United, divided, and globetrotting

Blues Buzz

What the media misses about Appalachia. ISIS has a media strategy and the media is struggling to disrupt it. Japan's first transgender politician. American Muslims were left out of Trump's big speech on Islam. How lead poisoned a generation of Black kids in New Orleans. Israeli media and Trump. Muslim leaders in Manchester fear for their communities. Australia's stolen generations. There's an issue with how Ivanka Trump talks about sex trafficking -- she's not talking to sex workers. Scandinavian literature. Flint isn't ready to trust anyone yet. Previously unseen Sylvia Plath poems! LGBTQ representation in media is still appalling. Jupiter! How Dallas became one of America's most welcoming cities for refugees.

Mount Pleasant with some Trump feelings © E.A. Crunden

Mount Pleasant with some Trump feelings © E.A. Crunden

Around the Globe

Africa. Apparently thousands of inmates made a jailbreak in DRC. Nigeria is set to close five foreign missions. A hospital blood shortage killed three people in Uganda. A roadside bomb killed police officers in Kenya. More than 30 refugees, most of them toddlers, drowned off the coast of Libya. At least 26 Coptic Christians were killed in Egypt following a horrifying attack. Burundi wants unmarried couples wed.

Americas. Venezuela continues to deteriorate, with 51 people now dead amid massive protests. That isn't stopping efforts to overhaul the constitution, though. Brazil has been plagued by protests, prompting harsh crackdowns. Undocumented immigrants are increasingly giving up hope on the U.S. and trying for Canada. North Carolina engaged in racial gerrymandering, it's official. 50,000 Haitians have been given temporary protected status in the U.S. A Republican congressional candidate in Montana assaulted a reporter and still wonWeekly Trump updates: The new CBO score for the new version of TrumpCare is...also bad. Last summer, top Russian officials discussed how to influence Trump. Trump's Muslim ban was dealt another blow; next stop, Supreme Court? Trump himself had quiet the week, visiting Saudi Arabia (delivering a speech on Islam that was questionable at best), Israel (where he received a warm welcome from the government, less so the people), the Vatican (where the Pope gave him some reading on climate change), Belgium (where he met with NATO leaders and essentially refused to promise U.S. support), then on to Italy, where the G7 summit showed a clear difference of opinion between the U.S. and its peers (though, the U.S. finally dropped its protests over declaring gender equality a human right.)

Asia & Australia. At least 18 CIA (U.S.) sources were killed or imprisoned in China between 2010 and 2012. Aboriginal Tasmanians want land returned to them and three percent of Australia's economic output for the next 200 years, something the community is arguing in court. People NEED to stop climbing Mount Everest. A victory for same-sex marriage in Taiwan. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, which has seen a rise in ISIS activity; he also made yet another truly terrible joke -- about sexual assault, of course.

Europe. A suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killed 22 people and injured 59 others. Britain is now on its highest terror alert, meaning another attack is considered imminent. Leaks from the U.S. panicked British citizens and infuriated intelligence -- the U.K. was briefly not sharing Manchester-related intelligence with the U.S. (though now it is), and Trump has ordered an investigation into the leaks. Moldovan police halted an LGBTQ protest over fears of clashes with counter-protesters. Anarchists are filling the void left by the government in Greece. Trump met with Pope Francis, the latter of whom looked displeased. Chechnya's crackdown on queer men is heinous, per a new report.



Trump went to Israel this week, which I previewed. Also on my radar -- the same Minnesota-born politician dying on the hill that is preserving the Confederacy also blamed progressives (and Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison, of, ironically, Minnesota), for anti-Semitism. Manchester Arena suffered a horrifying attack, and leaders around the world reacted. Trump found common ground with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on drug crackdowns, which is terrifying. Meanwhile, the administration's leaking is out of control, and Israel has had enough. Trump wrapped up his first international tour in Italy, where the G7 summit notably did not center the refugee crisis -- thanks to Stephen Miller, architect of the U.S. Muslim travel ban. Still in the works: a bigger story on H-1Bs, the visa many people need/want/rely on, and one Americans know nothing about.



To Listen: Amber Run - Heaven. There are songs that loosely maintain my interest throughout, only to end on a note so captivating that I promptly re-play them. This is that song. From a band that I associate with more melancholy and less upbeat fare, like '5 AM' and 'I Found,' offerings that -- make no mistake -- I enjoy, but are a far cry from driving, energized rock tracks. Not so this short, swift song, which, again, is worth it mostly for the last 20 seconds. Then repeat.  

To Make: Let me begin this by saying I've spent the better part of my 26 years in a war with my insides. They usually win, and they are winning right now, so it's back to basics with cooking. Less: bread, dairy, sugar, anything processed, anything not carefully self-assembled in the safety of my small kitchen. More: seasonal veggies baked with some olive oil; quinoa; fruit; etc. To that end, this afternoon's timid effort involved kale chips, red pepper strips, red potatoes, scallions, and a healthy dose of the ten thousand spices typically involved in anything I consume (emphasis on cumin, thyme, and paprika in this particular instance.) Anyways, it was actually really good, did not make me ill, and thus I am here to dutifully remind you all to treat yourselves gently, eat things that nourish and sustain you, etc. 


Written & Spoken

“Society seemed a significantly safer place to white males than it did to all other groups, including nonwhite men. What on first inspection seemed like a sex difference was actually a difference between white males and everyone else.” -- Cordelia Fine for Nautilus



The G7 summit happened this week, which might have you wondering -- what is the G7, what is this summit, why should I care, and other questions along those lines. So. The G7 are the seven nations of: the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Canada, or: the world's seven major advanced economies according to the International Monetary Fund, or IMF. (The European Union is also represented when the nations gather.) Originally, the G7 were an unofficial gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors from five countries (minus Italy and Canada) and then the 'Group of Six' -- not featuring Canada, with Germany actually being West Germany at the time, as it was 1975 (so, pre-fall of the Berlin Wall.) Canada joined in 1976, thus birthing the G7 as we know it. Notably, Russia has been looped in on a number of summits, leading to the 'Political 8' and 'G7+1' nicknames. Russia formally joined the group in 1998, making the G8 official. But Russia got the boot following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, so now we're back at G7. Geopolitics, friends.