Genderless in Canada. Junot Diaz in conversation with Margaret Atwood. Shakespeare's cure for xenophobia. The queer men who fled Chechnya's purge. Texas is the future of the United States. The Heartland wants more new Americans. Jupiter. A queer migration to the American South. Empathy isn't working. Adam Serwer breaks down what's wrong with Jay-Z's subtle anti-Semitism on 4:44. Judith Butler on Guantanamo. The faces of intermarriage. Russian media coverage of the U.S. and U.S. media coverage of Russia.
Around the Globe
(Somewhat shortened this week)
Africa. Al Shabab militants clashed with Kenyan forces. A large group of NGOs asked the Tanzanian government to stop threatening them. Soldiers in Niger killed 14 civilians after mistaking them for militants. Struggling to pay its national budget, South Sudan is seeking donor countries.
Americas. Overhauling the Bolivian penal code could help abortion activists. Opposition politicians and journalists were beaten by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela's National Assembly, the latest bloody incident to rock the country. #HanAssholeSolo: an explainer for you. A New York City police officer was killed in an assassination-style murder. Hobby Lobby has agreed to give up 5,500 artifacts smuggled out of Iraq. U.S. President Donald Trump finally met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Asia. Everything continues to escalate in North Korea, where an intercontinental missile was successfully tested on Wednesday. Qatar responded to a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states; the feud may stretch into the summer. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel. A new report contends that Bangladeshi authorities have detained hundreds of people since 2013 and are holding them secretly. Japan has suffered from heavy flooding. Mongolians went to the polls.
Europe. France honored the late Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor and former health minister who legalized abortion. Russia continues to wade into Syria's war. With the U.S. edging away, Europe is eyeing its own nuclear deterrent. Trump found a friend in Poland's alarmingly far-right government. Turkish police have detained multiple human rights activists. Germany hosted the G20 summit, where mass-protests broke out. Cyprus unification talks have collapsed.
Written & Spoken
"Here’s a little economics lesson: supply and demand. You put the supply out there and the demand will follow."
— Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who, like myself, seems to have struggled under the weight of Texas' questionable secondary school system
Journalism: A GOP congressman decided to film a political video inside a former gas chamber. Ahead of the G-20 summit, Japan and the E.U. inked a new trade deal, further isolating the U.S. from its allies. Things in Venezuela have gone from bad to worse. France wants to ban fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040. G-20 protesters clashed heavily with police, while leaders signaled they were willing to move forward on climate -- without Trump.
I spent the last week running around San Francisco, a city full of hills and Canadian tuxedos and sunshine and unexpectedly cool weather. It was an actual vacation, one where I didn't check Slack (often) and allowed at least two days for restful meandering (as opposed to the ambitious multi-day hikes I initially proposed to PIC.) Being there was a rush at times -- chilly winds, the kind I live for, uninhibited queer people (of all types and in all types of pairings, carefree and effortless the way queer people are never allowed to be), and all the niceties I struggle to find so often when we travel (coffee -- the expensive, dark, rich kind I never got in Texas growing up and can now afford, by the grace of Gd; the vegan and vegetarian food my sensitive stomach and nagging guilt demand; access to spaces urban and rural alike with minimal compromise, something that always seems impossible.) But it was also marked by other moments -- sunshine has depressed me my entire life, a phenomenon no one understands but a persistent one and, in California, a perpetual problem. There was also the nearness of work, the nagging feeling that news was ongoing and I was away from it (forever, that feeling of missing out, or of not doing enough.) And then there was the sense I always have during any time spent off or away -- that it is ending as soon as it begins and soon will be gone.
Either way, it came and went and now I'm back. Post-traveling blues have set in but the comforts of home are also many; I'm alternating between those states of being, surrounded by the farmer's market produce we worship and the neighborhood we never tire of wandering. We spent this weekend on bikes, close to a creek and trees, and at home, combining vegetables and spices in new and savory ways. Eventually summer will end and I will be the gladder for it but for now we have our health and home and I am grateful.