News & Features

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. 

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.

Missouri Puts National Guard on Alert Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement

Washington Informer

Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order Monday activating the Missouri National Guard to support law enforcement during any period of unrest that might occur following the grand jury’s decision concerning the investigation into the death of Michael Brown. The Governor said the Guard will provide support for law enforcement’s objectives of maintaining safety and protecting constitutional rights.

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.

China and the U.S. Announce New Climate Goals

John H. Cushman, Jr.

The United States and China announced new goals for reducing their global warming pollution in the coming decades, with the U.S. ramping up its rate of decarbonization in five to 10 years and China promising that its carbon emissions will peak in the next 15 years. The announcements, which came at a multinational summit in Beijing Tuesday, made clear for the first time the commitments that the two biggest sources of greenhouse gases will make as part of the urgent United Nations negotiations. 

How Democrats Lost the Midterm Elections

Dave Helfert

Democrats across the country could have run on issues the public cares about; issues the public supports. Instead, they ran away from them.  They could have referred to the Affordable Care Act, rather than the dreaded ‘Obamacare,’ and pointed out that 10 million Americans now have healthcare coverage who didn’t before. Even if they didn’t want to suggest that the country is better off with more healthy people, they could have mentioned that 10 million fewer people will now have to rely on hospital emergency rooms for healthcare. 

India’s ‘Kiss of Love’ Campaign Misses the Mark

Sandip Roy

The problem is that the protest ought not to be about kissing at all. The original protest in the state of Kerala was sparked by a string of moral policing incidents. A theater artist and her colleague were detained for traveling together at night. A couple was arrested for suspected “immoral activities” on a bench in Alappuzha, especially suspicious because the woman was not wearing anything to indicate she was married. An IT professional in Kochi was beaten up by drunk men for riding pillion on a male colleague’s motorbike. 

How Dynasties Shaped American Politics

Hal Gordon

For a nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal, this country has produced a remarkable number of political dynasties. John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, was the son of second president John Adams. Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, was the grandson of ninth president William Henry Harrison. And, of course, President George W. Bush, our 43rd president, is the son of George H.W. Bush, our 41st president.

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