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News Digest 11/16

It’s been a horrifying and saddening week in news. With heavy hearts we share what we’ve been reading.

Paris, Beirut, and the attacks of last week:

“Is it wrong to mourn Paris more deeply than Beirut?” asks Jeanne Kay in the Nation. Some bodies are global, but most bodies remain local, regional, “ethnic” writes Joey Ayoub in “The Streets of Paris are as Familiar to me as the streets of Beirut.” The Atlantic writes that the different reactions are due to an “empathy gap,” because “there is a troubling tribal, or racial, component to familiarity: People tend to perk up when they see themselves in the victims.”

Sousan Hammad writes in “Facebook safety checks are not for Arabs”, saying: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will activate the Safety Check feature for ‘other serious and tragic incidents of the future.’ But who will deem what is serious or tragic enough?”

And we can’t forget that drone strikes this time last year by the US killed had many more victims than intended.

Missouri and Yale Protests: The New Yorker covers Race and the Free Speech Diversion following mass student protests at Missouri and Yale. Less publicized was that the Claremont McKenna Dean resigned last week amid protests over racial bias. Major donors are considering backing the Black Lives Matter movement. What do you think this means for the movement?

In Documentary: Harvard Law School Challenges “The Hunting Ground”. And “No Más Bebés” documentary on forced sterilization of Latina women in the 1900s will premiere in January on Indepedent Lens.

Latin America: Brazil proposes a counter terrorism bill that could endangers basic Human Rights, bringing into focus the tension between security and democracy. The country has also decided to grant permanent residence to 43,000 HaitiansThe Mexican President Peña Nieto promises a Debate on Marijuana Legalization and WOLA releases a report on the events  transpiring on Mexico’s southernmost border which includes perspectives of community leaders, government officials, and military personnel to convey the deeper issues surround Human rights, violence, migration, and security.

The New York Times op-ed on Guatemala, “A Wrong Turn for Guatemalan Democracy” summarizes the current situation there: “There is nothing inevitable about bad endings to democratic springs. The trajectory of democracy is messy and circuitous. But the possibility of wrong turns, like the one Guatemala seems to be taking, can be canceled as long as Guatemalan democrats and their international partners are vigilant, wise and committed. As Nineth Montenegro, the congresswoman at the center of the reformist fight, told me, ‘We haven’t done all this work to give up now.'”

Nora Christiani

Nora is the Outreach Director at Skylight.

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