Obama on Ferguson Grand Jury: Anger ‘Is an Understandable Reaction’

Colorlines

President Obama, who addressed the nation Monday evening shortly after a grand jury announced that it declined to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, said that while, “the decision was the grand jury’s to make,” disappointment and anger about the announcement “is an understandable reaction.” Obama echoed the calls of Michael Brown’s family who in recent days have called for peaceful protests following the grand jury’s decision. 

‘The November Man,’ ‘The Giver’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Pierce Brosnan was excellent in his brief stint as James Bond, a fact director Roger Donaldson (“Thirteen Days,” “The World’s Fastest Indian”) likely considered when bringing the English actor back to the spy genre. In “The November Man,” based on the Bill Granger novel “There Are No Spies,” Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA agent lured back to action by his former boss, John Hanley (Bill Smitrovich).

In Wake of Gruesome Rapes, Women’s Safety Apps Launch in India

Sujoy Dhar

While dime-a-dozen safety apps are now available in India, mostly launched by mobile phone companies and other private groups, the government of India plans to launch a safety app of its own later this month, as an auxiliary service to the existing 181 helpline for women, which was started after the fatal Delhi bus rape. “This new app will also facilitate pre-registering of crimes based on perceived threats,” says Khadijah Faruqui, a women’s rights activist and human rights lawyer who is heading the 181 Helpline.

Tsunami Survivor Pays It Forward a Decade Later through ‘A Global Friendship’

Annie Castellani

This model became the basis for A Global Friendship (AGF), the Brooklyn-based nonprofit she founded in 2007. AGF strives to alleviate poverty by building small businesses in communities in need. And it focuses specifically on women’s empowerment as a way to fight poverty. “The women that I came across made beautiful products, and stateside we love to consume. So to me it was a simple formula to offer the opportunity to women who had none and keep women employed in a sustainable way,” Firgeleski says.

Why America Works

Jim Jaffe

It is true that Congress enacts few new laws, but a census of legislation action is hardly a measure of government efficacy.  It may merely indicate that we’re talking a pause as we try to come up with a majoritarian position on a number of complex issues ranging from immigration to climate change.  There’s no glory in acting quickly but imprudently, and the main lesson of Obamacare is that making big changes with the slimmest of majorities throws sand in the gears until  we reach an equilibrium point where a substantial majority of voters agree with the outcome.

El Greco in New York: The Met’s 400th Anniversary Celebration

Sandra Bertrand

The Met’s own collection of El Greco’s religious paintings, portraits, and the incomparable rare landscape of the artist’s, The View of Toledo, is the finest outside of the Prado’s in Madrid.  Added to this, the generous loans of six other works from the Hispanic Society of America make this a special treat for the viewer. (Concurrently, three El Greco pictures which cannot be removed, are on view at The Frick Collection.) The comprehensive display can be seen in one room and if at first, it may not seem expansive enough for the jaded gallery-hopper, it is truly an embarrassment of riches.  

America’s Middle Class Struggles to Preserve Retirement Security

Pamela Yip

“Half of today’s working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire,” according to the National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. That conclusion is based on very conservative assumptions, according to the index, which measures the share of working-age American households at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.

A Tale of Death and Texting in Matt Richtel’s ‘A Deadly Wandering’

Lee Polevoi

A Deadly Wandering tells the story of Reggie Shaw, a Utah college student whose Chevy Tahoe veered into another lane one night in 2006 and clipped a car carrying two rocket scientists, which then collided head-on with a truck, killing the two men. Shaw was texting a friend at the time of the accident. Richtel casts a wide net in the telling of this story, including a cast of characters that ranges from the scientists’ widows and children to lawmakers, prosecutors, neuroscientists and one tireless victim’s advocate. 

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