News & Features

How COVID-19 Changed America and the World Forever

Kenneth Foard McCallion

So what would have happened if the federal government had acted with the degree of vigilance that we had come to expect from the Ebola crisis and other pandemic threats? What if those sweeping measures imposed on or after March 15 — a federal warning against large gatherings, health screenings at airports, states of emergency declared, etc. - had been announced one or two weeks earlier?

Great Britain Faces 'Critical Moment' in the Fight Against the Coronavirus

Jonathan Powell

Analyzing the news briefing for BBC News, Mark Walport, the government's former chief scientific adviser, said the figures show the consequences of exponential growth and "dispelled myths that the virus is becoming mild, and the mistaken idea that lots of people had become infected." He added: "The truth is that the vast majority of the population is still susceptible." Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Tuesday to outline any new restrictions that may be introduced.

Can the United Nations Start Anew at 75?

Andrey Kortunov

There are many graphic manifestations of the serious institutional deficiencies that prevent the U.N. from playing its legitimate role as the centerpiece of the global governance system. The U.N. consistently fails to take action on violent regional conflicts -- whether in Asia (Syria), in Europe (Ukraine), or in Africa (Libya). Its General Assembly resolutions quite often have little or no impact on the behavior of member states, which the resolutions aspire to influence.

The Importance of the 2020 Election: How to Save Our Democracy

Mac Regan

After years of legislative and social gridlock, these failings are at a critical stage. But irreversible damage to our historical values, our democracy, and our capitalism can be avoided. The last line of defense now, as in 1776, is citizens who can make informed decisions and have the patriotic courage to sacrifice, compromise, and overcome bias in the service of America. The 2020 revolution for America will depend on objectivity and critical thinking rather than firelocks and cannons.

The Problem of Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community

Angelo Franco

And so here we are, in the American landscape of race wars, with many of our (mainly older) brethren trying to contend with the fact that here in the U.S. they are people of color, condemning racism while holding racist beliefs, and screaming at the top of their silenced voices that we too are white --please love us, America! We can be almost white-passing if we hide our mestizo and mulatto heritage an ignore the plight of other non-white POCs, while actively repudiating Black skin the way we are already used to doing anyway.

The Fragile State of Contact Languages

John Wenz (Knowable Magazine)

The origin stories of these linguistic mashups vary. Some are peaceful, such as when groups meet for trade and need a lingua franca: Nigerian Pidgin English, for example, allows speakers of over 500 tongues to communicate. But others were born of tragedy and violence — like Haitian Creole, Gullah Geechee, Jamaican Creole and many others that arose from the Atlantic slave trade, when West African peoples combined several tongues with English, creating everyday languages often used among slaves.

How Political Conventions Went From Selecting Party Nominees to Pageantry and Partying

Barbara Norrander

Presidential primaries became somewhat more influential after World War II, when some candidates adopted a strategy of running in presidential primaries. Other candidates avoided running in primaries and relied on a traditional strategy of courting the party’s elite who would be delegates at the convention. Running in presidential primaries was a risky strategy: A candidate who lost in a primary could see their presidential bid end, but even someone who won every single primary would not earn enough delegates to secure the nomination.

A New Path Forward for the Democratic Party

Sly James and Winston C. Fisher

These questions, while separate, are indelibly intertwined. If the American people react to Donald Trump’s presidency with even a fraction of the disgust and anger the two of us feel, he’s almost sure to be a one-term president. But if we intend to sustain a Democratic governing majority over the long term, we’ll need an agenda (and an accompanying narrative) that stands on its own. Without a compelling message, we won’t be able to hold on to the power that the public’s revulsion to Trump may help us win. Then we’ll be back at square one.

In Black Lives Matter, Iraqi-Africans See Parallels With Their Own Oppression

Ibrahim Al Marashi

The movement seeks to amend Iraq’s constitution to ban discrimination against black people, and have the state improve their representation in parliament.  Most Iraqi-Africans continue to hold menial jobs, serving as cleaners or musicians and dancers. They are denied a chance to serve and advance in the army and police, as well as local bureaucracies.They continue to seek social awareness about their plight, asking for access to the national media to address their grievances.

Welcome to Mongolia: A Great Place to Die

Andrew North

Opioid medications still require a special form, as in most countries worldwide. But a much wider range of professionals can now prescribe them, including oncologists and family doctors. This has led to a 14-fold increase in their use in the country from 2000 to 2014, according to Mongolian Health Ministry figures. Khandsuren is an oncologist by training, and now oversees opioid prescriptions for all the hospital’s outpatients. The majority are still people with cancer, but non-cancer patients have become more common.Every district hospital in the country now has a pharmacy like this one.

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