From the category archives:

Rest of the world

An important read about the role of social media in the global rise of the far right, and how a handful of tech companies are now scrambling to answer for the damage that they’re only starting to acknowledge that they’ve done:

“I’ve followed that dark evolution of internet culture ever since. I’ve had the privilege — or deeply strange curse — to chase the growth of global political warfare around the world. In the last four years, I’ve been to 22 countries, six continents, and been on the ground for close to a dozen referendums and elections. I was in London for UK’s nervous breakdown over Brexit, in Barcelona for Catalonia’s failed attempts at a secession from Spain, in Sweden as neo-Nazis tried to march on the country’s largest book fair. And now, I’m in Brazil. But this era of being surprised at what the internet can and will do to us is ending. The damage is done. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably spend the rest of my career covering the consequences.”

Read the whole thing.

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The worldwide rise of fascism continues, with Brazil only the latest example:

Mr Bolsonaro’s pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals have won him mass support.

However critics are worried by his praise of Brazil’s former dictatorship, and by his comments on race, women and homosexuality.

In one infamous incident in 2015 he told a fellow lawmaker she was too ugly to rape.

Mr Bolsonaro’s controversial comments, his pro-gun stance and his populist approach to politics have led to some media dubbing him “Trump of the Tropics”.

What’s truly terrifying is sitting here wondering whether any country will escape this epidemic. When persecuted people inevitably need to escape, will there be anywhere left for them to go?

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Earthquake in Mexico

09.08.2017

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico last night. So far, at least 30 people have been killed, and destruction is widespread. There’s also a major tsunami risk. Mexican authorities said at least 32 people were killed in the quake, all in the southern states. In Oaxaca, which lies along the Pacific coast, there have […]

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Cuba-US relations: One step forward, one giant Trump leap back

06.16.2017

When I visited Cuba in December, the Cubans and Americans I met were all optimistic about the continued thawing of relations between the two countries following Barack Obama’s historic easing of restrictions. But, leave it to Donald Trump to make that one more thing on the list of everything he is massively screwing up: Trump […]

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Uzbekistan leader Karimov reported dead

09.02.2016

If this is true, it could signal a major change for Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan’s veteran dictator, Islam Karimov, has died, leaving central Asia’s most populous country in a state of turmoil and political uncertainty. [ . . . ] There were few official clues as to how Uzbekistan’s new leader may be picked. All week the […]

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North Korea: United Nations pulls head out of sand, finally

02.17.2014

More than ten years after the BBC aired a devastating report about North Korean concentration camps, mass killings, torture, poison gas chambers and other horrific atrocities, the United Nations has finally come around to the view that yes, maybe, there were some crimes against humanity going on in the world’s least free nation: “Testimony was […]

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Is Venezuela’s nightmare over? Sadly, no.

10.07.2012

Update: Venezuelan election authorities have awarded Hugo Chavez the victory, with 54% of the vote, versus 44% for Capriles — a suspiciously high margin of victory. Sadly, it looks like the nightmare in Venezuela will continue. – – – Venezuelans went to the polls today in an historic election that, for the first time in […]

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North Korean “Dear Leader” reported dead

12.18.2011

News wires are reporting the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il at the age of 70. The “Dear Leader” of the People’s Democratic Republic of Death Camps can count, among his accomplishments, mass starvation, imprisonment in horrific gulags, and systematic murder in gas chambers of his own people, bringing nuclear weapons to his country, […]

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Gadhafi confirmed dead

10.20.2011

Libya’s long-standing dictator is no more: Muammar el-Gadhafi is confirmed killed after being captured and arrested by revolutionary forces: Gadhafi was captured alive and unharmed as troops from the National Transitional Council overran his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, Jibril said. But a gunbattle erupted between transitional council fighters and Gadhafi’s supporters as his captors […]

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Did French vegans kill their baby?

03.30.2011

A French couple has been charged in the death of their 11-month old baby, after allegedly feeding her an insufficient vegan diet and refusing to treat her illnesses, instead using “natural” (aka useless) remedies: The couple, Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou, are strict vegans who chose to feed their daughter, Louise, no solid food, giving […]

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