term many people take issue with, but used here for differentiation purposes), I covered the muted reactions from U.S. officials to reports that the death toll following Maria may be close to 6,000.

Non-PR-related: Members of the EPA's Science Advisory Board are set to challenge the White House on car emissions. Rick Perry: another Trump administration official into expensive premium class travel. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt spent roughly the cost of a studio apartment in D.C. on 12 fountain pens. Pope Francis is set to engage Big Oil executives on climate change in Rome.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Beheadings in Mozambique. Gambia's former dictator's bogus AIDS clinic has ignited rage. In a nod to the country's young population, Nigeria has lowered the required age for president. The U.N. is threatening an arms embargo on South Sudan. Now there's an Idi Amin museum

Americas. Hurricane Maria's death toll may have been closer to 5,000 or 6,000. Colombia's presidential runoff is another referendum on peace by some measures. Many Brazilians are calling for a military takeover. Here comes the trade war -- now featuring the other two North American countries! Nothing is noted here about Roseanne or Samantha Bee, but yes, that did happen. 

Asia. Another summer, another deadly heatwave in Karachi during Ramzan (complete with creative ways to cool off.) Pakistan and India eye a ceasefire in Kashmir. The Syrian regime is winning the war after seven years of unending violence. The women of the Tamil Tigers. Gazans are still dying -- Israeli forces killed a paramedic on Friday. The latest on North Korea-U.S. talks is...still foggy.

Europe. Ireland has overturned its archaic abortion ban in a historic moment brought to you predominately by a lot of people with uteruses. Hungary's anti-migration crusade continues. A political crisis is ripping Italy apart (a non-solution, which came late in the week, spells trouble for the E.U.) A Russian journalist was assassinated in Ukraine, or so we all thought (he was not.) Greece protests a new wave of austerity measures.  E.U.-U.S. trade war here we go! Spain's prime minister is out.

 


Green Scene

Drowning in plastic. Fun time for press and the EPA. National Parks, now uncensoredNature is done with the EPA. Fish feel pain. Democrats are being stupid about climate change, too. Family-owned versus family-farmed and who really owns American farmland? The rural South is treated like America's toilet bowl. Appalachia wants to help Puerto Rico. Mapping light pollution. Of the 68 national parks and monuments at risk for oil spills in the U.S., 23 are in the Southeast. A year on from the U.S. announcement that the president would exit the Paris climate agreement, mayors, including Republicans, are still the ones leading the way towards a greener life. After Flint, Michigan wants stringent water restrictions. Pipeline opponents aren't happy with Justin Trudeau. What the Texas Panhandle drought is doing to farming.

 


Spoken & Written

“Even if you’re moving to a ‘better’ place, a ‘better’ area, you’re still going to miss that. It’s not that it’s better, it’s that it’s different, and that’s what people don’t understand. There’s a lot going on in these communities, a lot of activities. There’s also people that can’t just move because they don’t have the ability to do so.” -- Estrella Santiago Perez, an environmental manager with ENLACE.

 


Recs

Sleep when you need to, pause when you need to. | The new Hayley Kiyoko album, an ode to feminine queerness (start with Curious, or He'll Never Love You.)

 

All at once

If you missed last week's newsletter, it is here.

Blues Buzz

Zinzi Clemmons is one of many women coming for Junot Diaz. Women are not the ones writing Letters to the Editor. What it means to be a disabled writer. In writing, a diaspora flourishes. Jewish matchmakers, hard at work around the world. The Mexico City restaurant using Texas BBQ to rescue deportees. Dating while non-binary. Queer intersections and Southern spaces, a call. Queer women can't afford to be ambivalent about motherhood. A thousand crossings.

  Mexico City. © E.A. Crunden

Mexico City. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Colorado State University apologized after two Native American students were detained and questioned during a campus tour. Actors were paid to attend New Orleans city council meetings in support of a new power plant. Sea levels are rising and South Florida isn't prepared. (Relatedly: Last year, climate change helped make Hurricane Harvey a nightmare -- this year, hurricane season could be even worse, and many communities aren't prepared.) Connecticut, however, might be. A judge ruled against Louisiana as controversy continues over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The latest in Virginia anti-pipeline protests: a family is facing fines for protesting on their own land and doctors were again denied access to protestors. A climate science denier took over NASA less than a month ago -- now, say goodbye to the Carbon Monitoring System.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Tunisia finally voted in municipal elections. Zambia, friend, we need to chat. At least 200 people have died in Rwanda in landslides this year. Congo has an Ebola outbreak and one person has already died. Straddled with debt, Gambia attempts to sell off its ex-leader's luxuries. 

Americas. Honduras has expressed displeasure with the U.S. decision to send thousands of protected immigrants back to the country. Indigenous communities are suing Canada over years of abuse. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal, enraging virtually everyone but Saudi Arabia and Israel. Conflicts of interest forever!! A lot of Michael Cohen news.

Asia & Australia. Afghans attempting to vote are facing violence. Pakistan's interior minister survived an assassination attempt over the weekend. A revolutionary time for Pakistan's trans and third gender communities. Tensions between Israel and Iran explode. India is still plagued by dust storms. Three Americans held by North Korea have returned home. Mahathir Mohamad will lead Malaysia, a major turn for the country. Iraqis head to the polls. Australia suffered its deadliest mass shooting in years.

Europe. Poland's Jews live in fear. Putin, round four. Germany and France reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal. Hungary's government continues to live up to its reputation as Hungary's government. An attack on a journalist may affect Montenegro's E.U. membership bid.

 


Green Scene

Coal country (diverse coal country!) on Trump. California will require solar panels on all new homes. A climbing memoir without a happy ending. On being a plus-size hiker. A Kenyan dam burst, killing at least 40 people. Trade disputes mean China is looking to purchase soybeans from Brazil. There is a lot of bad hog waste news but here is good hog waste news. Also good news: Southern wind energy! Training the polar bear patrol.


Spoken & Written

"This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn't bring calm, it didn't bring peace, and it never will." -- Donald Trump on the Iran Deal. The IAEA has certified that Iran has complied with the deal 11 times. 

 


Recs

Pachinko, which is fascinating so far. | Making momos, which we did last weekend. 

 

Early heatwave

Blues Buzz

His name was Dwight. Remembering Shah Marai. The Chinese seniors struggling not to grow old alone. When will Austin City Limits center women? The Black women changing the romance novel industry. Men are so bad we cannot have a Nobel Prize in literature this year. Time's up for Junot Diaz. What the actual hell.

  Seattle, Washington. © E.A. Crunden

Seattle, Washington. © E.A. Crunden


Me

Scott Pruitt is facing at least 10 federal ethics investigations and the "condo" scandal is still escalating. The former oil spokesman credited with starting the "Lock her up" chat at the July 2016 Republican National Convention is being eyed for a key EPA role. Doctors attempting to treat anti-pipeline protestors in Virginia were "shocked" at the lack of access they encountered -- one told me an official repeatedly referred to the protestors as "criminals" and the space as a "crime scene." U.S. Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence despite rising Islamophobia. Developing countries will suffer more from climate change -- but Western polluters aren't stepping up to fill the climate funding gap. FEMA didn't mention climate change in its 2018-2022 strategic plan and lawmakers want answers.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Violence in Mali claims more lives. A new constitution for Chad. Morocco has severed ties with Iran over the occupied Western Sahara. In other Morocco news. Black rhinos return to Chad. South African miners died after an earthquake sparked a cave collapse. 

Americas. Central Americans attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border met with resistance from border patrol. Canada and Mexico avoided tariffs again. The Dominican Republic ditched Taiwan for China. Brazil disagrees that it has a trade deal with the U.S.

Asia. In Thailand, protests continue over building developments in a forest. More Palestinians died at the hands of Israeli soldiers amid ongoing protests in Gaza. Much ado about Bibi still hating Iran. Palestinian leader Abbas apologized for anti-Semitic remarks. A brutal week for Afghans, especially Afghan journalists.  India says all of its villages now have access to electricity.

Europe. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned following an immigration scandal (Sajid Javid is in.) Armenia's protests continue. The Basque separatist ETA is disarming

 


Green Is A Thing

A shakeup coming to the National Parks Service? More than 100 people have died amid dust storms in northern India. North Carolina is launching an environmental justice advisory board. West Virginia's never-ending pain. In Virginia, war over two planned pipelines is having results -- the Department of Environmental Quality will take more public comments over the Mountain Valley Pipeline specifically. Hawaiian volcano! A Chinese dam threatens orangutans. 

 


Spoken & Written

“My favorite meat is hot dog, by the way. That is my favorite meat." -- Mitt Romney

 


Recs

Drink a lot of water. The world is warming. | Take some chances! I just said yes to a reporting trip and I am very nervous but at a certain age you just kind of have to do these things I think?

 

Dirty Computer chaos

Blues Buzz

How activists in the South are trying to stop deportations. On Giant's shoulders. How Janelle Monáe found her voice. Also: HAPPY DIRTY COMPUTER DAY, everyone has feelingsHoly spaces in Houston. On passport privilege. Working class queer immigrants. What to do about Texas, the nation's most controversial state? LGBTQ dating apps in Egypt come with hope and harm. Justice Kagan may have a way to end the travel ban. On Bill Cosby's "pound cake" speech and his undoing. Japan's Rent-A-Family industry. Inside the implosion of RNS. What being a lesbian means. Cameron Esposito is the comic the #MeToo movement needs. The Orthodox Jewish lesbian spit movie that I really need to see asap. What Waffle House means to Southerners. In Alabama, a reckoning as a lynching memorial opens.

  Spring comes to D.C. © E.A. Crunden

Spring comes to D.C. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Koch influence on Trump climate policy is drawing scrutiny. References to climate change keep disappearing from EPA websites, with global implications. China is seeking a renewable energy push as the U.S. falls behind. Attorneys have penned a letter to local officials in Virginia expressing concern that an anti-pipeline protestor might die or suffer injury if she is in fact being deprived of food and water. The Trump administration is quietly targeting documented immigrants and their partners

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Madagascar's leader called for an end to deadly protests. Starting a blog in Tanzania is a bit expensive. A gay love story isn't going over well in Kenya. Ethiopia eyes term limits for its prime minister. Pot in Zimbabwe.

Americas. The caravan carrying aspiring asylum seekers (predominately Hondurans) arrived at the U.S. border. Nicaragua is going through a massive uprising. Priests keep dying in Mexico. A deadly van attack in Toronto by a man who seemingly belonged to a strange, walled-off community known for its misogyny. In the U.S., thousands of Nepalis lost their home overnight. Teacher walkouts continue.

Asia. At least 57 people died in a bombing outside a voting registration center in Kabul. Israel scrapped plans to mass-deport African citizens back home. A North Korean nuclear test site might have collapsed? North and South Korea move towards historic peace talks. The leader of the Houthis is reportedly dead in Yemen.

Europe. Armenia's prime minister resigned after massive protests. Both French and German leaders tried their hand at U.S. diplomacy this week. Spain's enduring machismo culture has ignited a firestorm. In Romania, more drama over Israel.

 



Spoken & Written

"For me, lesbian completely casts aside the idea of men. It puts me and the people I love ahead of the patriarchy. It relieves me of even pretending that I give a shit what any of them have ever thought. It thankfully gives me space to center women (and other people who aren’t men), which is all I’ve ever wanted to do." -- Laneia Jones, Autostraddle executive editor 

 


Recs

Take a sick day when you need to. (Ask how my week went.) | Listen to every track on Dirty Computer, an ode to queerness, Blackness, femininity, and being an other. But maybe start with Crazy, Classic, Life

 

On the go

Blues Buzz

Gay, Muslim, and a refugee in Trump's America. What does an American city sound like? The silence (but what about the women who have loved male survivors?). Hags in your face. Blue Alabama. In love and anxiety. How a male author would describe you. Armenian and Urdu, a comparison. G-d save Austin. Poetry by indigenous queer women. What did the South do to arroz con pollo? Memory of the Holocaust slips away and anti-Semitism roars. On seatbelts and sunsets (and two other new things from Nif.) The South's push to re-segregate its schools. All the novels now Pulitzer Prize-winning author Andrew Sean Greer almost wrote. The local carb diet.

  Mt. Rainier. © E.A. Crunden

Mt. Rainier. © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

Last week: The border isn't happy with the National Guard deployment. Texas' wealth-based bail system sparks yet another lawsuit. Meet the new Poor People's Campaign. The DOJ will halt and audit a legal aid program for detained immigrants facing deportation. Mexican-American studies finally get the go-ahead in Texas -- with one major caveat.

This week: Kansas farmers pay the price for White House trade rhetoric. A Texas official thinks millennials and "especially students" are to blame for the state's suffering oil and gas industry workforce shortage. Even EPA staffers with deep industry ties aren't happy with the agency's "secret science" initiative. 

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Chad is no longer included in the U.S. travel ban (and it's still unclear why it was ever included to begin with.) More than 250 people died when an Algerian plane crashed. The U.N. wants to eliminate yellow fever epidemics across the continent. Malawi's cholera death toll rises. Can the country rid itself of HIV?

Americas. Hope for queer people in Trinidad and Tobago. Twenty people died in Brazil during an attempted prison break. Cuba without a CastroA mea culpa from Pope Francis on sex abuse allegations in Chile. 

Asia. Syria's catastrophe is fueled by Russia, Israel, and Iran. The U.S. could get involved even more than it is??? Salman Khan is literally never going to have to actually pay for being a shmuck. A Palestinian journalist was shot and killed by Israeli snipers during protests in Gaza. The rape and murder of a young child exploded tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India. Banknote shortage in the Subcontinent. A U.S.-North Korea talk maybe coming to a world near you.

Europe. Hungary's right-wing leader was re-elected following an anti-Semitic campaign that seems set to continue. A sex abuse scandal roils the Nobel Prize committee. Romanian leaders brawl over Israeli embassy move.

 


Green Is A Thing

Texas makes billions from oil and gas -- at the expense of rural communities. The connection between Hurricane Harvey and jail. Endangered rivers. The Puerto Rican town trapped in toxic waste. Houston's soggy future. Red states are leading the wind energy charge.

 


Spoken & Written

“El Paso is safer than Washington D.C., than Chicago, than most of the country’s major cities. But they still insist that we need walls, that we need to militarize the border." -- Fernando Garcia, executive director for the Border Network for Human Rights


Recs

Climb a mountain. (A real one, like Mt. Rainier, where I was last week.) | Maybe don't travel ALL the time (as I feel I'm currently doing.)

A far cry from exodus

Blues Buzz

From Selma to Montgomery. Marriage equality is a matter of tribal sovereignty. An imaginary week without anxiety. The Sherpa women smashing glass ceilings. We need more women of color working in the outdoors. The myth of idealogical diversity. How birth control advocates found an ally in religion. Tinder and Bumble are at war. A betrayal. Unruly bodies. Can straight couples survive #MeToo? Wonderful Richmond.

  © E.A. Crunden

© E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

The citizenship question is going to mess with Texas. In a blow to Trump administration, undocumented teenagers seeking abortions will be allowed the procedure writ large as an ACLU lawsuit proceeds. A massacre in Gaza left 15 dead and more than 700 people wounded. Trump spent two days attempting to link "caravans" to DACA -- incorrectly. China is hitting U.S. farmers where it hurts following White House trade antics. Puerto Rico will close 283 schools amid dwindling funds and population decline.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. RIP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Sierra Leone's post-election drama is just getting started. South Africa's Jacob Zuma has been charged with corruption. Ghana is going forward with upping U.S. military presence in the country.

Americas. Caravan drama. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is in a lot of trouble but going forward with his campaign. Trump is getting ready to send troops to the southern border and the Pentagon isn't pleased. The majority of Canadians think a trade war is coming. Facebook drama forever. Teachers are on strike across the South and Appalachia.

Asia. China responded to U.S. tariffs -- with its own tariffs. Anti-India protests are sweeping Kashmir. India briefly floated -- and then walked back -- efforts to ban "fake news." In Israel, a deal and then limbo for Africans seeking refuge. For Gazans, a week of tragedy and resolve. Where is Googoosha? Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been convicted on a number of charges including bribery and extortion. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Raza called elections.

Europe. Russia is cracking down on Telegram, a messaging app used in many parts of the world where censorship has stomped out alternatives. Efforts to reform various sectors aren't going over well in France. Hungary's increasingly authoritarian government is on the way to re-election

 


Green Is A Thing

U.S. conservatives are still way behind on climate consensus. Hurricane season 2018 will be above-average. And, hurricane season is eight weeks away and the U.S. still isn't ready. Clean air and helping the whales. Erasing the anthropocene. The dying coal ash spill workers of Tennessee. The next Flint?


Spoken & Written

“People think it’s a concept. People are like, ‘oh, we’ve already seen a music video about two girls,’ and it’s like, cool, I’ve seen a video about a girl and a guy literally my entire life, 4 bajillion times. So why is mine a concept and yours a reality?” -- Hayley Kiyoko

 


Recs

Giving something up for awhile (like, say, bread). | Reading instead of watching television or your screen.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

  How to feel less homesick. © E.A. Crunden

How to feel less homesick. © E.A. Crunden


Me

The March for Our Lives showed calls for gun control transcend blue and red. California became the first to sue the Trump administration over the Census 2020 citizenship question. The Senate's 22 women slammed 'inaction' on sexual harassment legislation. As Texas cracks down on immigrants, Latinx lawmakers and activists are working to unite the border. Milwaukee students of color say it's time for police reform in schools.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Elections in South Africa are looking unlikely. Egypt's election went as expected with the official results expected Monday. Ghana opens to the U.S. military. The Sudanese ceasefire has been extended. Congo's president is deeply unpopular.

Americas. Graverobbing in Chile? Heterosexuals in Argentina truly doing the most! Venezuela's Measles outbreak is worrying its neighbors. An overcrowded prison in the country caught fire, killing nearly 70 people. Ecuador says no more internet for Julian Assange. The U.S. and U.K. just keep expelling Russian diplomats. Life is about to get even worse for anyone who wants a visa to the U.S.

Asia. India is now the world's third-largest producer of electricity. In the Holy Land, Jews and Arabs near population parity according to Israeli officials. Clashes between Gazans and Israeli military turned deadly in the lead-up to Passover. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un went to China. South Korea is, to many observers, Trump's first trade victory. Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan.

Europe. More than 60 people, many of them children, died in a Russian mall fire earlier this week. A poisoned former Russian spy and his daughter were said to have little chance of survival, though the daughter now appears to be improving in health. Everyone is expelling diplomats over the crisis. The murder of a Holocaust survivor in France has many worried.


Green Is A Thing

Life at an Alaskan salmon cannery. What gives, Patagonia? Winter in one map. Inside Antarctica, where changes will affect us all. Climate change comes for Louisiana. The White House favored Texas over Puerto Rico when it came to hurricane aid. The impermanence of permafrost.


Spoken & Written

“I am not afraid of him or of his immigrant-hating supporters. My family and I will answer the census. We will not answer the citizenship question. I will urge everyone who can hear my voice to not answer the citizenship question.” -- Jessica Azua of the Texas Organizing Project will not be answering the citizenship question

 


When nothing feels nice at all ever

Blues Buzz

A feminist history of the bicycle. Black and Midwestern. The Delta Chinese. Filipinx food finds its footing in the U.S. The uprising of women in red states is just beginning. Why we need queer books. The racial wealth gap. Fifteen years ago, America destroyed my country. The desert, divided. “We are made of the all the things we have consumed.Remembering Brazilian lesbian activist Marielle Franco. Photos to challenge your assumptions about race and coal country. Appalachia isn't Trump country. Celebrating Nowruz in America. Related: how the media fails AppalachiaQueering seder. What isn't mine isn't mine.

  Mexico City © E.A. Crunden

Mexico City © E.A. Crunden

 

 


Me

A fourth bombing shook Austin and a fifth closely followed (albeit closer to San Antonio.) The suspect later died in an explosion following a car chase. Six months after Maria, Puerto Ricans rallied at FEMA. Back and forth over tariffs is threatening the very regions Trump vowed to revitalize. Here's how the world reacted to John Bolton's appointment

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Around 14 people were killed in an explosion in Somalia on Thursday. Nigeria is facing a Lassa fever outbreak. An African free trade zone. Political violence is playing out across Sierra Leone. Zambia's leading party will see to impeach the country's president.

Americas. Another journalist was murdered in Mexico, this time in Veracruz. On sea access, it's Bolivia v. Chile. There's now a tuberculosis outbreak in Venezuela. Government-sponsored segregation in Houston. Bolton incoming.

Asia. Nearly 30 people died in a bombing targeting a Persian New Year's celebration. Crackdowns on drug dealers continue in the Philippines. China is warning the U.S. the country isn't afraid of a trade war -- or targeting U.S. farmers. (Relatedly, the U.S. snubbed Japan on tariff exemptions.) Eastern Ghouta is still in hell.

Europe. Anti-Semitism continues to factor heavily into Hungary's election. Indeed, another term for Putin. Drama over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K. is sparking a crisis. Sarko's back. Mass protests in Poland as the government tightens abortion restrictions. ISIS claims another attack in France.

 



Spoken & Written

"Human scum." -- North Korea loves John Bolton! 

 


Recs

Spring cleaning. | Bake a cake -- lemon or carrot, maybe. 

 

In this house, we eat Tex-Mex

Blues Buzz

The people left behind by #MeToo. The movement comes for Sherman Alexie. Climbing needs more first ascents by women. International students aren't coming to the U.S. The West Virginia teachers' strike is a model for the leftHow to understand the strikeSome Eileen Myles. Danny Ortberg on the joys of transitioning and how white men are still garbage. Puerto Rican schools seek emotional healing for teachers and students. What happens after progressive revolution comes to a city like Durham? 47 passionate comments from straight people on an article saying there is no such thing as straight people. Thinking about Kanye's Katrina moment. RIP Stephen Hawking. What's wrong with the Nat Geo twin cover. Immigrant life in Florida. The common heart. What sucks about Gigi and Zayn's breakup. The 75-year Christian interracial farm experiment. Too large a thing to contain. The wonderful history and importance of Tex-Mex, the true food of the Lord. The ties that bind the Global South.

  Mexico City. © E.A. Crunden

Mexico City. © E.A. Crunden

 

 

 


Me

Kentucky is moving closer to banning most abortions after 11 weeks. Then there's Iowa, which could ban abortions before most people even know they're pregnant. SB4 goes into effect in Texas but the fight goes on for activists. For Black students, the walkouts meant something far more profound. U.S. cuts to UNRWA are reportedly far worse than originally thought. 

Last week: Progressive momentum is alive in Texas -- but that's thanks to decades of work. Ah yes, that time Bibi compared Trump to a Persian king. Retaliatory E.U. tariffs would hit the Rust Belt, Midwest, Appalachia. Texas has never sent a Latinx woman to Congress -- that's about to change.

 


Around the Globe

Africa. Sierra Leone elected a new president. U.S. fire fights in Niger: more widespread than the government originally indicated. Chad off the U.S. travel ban?  White farmers in South Africa have an Australia visa advantage? The teflon president is teflon no more.

Americas. Yellow fever spreads in Brazil. The murder of a Rio activist and councilwoman has enflamed tensions across the city. A Salvadoran woman convicted of murder (for an abortion) was released. Argentina eyes an abortion referendum. Guatemala joins the U.S. in moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. The Canadian dollar is slipping thanks to NAFTA talks. The saga of Trump, Trudeau, and making things up. After nine days, teachers in West Virginia won. But West Virginia also wants to ban abortionRexit. McMaxit?

Asia & Australia. The U.S. is beefing up its presence in Vietnam. North Korea nuclear talks? Following rape accusations, a South Korean official resigned. A powerful earthquake hit Papua New Guinea. Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency following attacks on Muslims. More than half the passengers aboard a flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu died in a crash landing. Japan's prime minister is embroiled in scandal. Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. Israel halted the mass-deportation of West Africans from the country. The U.S. could restrict visas for Chinese students.

Europe. Italy's elections aren't a good sign for basically anyone. Another former Russian spy has fallen ill after contact with a mysterious substance -- leading to a sprawling diplomatic disaster. Slovenia's prime minister resigned. So did Slovakia's.

 


Green Is A Thing

FEMA's outdated flood maps. The Horn of Africa is drying up. Most of America's fruit is imported. How the EPA hurt Alabama. What 2.4 million gallons of oil is doing to Charleston. Appalachia is the least climate-resilient region in the U.S. Students in coal country want renewable energy. Hail the octopus.

 


Spoken & Written

"Yeah, that’s been anxiety-inducing, especially because: Men as a group? Not fantastic. White men as a group? I don’t have a sense that I will be met with safety and joy on the other side." -- Daniel Mallory Ortberg on his transition

 


Recs

A vacation (I just took one, to beautiful Mexico. No regrets.) | Enfrijoladas

1. Stop making boxes. 2. Stop putting people in them.

  Happy Texas day. © E.A. Crunden

Happy Texas day. © E.A. Crunden


Me

A feud between Texas anti-abortion organizations is finally boiling over. Georgia is moving closer to barring adoption for queer couples. Anti-Semitism is alive and roaring in the U.S. More than 40 areas and countries lack a U.S. ambassador. The same Trump administration official who wanted to "reverse" a teenager's abortion also believes undocumented immigrants do not have the right to abortion, period. NAFTA talks were already going poorly -- then the White House endorsed "trade wars."

 


Around the Globe

Africa. The last families living in Tunisia's underground homes. Multiple armed attacks targeted French buildings, including the country's embassy, in Burkina Faso on Friday. Militancy remains an ongoing fact of life in northern Nigeria.

Americas. Mexican police in Veracruz are accused of using death squads. Venezuelans are fleeing to Colombia and the Western Hemisphere's refugee crisis begins. The country also delayed its presidential election. NAFTA talks aren't going well thanks to U.S. demands and Canada isn't optimistic. Related: trade wars; U.S.-Mexico relations are doing poorly in general.

Asia. India to Justin Trudeau: Sigh. Xi Jinping moves closer to becoming China's leader for life. A quake in Papua New Guinea killed at least 20 people. Taiwan is going through a toilet paper crisis. North Korea's dark ties to Syria's war. Taliban recognition, coming to an Afghanistan near you.

Europe. Anti-circumcision measures in Iceland are going over poorly with Jews and Muslims. Thousands rallied in Moscow on the anniversary of opposition activist Boris Nemtsov's death. A Slovak journalist was killed, likely for his work -- along with his partner. Hungary's ruling party faced an unexpected local election setback. Sexual harassment accusations come for the U.K.'s Labour party. Northern Ireland is a problem for Brexit. It is never too late in the 21st century for Marine Le Pen news.

 


Green Is A Thing

Climate change and overfishing are harming Native communities. Hurricanes left behind a mountain of trash in the Virgin Islands -- with nowhere to put it. King penguins are endangered by global warming. Rome eyes banning diesel cars. What follows Standing RockBeat of the East. South Africa's Western Cape is set to take heavy agriculture hits. A plastic-free aisle comes to the Netherlands. Cape Town's wealthy are drilling wells as water runs out, while the poor struggle for food. Meanwhile, the water crisis could mean penalties for officials. "My elementary school is a toxic waste site and other hometown environmental nightmares." The West Virginia teachers' strike comes for coal, gas. Poland is banking on electric cars

 


Spoken & Written

“Our county said we would not be returning to the classroom. We did not want to go back with a promise. We wanted it signed, sealed and delivered. We wanted it to be fulfilled, not just empty words." -- Katie Endicott, a West Virginia high school English teacher


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