India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech

Tech giants like Google and Facebook appear to be aiding and abetting a vicious government campaign against Indian climate activists.

Link: https://theintercept.com/2021/02/27/india-climate-activists-twitter-google-facebook/
After some early resistance from the company, Twitter accounts critical of the Modi government have disappeared in the hundreds without explanation; government officials engaging in bald incitement and overt hate speech on Twitter and Facebook have been permitted to continue in clear violation of the companies’ policies; and Delhi police boast that they are getting plenty of helpful cooperation from Google as they dig through the private communications of peaceful climate activists like Ravi.

He Was the Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ Now He’s Accused of Terrorism.

Long hailed for his bravery during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Paul Rusesabagina is now charged with being an insurgent leader. Did Rwanda change, or did he?

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/magazine/he-was-the-hero-of-hotel-rwanda-now-hes-accused-of-terrorism.html
As Rusesabagina stepped onto the tarmac, a half dozen armed men emerged from the predawn darkness. Identifying themselves as agents of the Rwanda Investigation Bureau — the country’s equivalent of the F.B.I. — they handcuffed him and hustled him into a waiting vehicle. It was only then that Rusesabagina realized that he had fallen into a trap. The plane hadn’t landed in Burundi. Their real destination was declared by a sign on the terminal: KIGALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

What Does National Security Even Mean Anymore, After January 6th and the Pandemic?

Talking threats, foreign and domestic, with Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-bidens-washington/what-does-national-security-even-mean-anymore-after-january-6th-and-the-pandemic
When I asked Milley about what Trump had said, his reply was clear. “As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if there was an order for ten thousand National Guardsmen, I would like to believe I would know that,” he said. “I know that was never transmitted to me by anyone—the President, the Secretary of Defense, or anyone else—for the 6th of January.”

Biden Betrayed His Promise to Defend Human Rights and Jamal Khashoggi

The U.S. gave the Saudi Crown Prince a pass for the murder of the Washington Post columnist, which autocrats may see as a green light for abuse.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/biden-betrayed-his-promise-to-defend-human-rights-and-jamal-khashoggi
Since 2015, the Crown Prince has also got the country bogged down in a costly and unwinnable war in Yemen, which has spawned the world’s largest humanitarian disaster. And now he has disrupted the kingdom’s relationship with the United States, its most important ally. The Biden Administration has notified the kingdom that it will no longer provide offensive military equipment to pursue the war in Yemen, although it has vowed to continue selling weapons to defend the kingdom. This weekend, after the Saudi military intercepted a missile attack near the capital and bomb-laden drones in the south, both launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the State Department reaffirmed its “longstanding partnership” to protect the kingdom. Yet experts say that Saudi Arabia needs the United States far more than Washington needs Riyadh. “We have total and absolute leverage over the Saudi military,” Riedel said.

Far-Right Groups Are Splintering in Wake of the Capitol Riot

The breakdown of larger organizations sets the stage for small groups or lone offenders, who are more difficult to track.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/us/extremism-capitol-riot.html
In denying him bail, Judge Sally J. Berens quoted from transcripts of conversations taped by an informant in which he threatened to hurt people or to blow things up. “I am going to do some of the most nasty, disgusting things that you have ever read about in the history of your life,” the judge quoted him as saying.

Last Exit from Afghanistan

Will peace talks with the Taliban and the prospect of an American withdrawal create a breakthrough or a collapse?

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/08/last-exit-from-afghanistan
In my meeting with Ghani, he seemed abandoned, like a pilot pulling levers that weren’t connected to anything. He professed gratitude to the United States, but was clearly uneasy with the deal. Recently, he said, he had ordered the release of five thousand Taliban prisoners—“not because I wanted to, because the U.S. pushed me.” He feared a security disaster, as Taliban fighters returned to the streets and American soldiers left the country. “The U.S. can withdraw its troops anytime it wants, but they ought to negotiate with the elected President,” he went on. “They should call me. I’m the elected President.”

How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot

On social media, on cable networks and even in the halls of Congress, supporters of Donald J. Trump tried to rewrite history in real time, pushing the fiction that left-wing agitators were to blame for the violence on Jan. 6.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/us/politics/antifa-conspiracy-capitol-riot.html
Nearly two months after the attack, the claim that antifa was involved has been repeatedly debunked by federal authorities, but it has hardened into gospel among hard-line Trump supporters, by voters and sanctified by elected officials in the party. More than half of Trump voters in a Suffolk University/USA Today poll said that the riot was “mostly an antifa-inspired attack.” At Senate hearings last week focused on the security breakdown at the Capitol, Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, repeated the falsehood that “fake Trump protesters” fomented the violence.

Speaking of Britney … What About All Those Other Women?

Monica Lewinsky. Janet Jackson. Lindsay Lohan. Whitney Houston. We are living in an era of reappraisals.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/style/celebrity-tabloid-women-reappraisals.html
But the race for the most salacious shot was never an equal-opportunity game. It was not young men who appeared in photos with their bra straps showing and their makeup smeared, or had their breasts enlarged in postproduction without their knowledge, as was the case for Ms. Spears on a 2000 cover of British GQ, according to the photographer, who recently posted about it on Instagram. While white women were scrutinized on the covers of magazines, Black artists were told, as Beyoncé was, that they’d never get covers at all — “because Black people did not sell.”
Published
Categorized as Recommended

Rwanda Official Admits Legal Violations in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Case

A video, aired by Al Jazeera English, shows that the attorney general intercepted legal materials from Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” and is accused of terrorism.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/world/africa/paul-rusesabagina-hotel-rwanda-case.html
But in an hour-and-half-long preparation video that his public relations team accidentally sent to the media outlet, Mr. Busingye contradicted himself, saying that the prison authorities had intercepted correspondence between Mr. Rusesabagina and his lawyers and children, some of which included escape plans.

How to Unite a Deeply Divided Kosovo? Name a Lake After Trump

A lighthearted suggestion by a U.S. envoy hoping to bridge a vast rift between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo has taken on a life of its own — only to be ridiculed by local residents on both sides.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/world/europe/kosovo-trump-lake-serbs-albanians.html
“He is a bit crazy like we are and has the same hair color I do,” Ms. Trifonovic, 58, said, patting her orangey-blond mane.

Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College

A student said she was racially profiled while eating in a college dorm. An investigation found no evidence of bias. But the incident will not fade away.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/smith-college-race.html
The janitor who called campus security quietly returned to work after three months of paid leave and declined to be interviewed. The other janitor, Mr. Patenaude, who was not working at the time of the incident, left his job at Smith not long after Ms. Kanoute posted his photograph on social media, accusing him of “racist cowardly acts.”
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Categorized as Recommended

How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia

A new wave of news outlets has used conventional, and unconventional, methods to pierce the veil of Putin’s power.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/business/media/probiv-investigative-reporting-russia.html
But the one that blows my mind is “probiv.” It’s drawn from the word that means “to pierce” — or to enter something into a search bar. Today, it refers to the practice by which anyone can buy, for a couple of dollars on the social media app Telegram or hundreds on a dark web marketplace, the call records, cellphone geolocation or air travel records of anyone in Russia you want to track. Probiv is purchased by jealous spouses or curious business partners, and criminals of various sorts. But it has also been used recently, and explosively, by journalists and political activists, overlapping categories in Russia, where the chief opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, often makes use of the tools of investigative journalism.