Russia, Iran, Turkey agree on need to widen Syria truce

“We hope that this is a question of one or a maximum of two days.” Pointedly absent from the discussion was the United States and Lavrov took a swipe at Washington by claiming that it had been unable to make good on previous deals reached in Syria. “Right now the evacuation is wrapping up,” he said. Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed on Tuesday to guarantee Syria peace talks and backed expanding a ceasefire in the war-torn country, laying down their claim as the main powerbrokers in the conflict. The Red Cross on Tuesday said that at least 25,000 people have left the eastern districts of Aleppo since evacuations began last week, and Lavrov said the process should be completed in two days at most. But Turkey and Russia have recently started working closely together to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from war-battered Aleppo under a complex deal. “We agreed to continue building further cooperation, based on the statement we agreed today,” he said. “Iran, Russia and Turkey are ready to assist in preparing the agreement in the making between the Syrian government and the opposition and to become its guarantor,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow, citing a joint statement. Russia and Iran are on the opposite side of the Syrian conflict from Turkey, with Moscow and Tehran backing President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting those seeking to topple him. “The ministers agree with the importance of widening the ceasefire, of free access for humanitarian aid and movement of civilians on Syrian territory.”
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in comments translated into Russian that the ceasefire should cover the entire Syrian territory but exclude the jihadist groups Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front, the former name of ex-Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front. Lavrov praised the Turkey-Iran-Russia format on Syria as the “most effective” and added that the three have “confirmed their readiness to fight the Islamic State group and al-Nusra front and to separate them from the groups of armed opposition.”
“Our cooperation has already allowed not just the evacuation of civilians but also an organised moving out of most of the fighters of the armed opposition along agreed routes,” Lavrov said. The foreign and defence ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday, the day after Russia’s envoy to Ankara was shot dead in the Turkish capital by a gunman shouting about Syria and Aleppo.

In the wake of deadly truck attack, Germany grapples with security and a ‘culture of openness’

A member of Merkel’s party, Klaus Bouillon, the interior minister of Saarland state, sparked controversy by speaking of a “state of war” after the Berlin attack — only to quickly backtrack from what many criticized as a verbal escalation. After a truck plowed through a crowd of holiday revelers in central Berlin, the country — having so far been spared large-scale attacks — is debating the balance between security and an open society. German Chancellor Angela   Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday passed a package of security bills, still subject to parliamentary approval, that it said were in response to earlier IS attacks in Germany. First ‘real’ attack  
“The Germans have always given the impression that they believe these attacks only happen to others,” wrote Barbara Kunz of the Committee for the Study of Franco-German Relations in an online column for Le Monde. On the other hand, federal police chief Holger Muench cautioned that, no matter what measures are taken, total security doesn’t exist and that “there will always be a risk.”
In a similar vein, Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller argued that “if we secure everything, if we carry out checks at all the entrances to all public spaces, then that will be at odds with our culture of openness.”
Army patrols? The CSU, the Bavarian wing of Merkel’s conservative party, is, however, calling for more sweeping reforms. Nonetheless, the debate is, once more, heating up. As in Israel, Germany needs “to systematically secure such places,” Krause argued in business daily Handelsblatt. And, unlike in France, which has suffered several far deadlier jihadist attacks, no one in Germany is currently proposing declaring a state of emergency. “If politicians keep hiding behind privacy protection and the notion of individual liberty, which complicates our police work, then we will continue to have problems investigating such attacks in future,” Walter said on public broadcaster ARD. It relaunched a campaign it initiated months ago, after less severe attacks claimed by the IS in Germany — to authorize   army troops for domestic security duties. Should Germany’s popular Christmas markets be ringed with concrete, patrolled by armed soldiers and screened with surveillance cameras? They included a measure to broaden video surveillance in public spaces, body cams for federal police officers and the use of automated devices to read vehicle registration plates. While men and women in uniform are allowed to, for example, fill sandbags during flood disasters, most Germans would object to the sight of armed troops guarding airports and railway stations. “But in Germany, this has been neglected, even though the IS   is calling for just this kind of attack on so-called soft targets.”
Some cities did quickly react to Monday’s carnage — the Christmas markets of Hamburg, Stuttgart and Dresden installed concrete bollards following the Berlin attack. The country “has certainly experienced attacks in the past” but still “the risk seemed unreal,” she argued. The government recently moved to allow a first joint police-army exercise. “This attack could have been prevented if the square had been protected by concrete barriers,” said Joachim Krause, head of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University, about the attack that killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market Monday. The Bundeswehr should be able to use its training and equipment to support police and contribute to public safety, argued CSU lawmaker Florian Hahn, in comments to media group RND. Therefore the Berlin truck attack — for which the IS claimed responsibility — meant “for many Germans that the country has experienced its first ‘real’ Islamist attack.”
Police union deputy chief Ernst Walter meanwhile called for more video surveillance and urged an end to “demonizing” the technology, in a country that — after the Nazi and communist dictatorships — remains suspicious of all kinds of surveillance. While the sight of armed soldiers on the streets has become common in European countries that have suffered jihadist attacks, such as France and Belgium, it remains taboo in Germany, which in the postwar era set strict constitutional limits on its armed forces. But the country is a long way from authorizing army patrols on the streets, with little will among policymakers to push the point.

Aleppo’s propaganda battle wages on

The rebels, Landis says, are using media-savvy people to help deliver this message. Listen to the full interview. But he adds “it doesn’t mean the horrors of the war in Syria are untrue, it just reveals the much more complicated story that every civil war really reveals.” The images and voices from Aleppo have tugged at heartstrings across the world since the final battle began there a month ago.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadThis story is based on a radio interview. “That’s the difficulty right there,” says Landis. PRI.org

Citizens and aid workers cried for help, and tweeted their farewells, as rebel resistance crumbled before a brutal onslaught from the Syrian government. “It’s a very complex picture,” says Joshua Landis, director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Of a battle of liberation against Islamic “terrorists.”
They argue that the world has been played   by a slick rebel PR machine, controlled by jihadis. It’s a very complicated situation where some of the civilians support the rebels, others do not.”
Landis says the rebels had a carefully packaged narrative of “the hateful regime, and Russia, who have no regard for humanity, destroying democracy-loving people.” Landis acknowledges there is an element of truth to that, but it’s much more complicated than that. However.  
There are elements of truth in both narratives. The rebels — who were mostly from the countryside around outside of Aleppo — were furious at Aleppans for not joining in the fight. The “good” rebels are closely allied with these soldiers of al-Qaeda, in a common fight against Assad. Some of the rebels were jihadis, but not all of them. “Now, many of the citizens,” adds Landis, “that were there in eastern Aleppo, some of them never wanted to get into this war to begin with. There were about 10,000 armed rebels in Aleppo, according to the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and about one-third of them were jihadis, close to al-Qaeda. Aleppo, interestingly enough, did not rise up and join the uprising in 2011. But the government of Bashar al-Assad, together with its Russian and Iranian allies, tells a very different story. There is no black and white. The US   Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said Aleppo   joins the ranks of Srebrenica and Rwanda as emblematic of evil. …

How likely are you to be harassed online? Find out…

Have you ever been hacked,   trolled on social media   or experienced other forms of   online harassment? The interactive below allows you to find your chances of experiencing different types of online harassment compared with other groups. If the   answer is yes, you share the same experience with almost half of American internet users. But gender, age and sexual orientation can make you a more likely target for online harassment, according to a recent study   by the Data & Society Research Institute and the Center for Innovative Public Health Research.

Pollution is destroying probably the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Western Hemisphere

Sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can mix with water and become acid rain. In the early 20th century, oil was discovered off the coast of Venezuela. “Now you can’t distinguish between the tombstones.”
Ryan Schuessler reported from Willemstad, Curaçao. Dutch oil company Shell set up a refinery in Curaçao in 1915, fueling the Allied war efforts in both World War I and World War II. Of that half, Maduro generously estimates that 100 are legible. Their synagogue in Willemstad’s colonial city center, Mikve Israel-Emanuel, is one of the oldest in-use synagogues in the Western Hemisphere. The community would grow, peaking at several thousand members — more than half of the island’s   population of European descent   — in the 18th century. Among the thousands of people buried in a centuries-old Jewish cemetery in the Caribbean are men and women whose relatives would go on to establish some of the first synagogues in the US — in Rhode Island, New York and the US Virgin Islands. Today, many of the flat, table-shaped tombstones are so worn it appears nothing was ever carved there at all. Just over the walls of Beth Haim in Curaçao — believed to be the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Western Hemisphere — is a comparatively modern oil refinery that’s been belching fumes for the better part of the past century. But their names may soon be lost to history. Gone, too, are the names of the people they’re meant to commemorate. “The refinery never, ever admitted any culpability for the destruction of the cemetery,” Maduro said. Mikve Israel-Emanuel, in the colonial center of   Willemstad, Curaçao,   is one of the oldest in-use synagogues in the Western Hemisphere. Portuguese-speaking Sephardic Jewish settlers first arrived in Curaçao in 1651 from the Netherlands. The cemetery — its grounds littered with coral fragments bleached white by the sun — sits in the shadow of the oil refinery. “We are very lucky he did that,” she said. By then, the community had opened a new cemetery far away from the refinery complex, opting to bury their dead in a place where the air did not burn the eyes and noses of the living. Over the years, a collection of researchers and scientists — some with ties to Curaçao Jewry, others without — have tried to salvage the remaining tombstones by applying resins and chemical preservatives. Credit:

Ryan Schuessler/PRI

Of the approximately 5,000 graves at Beth Haim, half have visible tombstones. White marble has turned yellow. He rarely visits Beth Haim today, occasionally driving by just to make sure “nothing terrible has happened.”
“It’s part of the congregation’s lifeline,” Maduro said. Credit:

Ryan Schuessler/PRI

Portuguese-speaking Sephardic Jewish settlers first arrived in Curaçao in 1651 from the Netherlands, which had given sanctuary to Jews fleeing the expulsion of non-Catholics from Iberia. Air monitoring near the refinery has routinely found elevated levels of harmful particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Some Hebrew or Portuguese may be faintly visible, as well the occasional palm tree or skull and crossbones. Myrna Moreno, the curator of the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum in Willemstad, recalled one local man, a chemist, who applied a protective coating to several tombstones. Most of the tombstones have been eroded beyond recognition. “But still, it is 11 out of 5,000.”
Though the oil refinery’s lease is up for renewal in 2019, Maduro — who served 40 years on Mikve Israel-Emanuel’s board, 25 as president — said it is too late to save the old cemetery. “It’s gone. Most of us will not know who of our families are buried there.”
Founded in 1659, the cemetery’s tombstones were works of art. “We’ve made every effort, and there is no way to preserve anything,” says René Levy Maduro, a lifelong member and leader of Curaçao’s Jewish community. Beth Haim accepted its last burials in the mid-20th century. The refinery continued to operate for decades until Shell pulled out of Curaçao in 1985. Some were ordained with religious imagery, often telling biblical stories. Today, the island’s government has leased the facility to Petróleos de Venezuela, SA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. “It’s gone,” he states matter-of-factly. Curaçao’s Jewish leaders say the pollution has slowly degraded the unique, intricately carved tombstones that chronicled the earliest days of Jewish settlement in the New World on this Dutch island in the southern Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. Credit:

Ryan Schuessler/PRI

Time and time again, those efforts have failed. Walking through the courtyard of Mikve Israel-Emanuel and the adjacent museum, Moreno pointed out 11 replicas of tombstones from Beth Haim, created by an architect in the 1960s. “He went there after two months, and it was all damaged again,” she recalled. Towering smokestacks and burning flares are a stone’s throw away from the crowded rows of graves.

The edible dormouse has evolved in such a way as to forestall aging

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The edible dormouse, so named because the Romans apparently kept them in clay pots and fattened them up with nuts in order to eat them, is a small rodent found in Western Europe. That’s a problem, Nordrum says, because reproduction is also known to shorten telomeres. Telomeres, tiny protective caps at the end of DNA, typically get shorter and shorter with age. “This might be a strategy that helps them preserve their telomeres’ condition over time. Dormice can live [to be] up to 13 years old.”
A regular mouse’s life span is typically two or three years, so “it’s a pretty remarkable extension of their life span,” Nordrum says. This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow. This is the first time they think anybody has observed such a phenomenon in the wild,” she says. Listen to the full interview. And it seems to be working. These rodents have the remarkable ability to actually lengthen their telomeres over time, according to Amy Nordrum, an associate editor at   IEEE Spectrum. “So, dormice might have evolved a strategy by which they can actually lengthen their telomeres at a time when they would otherwise be vulnerable, [due to] age   and late reproduction, to having them shortened,” Nordrum says. Researchers don’t really know how this happens, but they have a theory. Edible dormice, it seems, have an interesting reproductive strategy, in that they don’t reproduce in years when the food supply is low. This probably leads them to reproduce later in life than the average rodent. But one creature — the edible dormouse — seems to have developed a way to reverse this process and   forestall aging.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadThis story is based on a radio interview. “They found that the telomeres shorten for the first couple of years of the mice’s life, just like they do in most animals, but between the ages of 6 and 9, the telomeres actually lengthen, which is very unusual. In a study out of Vienna, from the University of Veterinary Medicine, researchers put 130 “nest boxes” out in the woods and tested cheek swabs from the edible dormice they collected over the course of three years to measure their telomere length over that time, Nordrum says.

High-tech sewing machines are bringing a century-old Massachusetts textile mill back to life

Rivera’s family story is not unique. “So, see this gray seam? Schneider says the seams in her clothes are less abrasive and can stretch more. But, they also learn how to operate the high-tech machines, and with higher skills come higher wages. “The Luddites were a group of textile workers, and they felt that their jobs were threatened by automation. Now, few can do the work of many. And we’re focused on infusing that future factory with technologies in order to pay people more. Additional buildings would be added to the mill complex over the next 60 years. Last century, hundreds of thousands of textile jobs went abroad to lower-wage countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and China, where labor is far cheaper. “We’re a rapidly growing startup and speed to market is critical for us,” says Wilson. But “by the time 1990 was here, there were really no sewing jobs,” says the mayor of Lawrence, Daniel Rivera. Credit:

99Degrees

Bringing back jobs to an old textile center
Folks at MIT were so impressed with 99Degrees’ business model that they awarded the startup the grand prize from the university’s Inclusive Innovation Challenge. She pulls a cloth scrap out of production and holds it up. But we do also need to recognize the legitimate concerns of people who have lost jobs because of technology. “And we’re blessed that we didn’t because we have really good buildings, really good bones   and they’re still standing,” says Rivera. “This mill, in particular, is significant because it was the largest cotton mill in the world in 1909,” she says. “The purpose of the Inclusive Innovation Challenge is to recognize and reward and encourage companies and individuals that are using technology to create more broadly shared prosperity. But those machines were in some cases eliminating jobs of textile workers. And it was an hour-and-15-minute drive,” says Marcus Wilson, a founder of NoBull. We’re focused on building a future factory, right? And some of them took it upon themselves to smash those machines to try to preserve jobs.”
Brynjolfsson says we shouldn’t try to smash the machines. Schneider does still employ   plenty of people sitting at traditional sewing machines, as well, and others working with scissors. And here, it’s   just a really quick process that moves very, very fast.”
So, for example, if red stretch pants in size medium are hot this week, Wilson can get more to the store shelves quickly. Credit:

Jason Margolis

Three years ago, Schneider had $7,500 to get started, and   “with that seed money, I launched with two sewing machines.”  
Today, she has 50 employees, dozens of customers and some really cool, 21st-century sewing machines. That came along with $125,000. So, it’s not sewn, there’s no needle and thread that connects the seam.”
The seam is then reinforced with a special seam tape, produced by the Massachusetts-based company, Bemis.  

Credit:

Jason Margolis

          He knows firsthand: His   mom was a seamstress here in the 1980s, but then had to   leave Massachusetts to find work.  

This is one of the many old textile mills that line the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Brenna Schneider is now renting a floor in a small wing of the Everett Mill,   built   in 1909,   to house her new clothing manufacturing company, 99Degrees. But Schneider doesn’t call herself a “social entrepreneur.”
“I think sometimes that term, it sounds a little soft. And that’s the impact I want to have.”
Schneider says if advanced automation allows her to create 250 higher-wage jobs as opposed to 1,000 lower-wage jobs, she votes for fewer jobs. Brynjolfsson says this question was also addressed 200 years ago in England. My personal motivation as an entrepreneur is good jobs and a scalable business. PRI.org

A century ago, Lawrence was a world center for textile manufacturing. But thanks to the latest machinery, her overall workforce is smaller and nimbler — and   labor costs are less of a factor for her business model. The Everett Stone Mill was built in the 1840s. Fancy Faith, an innovation sample maker at 99Degrees, finishes an ultrasonic-welded seam with adhesive tape. “Developing products or producing products in Asia, there’s a lot of time that’s spent with product just going back and forth for review. Technology is creating jobs   by eliminating others.  
In the case of 99Degrees, high-tech sewing machines are bringing back jobs to an old textile center. Staying local
The new Massachusetts sporting apparel company,   NoBull,   calculated the cost of doing business in a place like Bangladesh versus Lawrence when deciding where to manufacture its shorts, sports bras   and T-shirts; It chose to stay local, and went with 99Degrees to manufacture its products. In 1912, the Lawrence mill was also the site of the Bread and Roses Strike,   which   helped fuel the labor rights movement in the United States. The first thing   you notice when you arrive in Lawrence, Massachusetts, are the mills — picturesque five- and six-story red brick buildings that stretch into the distance along the Merrimack River.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. That seam is actually ultrasonic welded. But is there an irony in all of this? “Literally, we were up there [in Lawrence] yesterday working on development, taking a look at production. In other words, create wealth for the many, not just the few,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, which oversees the challenge. At the time it wasn’t robots, it was simple spinning machines. New England’s textile jobs may have vanished, but the city of Lawrence didn’t tear down its vacant mills. “And it’s not enough to simply say, ‘Oh well, that’s the way it goes.’ Instead, we have to take a proactive approach where we reinvent how the technology is used, so that instead of simply automating and eliminating jobs, we can take those technologies to create new higher-wage, higher-benefit jobs.”
Right now, most of Brenna Schneider’s employees make about $12 an hour sewing clothes. And the quiet, high-tech machines reduce the number of workers she needs.

Killing of Russia’s ambassador in Turkey may bring the two nations closer

“Mr. “This is the first step that we have with Russia, which we believe is a very important step, and this will create the conditions to create a lasting ceasefire in Syria.”
The two countries have had their share of differences lately. “At the time Mr. One day after Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was gunned down by an off-duty Turkish cop, you might expect a strain in diplomatic relations. great efforts in Syria and it’s absolutely unacceptable to support this group and its branches,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters. “And,” says Maynes, “the signals seem to be playing out that the Turks and the Russians want to keep working together.” “It even got to the point where you had a Turkish jet shoot down a Russian plane, killing the pilot,” Maynes recalls. There was much concern in Turkey when Russia entered the Syrian conflict in the fall of 2015. At the press conference the two foreign ministers seemed to be on the same page with regard to at least some opponents of the Assad regime. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu lay flowers in memory of murdered Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov before their talks in Moscow

Credit:

Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Just 24 hours after the violent death of the Russian ambassador in Ankara, the Turkish and Russian Foreign Ministers appeared together in a public ceremony in Moscow to lay flowers at a makeshift memorial to the slain diplomat. Erdogan finally made amends with Moscow when he apologized for the downing of the pilot [in June]. We had a coup in Turkey in July, and the Russians, then seeing a chance to create some space between Turkey and its Western allies in NATO, came to Mr. “Al Nusra Front is definitely a terrorist group blacklisted in many countries. “Our countries commit to fight together against these organizations,” echoed Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Putin said it was ‘a stab in the back,’ and they imposed sanctions on the Turks.”
“But it’s amazing how things turn around,” says Maynes. Erdogan’s support. “But, essentially, the focus has been on how can we work together to strengthen our efforts against terrorism.”
The foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia, along with their Iranian counterpart, sketched out their plans for a new partnership at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday. Their plans to join forces to confront security threats begins, they said, in Syria, Turkey’s troubled neighbor. “The Turks, particularly Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have come out against Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian leader, while the Syrian leader is an ally of Moscow,” says Maynes. And now they seem to have this loose agreement on Syria, where essentially they don’t interfere with each other’s war aims on the ground.”
And so the brutal assassination does not seem to be driving a wedge between Turkey and Russia. But, instead, Russia and Turkey seemed to be amping up their friendship.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. Russia makes … PRI.org

“The Russians might be asking how it is that a Turkish police officer ended up at an art exhibition, killing Ambassador Andrei Karlov,” observed Moscow-based journalist Charles Maynes.

Turkey’s fraught history with headscarves

I believe [Turkey will] become much more conservative. Nurbanu Dursun, a graduate student at the premier Bogazici University, says women in headscarves are accepted in public universities as students but not necessarily in academic positions. She remembers one recent incident on a crowded metro, when there were no seats. “As someone who values my freedoms, I don’t think the government protects my rights, and I don’t think it will protect the rights of a child that I would raise. Those who cover are considered supporters of the ruling Justice and Development party, or AKP, and women who don’t cover are seen as symbols of Turkey’s secular tradition. In 2011, Turkey’s Islamist government lifted the ban. “I wanted to go to that university because my cousin was there, but they wouldn’t admit me,” she says. But Betül says women in headscarves still faced discrimination. They both say meeting each other has challenged their preconceptions. But the headscarf has been a contested symbol of liberation or oppression throughout modern Turkish history. The secular-Islamist polarization in Turkey plays out on women’s bodies in public spaces. Betül says she feels more at home in Turkey than Melis, but doesn’t want to see women like Melis marginalized. In a café at Istanbul Arel University, a group of friends — secular and religious, Kurdish and Turkish — gather to talk about their country’s changing identity. But in many conservative neighborhoods, women who don’t cover face harassment. Some of my opinions, particularly about women with headscarves, have changed.”
As for Betül, she says one reason she chose this private university was to be among students who think differently from her. Melis, who considers herself secular, also studies psychology. In September, during the Eid holiday, a man on a bus attacked a nurse, cutting her face. Journalist Ozge Sebzeci contributed to this report. “I was feeling sick and looking pale. Religious women sometimes resisted, risking their jobs and degrees. In high school she says she had to take off her headscarf when she participated in the debate team. “We should have empathy for one another.”
In a recent survey of 16,000 people across Turkey conducted by the private consulting firm Ipsos KMG, 60 percent of women said they wear a headscarf, and nearly half of the men said their wife should wear a headscarf. Both women asked that we not use their last names to protect their privacy in Turkey’s current political climate. “It used to be that women in headscarves were mistreated, but now it’s the opposite,” Betül says. She thinks it’s because she wears a headscarf. Human rights activists blame the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rhetoric of creating a “good woman, bad woman narrative” in Turkish life. That’s the best way to foster tolerance, she says, and she’ll fight for respect for every woman, not just those wearing headscarves like her. They wore hats and wigs to go to school and work. So Betül, who studies psychology, chose Arel, a private liberal university, where she says no one monitored her clothing. Betül, 21, began wearing a Muslim headscarf in 2011, just after it became legal in public universities and government institutions. He has criticized secular, educated, single women without kids as “half women.”
Emma Sinclair Webb, director of Human Rights Watch in Turkey, says the government can have a family values agenda, but it shouldn’t discriminate against those who don’t fit that mold. It’s a real problem on public transportation, she says. “I was a person with a lot of prejudice,” says Melis. That’s why I don’t want to stay here,” Melis says. Women say if they don’t raise their voices, the government pays little attention. Dursun, who covers her head, says Turkey’s intelligentsia is still dominated by secular women. He shouted “women who wear shorts must die.”
A protest broke out immediately after the attack was publicized. And in a few liberal neighborhoods of Istanbul, women in headscarves continue to be ridiculed as backward. Turkey’s secular government outlawed the headscarf for civil servants and public universities in 1980, citing the need for the separation of state and religion. Betül and Melis, the two friends at Arel, say their government needs to be more pluralistic. She doesn’t feel like she fits in any more. “He didn’t give me his seat but as soon as a covered girl around my age walked in, he offered his seat to her. “These have been very insulting and polarizing discourses coming from above about women’s roles and women’s identity in this society,” says Sinclair-Webb. And it’s not just dirty looks and name-calling. “I overcame this with Betül. She says she’s angry and frustrated by the negative attitudes about secular women she now encounters in Turkey. And in the past five years, secular Turkish women say they find themselves judged by an increasingly conservative society. One topic of discussion among two of the young women, Betül and Melis, is the headscarf. Erdogan has publicly encouraged women to be religious, marry, have at least three children and work only part-time. And when she applied to the public Istanbul University, she was rejected. He looked straight at me, but said to her: ‘You deserve this seat.’ I felt worthless.”
Melis says she’s thinking of leaving Turkey after she’s done with her studies, maybe to travel to Europe. The reality is more complicated than that. A man kept staring at me,” Melis says.

In the DR Congo, protests turn deadly; president refuses to leave office

Badibanga urged people to stay “calm” and security forces “to show discipline and restraint” as violence erupted after his controversial appointment. Some two decades ago, Congo collapsed into the deadliest conflict in modern African history. With no election planned and no sign of him stepping down, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi issued a plea to the country’s 70 million people to “peacefully resist” and “reject” the Kabila regime. As the clock counted down on Tuesday’s end-of-mandate deadline, crowds gathered before midnight Monday to blow whistles and beat on improvised drums, calling on Kabila to quit. The president has been in office since his father Laurent Kabila’s assassination in 2001. Tension has been mounting for months in DR Congo ahead of the Dec. He was elected in 2006, and again in 2011. ‘Teargas and gunfire’  
“Fortunately, we are not back to the slaughter of September,” said national police spokesman Pierre-Rombaut Mwanamputu, referring to bloodshed in September when at least 53 anti-Kabila protesters died in two days, according to the UN. But the main opposition bloc rejects the plan. 20 deadline for Kabila’s second and final term in office to end. Joseph Kabila, to the international community to no longer deal with Joseph Kabila in the name of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
The 84-year-old urged people “to peacefully resist the coup d’etat.”
The message was not available in DR Congo where authorities have since Sunday imposed strict controls on the flow of pictures and video on social media networks. DR Congo has never witnessed a democratic transfer of power following polls since independence from Belgium in 1960. It was impossible to immediately verify that claim. Local authorities said “police were forced to fire into the air to disperse civilians” because some protesters were armed. Kabila, 45, who has ruled since 2001, is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term but under a controversial recent constitutional court order, he may stay on until a successor is chosen. The talks are due to resume on Wednesday. Tshisekedi said he hoped to continue talks launched by the Catholic Church last week to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. In central Kananga, the sound of heavy weapons sent crowds of panicked residents pouring into the streets, but there were no reports of clashes in northeastern Kisangani or in Bukavu in the country’s east. Its two wars in the late 1990s and early 2000s dragged in at least six African armies and left more than 3 million dead. The opposition wants elections next year — along with a pledge that Kabila will not stand. “There was teargas and gunfire,” said Andre, a resident of Kinshasa’s Matete neighborhood, adding that security forces “threatened the population.”
And in what Kabila’s opponents dubbed “a provocation,” state TV overnight announced a new government. At least 11 people died as gunfire erupted during protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo against longtime President Joseph Kabila, who is refusing to leave office as his mandate ends. ‘Caving in to pressure’  
In a YouTube video released during the night, opposition leader Tshisekedi launched “a solemn appeal to the Congolese people to no longer recognize the authority of Mr. An AFP correspondent said the streets of Lubumbashi’s Matuba neighborhood were strewn with rocks and burnt tires early Tuesday amid a heavy police presence. Plumes of smoke from burning barricades hung over Kinshasa after overnight protests, and activity ground to a halt as troop carriers patrolled the largely empty streets of the megacity of 10 million. Shots rang out in the capital Kinshasa, where at least nine people were killed, and there was sustained gunfire in the country’s second-largest city, Lubumbashi, where two died — including a policeman who was lynched by an angry crowd. Headed by Samy Badibanga, it is part of an October deal between the ruling party and tiny fringe opposition groups that enables Kabila to remain in office, pending elections in April 2018. The UN’s large DR Congo mission, MONUSCO, said it was probing reliable reports of dozens of deaths and voiced alarm over the arrests of 113 opposition leaders and civil society activists in just four days.

Plastic trash is a big problem. How much do you throw away? (QUIZ)

In the modern world, plastic products are so common that hardly anyone keeps track of how much they use and discard. But no matter how well a country manages its recycling, a significant amount of plastic ends up in the environment — especially in waterways. The consequences of this could be harsher to humanity than climate change, as we detail in our in-depth report, “Climate change, meet your apocalyptic twin: oceans poisoned by plastic.”
So, how much plastic do you throw away or recycle? It’s estimated that by 2050, the seas will contain more plastic than fish. Calculate your average with this tool, then compare your number with the rest of the world.

Indonesia’s forests are key for saving orangutans — and slowing climate change

Forests, and the land they have traditionally taken up, are important to local economies. Deforestation a leading contributor to climate change in Indonesia
Orangutans are not the only creatures threatened by the massive conversion of land away from forests in Indonesia. Most of that deforested land, an area just slightly smaller than Taiwan, has been converted into oil palm plantations in the Indonesian portion of Borneo. Many farm small plots of land, illegally, inside the national park.  
He says he can’t farm or fish, so it’s the best job available to him in the region. Preserving tropical rainforests has long been a priority for conservationists seeking to protect biodiversity, boost water quality and prevent erosion. “National parks like Gunung Palung are for the most part intact, but they are increasingly becoming islands in seas of oil palm or other sorts of plantation forest areas,” says Erica Pohnan, conservation program manager at Alam Sehat Lestari, a nonprofit that runs a health clinic and conservation programs near the park. The World Wildlife Fund estimates palm oil is in half of all packaged goods on grocery store shelves. And unlike China, the US and other nations ahead of it on that list, most of its pollution comes not from transportation or industrial sources, but from deforestation and land-use changes.   
“And that makes wildlife conservation very difficult because there’s no connectivity between these islands.”

Credit:

Global Forest Watch

Over the past 10 years, roughly half of the deforestation on Borneo, an island Indonesia shares with Malaysia and Brunei, has been done to clear the way for industrial plantations. In turn, those developed countries will get to subtract that carbon from the amount they’ve promised to reduce their own emissions by under the climate change agreement. Humans are   too. “Communities that live near forests depend on these forests for a number of natural resources that they use every day,” Chatellier says. When Edward Tang was a boy, he used to hunt durian fruit in the jungle near his house in western Borneo. But he almost never sees orangutans anymore. “The impact of forest destruction in Indonesia has been immense,” Tang says. He says he still catches glimpses of orangutans when he hikes deep into the park on overnight camping trips with kids. On expeditions into the forest, he’d often see orangutans swinging from branch to branch above his head. Toni Hidayat lives in western Borneo, across the street from the site where conservation educator Edward Tang leads educational hikes for the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program. Hidayat works at a palm oil plantation about an hour-and-a-half away by motorbike. Indonesia was the sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitting country in the world as of 2012, the most recent year for which full data is available. But over the past two decades, the importance of keeping forests intact as a way to prevent climate change has slowly been rising in prominence on the international stage. Note: This is the first story in a series on PRI.org and The World examining social entrepreneurs using innovative methods to protect Indonesian forests. Tang is 40 now, and as a conservation educator, he still spends a lot of time in the forest. Orangutans, which live in the wild only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, have been some of the most visible victims of that deforestation. Credit:

Carolyn Beeler

Chatellier works in Jakarta for a company called Forest Carbon   that is, like a small but growing number of firms in developing countries, launching a for-profit forest conservation program to tap into that money, and the existing $278 million market for carbon credits bought voluntarily by companies and individuals seeking to offset their own pollution.  
The vegetable oil those palms produce is used in a huge variety of products sold in the US, from ice cream to lipstick. Protecting forests without cutting people off from them
But protecting forests is a complicated challenge. As billions of dollars are poised to flow from developed to developing countries to protect their forests, countries like Indonesia are scrambling to figure out how to resolve that kind of conflict: how to balance the lives and livelihoods of local people with the need to protect the global climate and fragile species, like Borneo’s endangered orangutans. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates the number of orangutans living in Borneo dropped by 60 percent between 1950 and 2010 alone. You can’t just build a fence to keep people out of what is sometimes literally in their own backyards. When conservation groups move in to claim a piece of land to preserve it, “that can create conflict,” Chatellier says. Edward Tang, conservation education coordinator at the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project in West Kalimantan. where forest conservation was really recognized as a really important climate mitigation activity,” says environmental scientist Jeffrey Chatellier. When trees are cut down or burned, they release stored carbon that rises into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.  
“This is a good fit for me,” Hidayat says. Under the United Nations climate change agreement struck in Paris last year, starting in 2020, developed countries will be able to pay developing countries, like Indonesia, for the carbon they’ve kept sequestered by protecting their forests. Credit:

Carolyn Beeler

The sprawling archipelago nation of Indonesia has lost about a quarter of its forests in the past 25 years. The palm oil industry employs roughly 4 million people in Indonesia and Malaysia alone. “Going back to 2007, you had the United Nations climate change negotiations in Bali … The best-protected populations of the endangered great apes live in national parks like the roughly 400-square-mile Gunung Palung, on the western coast of Borneo, where Tang leads hikes for schoolchildren. A small patch of forest still burns after being cleared for farming in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Hidayat’s neighbors in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan go to the forest for firewood and timber. In 2010, Indonesia’s National Council on Climate Change estimated that about 85 percent of the country’s emissions stem from land-use activities, primarily in the form of deforestation and peat fires.

Jellyfish are ancient, beautiful and mysterious. But they’re becoming a global headache.

You’d be pretty happy. So, as long as we keep giving them fewer fish, warmer water, more nutrients in coastal ecosystems, more coastal construction, etc., they’re going to continue to bloom, because that’s what they do.”
This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood. A jellyfish bloom   (or group) can encompass millions of the creatures spread over many dozens of miles. Gershwin is drawn to   how unique they are, and the fact that they’re still so mysterious. Overfishing, plastic pollution,   warming temperatures and other impacts of human activities are changing the oceans — resulting in   decreasing populations of everything from tuna to whales to dolphins. “A lot of aspects of their biology and ecology are just fascinating, and yet they’re so poorly studied and so poorly known that it’s like every time you look at them, you can discover amazing new stuff, and I really like that aspect as a scientist — to be able to make so many discoveries of new species, new behaviors, new aspects of biology and ecology.”
Jellyfish function in ways that are hard for humans to relate to. reproduce more and live longer to do more of it. But humans are also causing one class of sea life to thrive: jellyfish. “You think, ‘Hang on, jellyfish is the top predator? They’re blooming because the things that we are doing as humans are giving them the perfect conditions to bloom. “When jellyfish bloom into ‘super-abundances,’ power plants suck in all these jellies and the engines that are cooled by the water shut down. “They’re not blooming because they’re evil. It could be potentially catastrophic if the plant weren’t shut down proactively.”
So, now that humans have managed to create for ourselves a serious problem with these creatures, what can we do about it? Pretty much they’re just a bag of goo with a stomach and a really primitive nerve net, and gonads. Not every species of jellyfish is rampant and out of control, Gershwin notes, but some are causing untold problems for all sorts of marine industries. “I think if we really want to change this dynamic, we have to actually change the reasons the jellyfish are blooming,” Gershwin says. “We are giving them the biggest break of their entire history.”
Gershwin has a rare passion for this stinging sea creature. What about fish and sharks and whales?’ It’s not that they’re eating sharks, but they eat the food that the food of the food of sharks would eat, and so jellyfish are able to cripple an ecosystem at the ankles.”
Power plants are threatened if they draw cooling water from the ocean or an estuary, or anyplace where jellyfish could conceivably be, Gershwin explains. That’s it.”

Lagoon jellyfish   feed on zooplankton but also grow symbiotic algae in their tissues as an added food source, giving them a greenish-brown color. PRI.org

“What we are doing as a normal part of being human — our waste and our coastal construction and our fishing and our carbon dioxide, all of these things — we are creating a world for jellyfish that they’re loving,” says Australian–based biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin. Listen to the full interview. “They have no brain, no blood, no heart, no bones. Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadThis story is based on a radio interview. For better or for worse, she says, humans have created the ideal circumstances for jellyfish to flourish. For example, they’re hard on tourism (since they sting people), and they pose challenges for salmon farms, fishing vessels and some ecosystems — where, as the top predator, they’re taking over. Credit:

(Photo: New England Aquarium)

What’s even more fascinating, Gershwin adds, is that, while other creatures have evolved into a staggering array of life, jellyfish haven’t had to: They’re the same as they’ve always been. And in this case, “somebody else warms up the water that you’re living in so you grow faster, eat more … They bloom as a natural part of their lifecycle, and they respond to environmental conditions.  
“That just bends your mind backwards,” Gershwin says. “If you’re an animal and every day is a struggle to find food, a struggle not to be someone else’s food, a struggle to grow fast enough to reproduce before you become food or die of some other way, imagine a world where somebody else does you the favor of taking out your predators and competitors,” Gershwin says. Jellyfish don’t have a brain, so I think they’re not actually happy, but, man, they’re loving it.”
Jellyfish have inhabited Earth’s waters for about half a billion years. But now, in many places, they have become too much of a good thing. She has personally identified 200 new species and is one of the foremost experts on these ancient, intriguing   beings.

How an Australian man got away with taking $1.5M of his bank’s money

Credit:

Courtesy of   Luke Moore

“They never sent me a letter saying, you know, your account is this much overdrawn and it’s time to start paying some of the money back,” he said. Moore served six months in jail before a judge set him free, saying what he’d done was dishonest   but —   critically — not illegal. New clothes. Luke Moore thought has had life figured out. Traveling. Moore pretty quickly realized he could live an entirely different lifestyle on the bank’s money. “The court ruled that there was absolutely no evidence that a crime had even been committed. I pulled the curtains across and they were like, ‘It’s the police. And while he always expected the bank to come calling for its money, he didn’t expect the whole thing to come crashing down the way it did. “I sort of just took a gamble really one day, I think. An error at the Australian 22-year-old’s bank was allowing him to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars without ever being asked to make any payment. Luke Moore says he is studying to become a criminal lawyer. That’s when it all sort of started — me being able to access this enormous line of credit,” Moore said. He went on two holidays to Thailand, both for about two months each. “[Instead], I was in the bedroom and there’s a knock at the window. Parties. I was going up there just for a weekend to see one of my friends and I ended up staying there for about the next 12 months.”
All told, Moore took about $1.5 million (2 million Australian dollars) before the bank caught on to what was going on. He was released, his conviction vacated. For the prosecution to prove that I had obtained money by deception they had to prove that I wasn’t authorized to do what I did on the account. By looking at the terms of conditions of the account that I had in place with the bank, it clearly said that I was authorized to direct debit and overdraw your account,” Moore said. At the same time, his paychecks were going into another account. If you don’t open the front door we’re going to kick it in.'”
That was December 2012 — and the start of a months-long trip through the Australian legal system, where Moore faced charges of fraud relating to taking money by deception. Moore says he’s now studying to be a criminal lawyer. New cars. Moore ended up with four cars — including an   Aston Martin DB7 (original retail price: $140,000), the same car that was in James Bond films — and a fishing boat. I rang up a home loan company and asked them if they could, instead of direct debiting my usual $500 a fortnight [every two weeks], if they could debit $5,000. And yet, the bank never stopped him from withdrawing, even though his account plunged deeper and deeper into negative territory. “Oh the lifestyle change was incredible,” Moore said. Drugs. “I decided to go up for a holiday to Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast. This story was first published by the CBC’s As It Happens. Moore was convicted and   sent to prison — but a funny thing happened during his appeal.

What is often called ‘illegal immigration’ isn’t really illegal

It was the lowest number in any of the past eight years. Away from the borders, the federal government rarely enforces immigration law. “Throughout the twentieth century the United States has arranged to import Mexican workers while pretending not to do so.”
Legal scholar Eric Posner refers to the situation as an “illegal immigration system.” He says it’s wrong to think that unauthorized immigrants live here illegally. “That was when everything changed for me, thanks to President Ronald Reagan, who made the Simpson-Rodino law, and that’s when I got my papers,” he said in Spanish. The law treats many immigration violations as civil offenses, not as crimes. And the government focuses most of its attention on unauthorized immigrants who have committed crimes. But most of those deportations happened right near the border. Why? Immigration raids scared off workers and disrupted the harvest. Responses came back quickly. But for years, immigration has been so politically explosive that Congress hasn’t increased the number of legal visas. I’m a news reporter and I’ve been writing about Mexican immigration for many years. And on the relatively rare occasions that immigration law is enforced in the interior of the country, it can be severe. Is he a “bad” immigrant who broke the law? Consider the story of Rosalio Navarro, a friendly, talkative man who was 59 when I met him several years ago. You may have heard immigration advocates refer to Obama as the “deporter-in-chief” for sending huge numbers of immigrants out of the country. But it misses an important point. More: These asylum-seekers are being forced to raise their kids in immigration ‘jails’
And that brings us   back to Navarro. Republican presidential candidate Sen. Some communities would cheer the change. The onion growers complained to members of Congress, who not only got the enforcement stopped, they arranged a temporary amnesty until the workers could bring in the onions. At one point the protesters chanted, “Let’s be loud! Both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations have quietly permitted the continued presence of people — particularly Mexican immigrants — who managed to enter illegally or overstay visas. By contrast, border enforcement generates little backlash. Bill Clinton’s administration dramatically reduced immigration raids in US workplaces. Chant: Let’s be loud, let’s be clear, immigrants are welcome here. “If there is one constant in US border policy, it is hypocrisy,” Princeton University scholar Douglas Massey and colleagues wrote in their 2002 book about Mexican immigration, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors. Immigration enforcement in the interior of the country often angers people, particularly the immigrants’ employers. If you’ve ever had a shot of tequila, you can thank people like him, because he grew up in the actual town of Tequila in Mexico’s Jalisco state. If our government truly treated the presence of unauthorized immigrants as illegal, it’s hard to imagine how so many millions of these immigrants could stay for so many years. Bush proposed an amnesty, but couldn’t get it through Congress. If Trump follows through with his campaign promise of large-scale deportations in the US interior, it would mean casting out families that have lived here for years and disrupting the lives of their citizen children. Others would resist. And yet:
“Whether characterized as a matter of civil or criminal law, and whether carried out by federal, state, or local officials, every type of immigration law enforcement shares a common central feature: imprisonment,” legal scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández wrote in   a paper published in the California Law Review last year. Another person wrote: “The irony? In the 1980s, he had a stroke of luck. In an interview, he says border enforcement doesn’t just affect freshly arrived immigrants — it can also impact long-term immigrants who live in the border zone as well as those who are trying to return to families in the US interior. Let’s be clear! He wanted better opportunities, so he crossed the border illegally to work in the US. That’s key to understanding how we got here — and a key to understanding what might happen in a Trump administration. At least, not very often. Ted Cruz made similar remarks on the campaign trail: “I think most Americans, when we look at immigration, follow a very basic principle: Legal good, illegal bad,” he said while on a tour of the southern border. Generally, they have no chance at citizenship, no right to vote, limited access to social programs, and no right to travel back to their home countries and return — even when a family member is dying. Today he splits his time between Mexico and Memphis, where members of his family live. Enforcement of immigration laws in non-border areas has dropped significantly during his tenure, according to a 2014 analysis by the Los Angeles Times, and most of those deportations followed criminal convictions. And President Barack Obama signed an executive order that temporarily provided work permits to hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the country as children. “Little effort is made to stop them from working or to expel them,” he wrote in a 2013 essay. No one ever suggested immigrants weren’t welcome. The economy’s demand for low-cost labor leads to a hands-off approach. It would represent a big shock to the economic and social order — perhaps a much bigger shock than many people imagine. And unauthorized immigrants are staying put, rather than crossing and re-crossing the border. pic.twitter.com/Q5yblHqiCP
— Daniel Connolly (@DanielConnolly) November 12, 2016
“Legal immigrants are always welcome here,” one person wrote. Or a “good” immigrant because he got the amnesty that opened the door to citizenship? Last month, I covered an anti-Trump rally in Memphis, Tennessee, where I live. Decades of hands-off federal policy have allowed millions of unauthorized immigrants to put down roots. It’s the wrong question to ask. Reagan wasn’t the only president to protect unauthorized immigrants. For one, businesses want a reliable, low-cost   work force. For years, he worked in the grinding, low-paid job of harvesting and hauling the agave plants used to make the drink. Immigrants are welcome here!”
I tweeted the chant. The political dynamic has resulted in a combination of heavy border enforcement, light interior enforcement and occasional legalizations, like the one Navarro received. But unauthorized immigrants have limited rights. What we may think of as “illegal immigration” isn’t actually illegal. Within the illegal immigration system, there’s often no bright line difference between immigrants who came legally and those who broke immigration law.   A classic case played out in the Vidalia onion fields of Georgia in 1998. Just follow the law.”
I often hear this type of comment. Protest now at Cooper Young intersection. By 2014, an estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the US and they had stayed in this country for a median of nearly 14 years, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The most recent statistics show deportations from the interior dropped to about 69,000 for the 2015 fiscal year (PDF). The 1986 amnesty brought him legal status and eventually, citizenship. In my experience, unauthorized immigrants often live openly, buying houses, running small businesses, raising US citizen children and sometimes paying federal income taxes under their own names; the Internal Revenue Service issues individual Tax Identification Numbers that help them do it. George W. Posner compared the situation to police officers choosing not to enforce traffic laws:
“In other words, the odds of being punished for participating in the illegal immigration economy are something like the odds of being given a ticket for driving 56 mph in a 55 mph zone.”
In some cases, unauthorized immigrants can even win legal status, he wrote. On the surface, that seems to makes sense. The solution: tolerate illegal immigration.

Reports of privatizing oil-rich Native lands are overblown, but big changes are still in store under Trump

When Oklahoma legislator Markwayne Mullin recently told Reuters, “We should take tribal land away from public treatment,” the backlash was instant. The mostly conservative, Republican coalition hopes to advise the incoming administration on Indian country issues, like economic development, energy and the environment. Not so fast
Agencies like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Interior are charged with helping tribes and preventing them from being exploited — by the states, corporations and privatize citizens — though they haven’t always done a stellar job. “There’s a terrible history of non-Indians near reservations desperately wanting whatever resources tribes have,” explained Helton. Here are just two examples: Gold in the Black Hills in the 1840s on land once controlled by the Dakota Sioux and the discovery of gold around 1800 on land in   North Carolina and Georgia that was controlled by the Cherokee. Ever since the   Supreme Court decided Johnson v. He just wants to make it easier for tribes to do business without the approval of the federal government — to “cut through the red tape of bureaucracy.”
“It’s tribal land given to sovereign nations, but it’s treated like public land. first Mark Mullin, tribes should make their own decisions on what happens to their land, not you, not the federal government and certainly not you taking their land and handing it over to some private company who you have sold yourself too,” wrote one commenter on Facebook. He and other advisers to President-elect Donald Trump   were accused of supporting a controversial measure to privatize Indian land in order to allow easier access to oil reserves. He and 15 other politicians also belong to the newly formed Native American Coalition — started before Trump was elected. Standing Bear said getting the approval from the government on projects that could lead to greater economic development and more jobs are stalled because they’ve had to seek approval from BIA, BLM and the Interior Department. Be ready to fight tomorrow.”
Mullin is Cherokee and a   Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Oklahoma. And another said, “It’s important to remember that 500 years of struggle did not end yesterday. “And here we go … Mullin said the recent article misquoted him. “The US has chosen to exercise   their obligations through a massive amount of bureaucracy,” he said. He thinks the relationship tribes have with government is   “paternalistic” and hinders their economic opportunities — even though it’s meant to protect them. He doesn’t want to privatize Indian land, he says. In other words, that red tape may be a good thing, according to Taiawagi Helton, a professor of Indian law at the University of Oklahoma. The goal of that 1823 decision was to protect the tribes from being cheated out of their resources — including making sure the tribes get the benefit of oil and gas beneath their land. Standing Bear, who has supported both Democrat and Republican candidates,   agrees with Mullin: Tribes should remain sovereign and be able to make decisions for themselves. Osage officials would like to sell that oil, but they need approval from the feds. “The idea of freeing tribes from federal government seems misplaced. The Osage nation   has   a total of 240 oil wells on its reservation. McIntosh in 1823, tribes have been considered both sovereign, independent nations with their own governments   and infrastructure, and subject to the approval of the federal government. Party today, we won a big one. We want them to be treated like private landowners,” he added. And that’s a problem, according to Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. They can’t develop their resources. In fact, setting them free from federal oversight sounds a lot like right to work — you’re free to work, but without the protection of labor unions,” said Helton. Fresh off a victory in the Dakota Access Pipeline fight, activists, politicians and others took to social media to express outrage and disgust at an idea that would fundamentally alter the relationship the federal government and Native Americans have had for centuries. That doesn’t mean privatization, but it does mean cutting some red tape. Mullin believes Native people would be better off supporting the agenda of Republicans like himself. “It’s nothing short of oppressive,” he said of   federal oversight.

Truck plows into busy Christmas market in Berlin, killing 9

Police subsequently said nine had been killed and that one person has been detained over the incident — which comes less than a week before Christmas. The attack in Berlin also comes five months after Tunisian extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel plowed a 19-ton truck into a crowd on the Nice seafront, killing 86 people. A truck is seen near the Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, on December 19, 2016. In another case, a 16-year-old German-Moroccan girl in February stabbed a police officer in the neck with a kitchen knife, wounding him badly, allegedly on ISIS orders. some seriously. The violence began with the January 2015 attacks on a satirical newspaper and a Jewish supermarket in Paris and continued 10 months later with coordinated strikes on the capital’s Bataclan concert hall, national stadium and cafe terraces. A truck plowed into a busy Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing at least nine people and wounding 50 more in what police said was a possible terror attack. An ax rampage on a train in the southern state of Bavaria in July injured five people, and a suicide bombing wounded 15 people in the same state six days later. The massacre on the palm-fringed Promenade des Anglais was the latest in a series of jihadist attacks that have rocked France over the past two years. Six people have been charged so far over alleged links to the 31-year-old killer but investigators have yet to prove that any of them knew what he was planning. The bloodshed — as people were watching fireworks display on the Bastille Day public holiday on July 14 — further traumatized a France already reeling from a series of jihadist attacks. Some are dead,” a police spokeswoman told AFP. Ambulances and police rushed to the area after the driver drove up the pavement of the market in a central square popular with tourists, in scenes reminiscent of the deadly truck attack in the French city of Nice in July. Germany has been shaken this year by several assaults claimed by the Islamic State group and carried out by asylum-seekers. “We are investigating whether it was a terror attack but do not yet know what was behind it,” a police spokesman said. ISIS moved quickly after the attack to claim Bouhlel as one of its followers. “There are at least 50 injured … Credit:

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

Attacks rock France  
The arrival of 890,000 refugees last year has polarized Germany and misgivings run particularly deep in the ex-communist east, even more so since ISIS-linked attacks in July carried out by Syrian asylum-seekers. Investigators said he suffered from depression and appeared to have become radicalized very quickly. The attacks have hardened attitudes on security and immigration, fuelling the rise of the far-right ahead of next year’s presidential election
Another 11 people were arrested lat week in France suspected of helping to arm Bouhlel.

How the best bread in Paris ended up in my freezer, and why it made me think about death

It’s just a big, round, four-pound loaf of sourdough. “It’s just a good way to start your morning,” says Wright. It was a gift. The taste. While in Paris, they met the owner of Poilane at the time, a man named Lionel Poilane, a celebrity of sorts in the baking-mad city. You know, honor the kindness and warmth the Poilanes once extended to him, by making their incredible product available   to his customers. And then the guy says, ‘Look, I have property in Normandy this weekend. Food has a way of transporting us. There are only a couple times in life when a chance decision extends your shelf-life. ‘No. “There’s this old man who panhandles in Harvard Square,” he says. Years ago, he was travelling through France with his wife. Famed food writer David Lebovitz says he moved to Paris, in part, to be closer to the Poilane bakery. If not for a man politely declining a fatal helicopter ride, I might not have the world’s greatest bread in my freezer.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. Gurdal wouldn’t let me leave without it. And the homeless men in Harvard Square didn’t know who he was, or where he went. “They don’t last. And that’s why Gurdal started over-nighting it from Paris, once a week, to his neighborhood grocery store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And his weekly pick-up at Gurdal’s shop takes him back to that Paris bakery. He keeps a quarter-loaf in the freezer at his home, another in his vacation home, and yet another one at work. But I’m getting ahead of myself. but every Friday morning he will show up here on a bicycle, change his clothes, come into the store, and buys a quarter loaf.”
I tried to track this guy down, but   he hasn’t showed up at Gurdal’s store recently. But Poilane has nearly a century of perfection behind it and a unique “terroir” for each of the ingredients. And so I do. And as I removed it from the toaster I remembered a quote about why the Poilane family likes making things with dough —   it’s because they disappear. He then gave me specific instructions for how to thaw, slice and toast it. Among the bread fiends I talked with, few are as committed to Poilane as the man who imports it, Gurdal. It has minimal ingredients: flour, water, starter, salt. I’ll slice the bread and pop it into the toaster, smear it with butter and jam, pair it with coffee and be thankful. It keeps memories fresh. Do you guys want to come with us?’ Fortunately and unfortunately we said. He’d just picked up his Poilane from Gurdal’s shop. He wouldn’t accept payment. “And he looks older than he probably is … The news stunned the food world. And to anyone else interested in bread. And that’s what I plan to do. All of this for a bread that, at first glance, is nothing fancy. But Gurdal’s connection to Poilane goes far beyond flavor. We’re going to fly there. “And you know, I also rationalize it in thinking, ‘Well, we also get vegetables from California and it’s just about as far.”
Wright first tried Poilane in the 1980s. PRI.org

But he did. And so that’s the long version of how the best bread in Paris ended up in my kitchen. And I tried so many other different breads and yet I keep coming back to Poilane. Life is often like that: random and tragic. His name is Ihsan Gurdal, and he has quite a story. People like me. Gurdal doesn’t make much money off the loaves. “There’s a little bit of, an awkwardness about buying a bread from Paris. People talk about their first time with Poilane the way you might talk about your … I have a private helicopter. It’s known as the “Bread of Paris.” Many journalists have sanctified it in long-form articles. “We hit it off,” he says. We can’t, as tempting as it is.’ And then the next day they crashed.”
Lionel and his wife, Iréna,   died in the crash. Wright admitted the whole thing is a little ridiculous. His loyal clients are willing to pay an ever-changing amount in the vicinity of $10   a pound for the bread. But he’s been doing it now for about a decade. That’s why it’s critical to enjoy the good moments. “The bread is baked on Wednesday, packed hot, and put on an Air France flight,” says Gurdal. At the very least, it’s just something nice. “It would arrive to [Boston] and it would get delivered to us Thursday morning. He seemed offended that I even offered. It’s a little akward. He fished some of his personal stash out of the basement refrigerator in his shop. So it feels more like a chance to pay it forward. We use FedEx now, I think, and you can now even get Poilane delivered to your front door.”
Gurdal doesn’t advertise the service. One customer I did track down was painter Jim Wright. “They really liked us. first time. This all happened back in 2002, but you can telltalking to Gurdal he’s still processing it. He never wants to be without it. The real story starts — like any good food story does — with a connoisseur. And that might explain this whole overnight bread thing. “Even the smell of that bread was stunning.”
Those who try it cannot go back. I met him one morning at his studio. At least, that’s how we started it. Gurdal says those bread fanatics range from the very well off to those without a home. He’s a transplant from Turkey, the size of a volleyball player, and a man who wraps you up in his passion for food, and especially for his favorite bread, Pain Poilane. “The crust. Like we won’t last.”
So you might as well enjoy it. The texture,” says Gurdal. But I enjoy it so much. So until I find something locally that’s just as good or satisfying I’m going to keep up with it,” he says. Taste always does.

Meet the identitarians, Europe’s ‘new right’

And it’s becoming more and more and more.”
Referring to the approximately 1 million refugees and migrants who have entered Germany in the last one-to-two years, Timm said, “If I look at how many people have arrived lately,   and how many we are expecting to arrive in the future — we have no idea how to integrate them really — it’s a big, big problem.”
Timm is a 25-year-old architecture student with a hipster beard and glasses   who drops salty English slang expressions into his conversation with ease. “We don’t believe in white supremacy, but we do believe that every nation has its own culture and that’s something we should hold on to. Some of Trump’s “alt-right” supporters like   Richard Spencer, who advocate   for preserving and protecting the white race   in   the United States, have said they prefer to describe themselves as “identitarian.”
But Timm said the identitarian ideology should not be mixed up with the so-called alt-right   in America. “On the other hand, those from the left side of the political spectrum do not believe in that. “German patriots” is what they call themselves. Tradition! That’s something we don’t want to be involved with,” Timm said. “In Berlin, we do not only have one of these places. “We are trying to play with [Trump’s] rhetoric,” Timm said. The identitarians also insist that it is possible to be proud of one’s own culture and traditions without being tarred as a racist or, as in the case of Germany, a neo-Nazi. Germany’s   domestic   security services   say they are keeping an eye on people affiliated with the movement. And that comes along with strict laws on immigration, but it has nothing to do with supremacy. And still, it has to be insured that Germans stay the majority in Germany.”
That argument might appeal to many Germans. This is also a distinction the American alt-right makes. But all this has to work on very strict circumstances. Werner Patzelt, a professor of political science at the Technical University of Dresden, researches far-right populism in Germany. Identitäre Bewegung Bayern stellt sich vor The Identitarians have borrowed tactics from left-wing groups like Greenpeace. Timm, who started getting involved with the identitarian movement in April, said a more appropriate expression for the group’s beliefs might be something like, “Make Germany Stay Germany.”
Identitarians reject some of the core   beliefs embraced by older far-right groups, Timm told me, such as   anti-Semitism. “I think there are many people that have the right to be here, because they’re being pursued in their country and there’s war and all that. But he added that his movement needs to be   careful, because “make Germany great again” is an expression that the Nazis used. “This is an area where I would not want to live, and I also wouldn’t want my kids to grow up here,”   he said. Timm said identitarian   activists in Germany number between 300 and 400 and tend to support the far-right Alternative for Germany party. An 18-year-old activist named Rosa, who didn’t want to give her last name, told me she has taken part in counter-demonstrations against the identitarians, because she sees them as nothing more than neo-Nazis in disguise. Earlier in the day, we sat down to talk at a German restaurant in East Berlin, where Timm grew up. Stop multiculturalism!” In another video,   someone   whose face is covered goes around parts of Berlin and spray-paints   a message in Arabic on sidewalks   close to mosques and immigrant areas that reads, “Go home.”
“I’m completely all right with controlled immigration,” Timm told me. But the current migrant crisis requires Germany’s borders to be closed temporarily, he added. They seem to relish pulling off political stunts and then putting up videos of their protest actions online. Patzelt   told me that he is   withholding final judgement on the broad identitarian movement in Europe, because these groups are so new. These days, the Berlin neighborhood around Hermannplatz is home to a large population of immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Looking around at all the shopkeepers, street food vendors and passersby, Timm told me that he is worried about the future for Germany. And they are part   of a broader “new right”   emerging in European politics. “You really have to look for Germans around here,” Robert Timm, a spokesman for the identitarians in Berlin, told me on a recent evening as we walked past the subway station at Hermannplatz. He says he takes heart in the fact that the identitarians are not only being criticized by people on the political left in Germany, but by extremist far-right groups as well. “They [have] a lot of Nazis [among them]. A certain amount of immigration in the modern world is expected, he said. The busy intersection of Karl Marx and Hermann Streets gets its name straight out of German history. Freedom! They influence and manipulate people in a way that I cannot accept,” she said. “They’re trying to be cool, and young, and act like one of us, like normal young people.”  
Rosa said she is not persuaded by Timm’s statements against anti-Semitism. Like many of his fellow identitarians, Timm is social media-savvy and appears to spend a lot time online. They are the Identitäre Bewegung,   which translates into English as   the “identitarian movement.”
As a political action group, the identitarians are still quite new in Germany. In August, identitarian activists scaled the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, they waved their black and yellow flags, and then hung up a banner that said, “Secure the border, save lives.”
One   video on YouTube shows German identitarian protesters chanting, “Home! The “identitarian” brand, as it were, began in France. And I asked him if Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to “Make America Great” reflected the identitarian ideology too. Membership with   extremist far-right groups that, for example, promote violence or openly espouse Nazi ideology, are illegal in Germany. “They’re racists, but they say they’re not racists,” Rosa said. “Herman the German,” as he’s known, was a German tribal warrior who fought the Romans in the early first century. “They’re intolerant,” she said of Timm and his fellow identitarians. But above all else, they say they want their government to put stricter limits on immigration, especially from Muslim countries. “Identitarians are positioning themselves on the left wing of the right side of the political spectrum, trying to make clear that one can be willing to preserve distinct Polish, French, German culture without being a Nazi,” Patzelt said. It spread to Austria with the help of a 27-year-old activist named Martin Sellner, who once belonged to a neo-Nazi group but now distances himself from extremist views and says he does not endorse   violence. But to those on the far left, the identitarians represent nothing new. They would claim that identitarians only pretend to be, so to speak, enemies of really right-wing extremists, but actually they are in sympathy with them.”
Whatever becomes of the identitarian movement in Germany, there is one thing that many people here — left, right and center — seem to agree on: The identitarians’ ideological allies from   the Alternative for Germany party appear to be very well placed   to win   lots of seats in next year’s national election. We have plenty of these places. If someone trying to join his group expressed anti-Jewish ideas, or denied the Holocaust, he said that person would not be welcome. They lack a carefully crafted, detailed political ideology. They’re dangerous.

Syria’s war may be the most documented ever. And yet, we know so little.

Despite the war (or perhaps because of it), Syrian citizen media networks, with increasing knowledge and skill, have been a major conduit for the documentation of the war. Access to those technologies gave Syrians the tools both to communicate among themselves and to connect with the rest of the world. Enough remnants of those networks exist now to allow people in conflict zones to continue sharing information. We can identify facts and establish evidence through careful analysis, and with media forensics techniques such as reverse image search, geolocation   and metadata analysis. The Syrian Electronic Army, a parastatal force supporting the Assad regime, in the early days of the struggle targeted activists with “distributed denial-of-service” (DDoS) attacks, hacks   and malware. Ivan Sigal is the executive director of Global Voices. Millions of images, videos, blogs, tweets and audio files have been created about the war, the life that continues on in Syria despite the war, and the affiliated refugee crisis. Syria, prior to the war, had reasonably robust and growing communications technology, with access to mass media networks, satellite TV, internet and mobile data. Demonstrated facts do not necessarily influence the outcome of events. We now know the principles and techniques for organizing, prioritizing and verifying information coming out of Syria. PRI.org

We follow the tweets of 7-year-old Bana Alabed and her mother; the last messages of activists and fighters waiting to surrender or die; and seek to verify chemical attacks or conflicting stories about the bombings of hospitals. That, in turn, forms opinions about who is just and moral, who is worth supporting politically or with resources, and who will be a target of attack. As the devastating siege of eastern Aleppo ends, the world watches, parses   and argues over the meaning of the media messages being shared by those remaining within it.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. These media — created by journalists, citizens, activists, combatants and victims — are the product of our burgeoning participatory media culture, of the overlay of digital documentation and reflection that accompanies much of modern life. We can know a lot about this war, but simply knowing facts isn’t nearly enough to change its course. Against the forces of misinformation, finding and building coherent narratives about the war is an immense challenge. That’s because information in modern conflict isn’t simply about impartially reporting the facts as they occur. Information instead is part of the battle for perception about the war and its combatants. ISIS managed to change the course of the war through the precise, vicious use of violence, especially in documenting the beheading of Western journalists and promoting those videos through media channels. Information and its manipulation have been a vital strategic element in this conflict, and the control of information has become a weapon. The fog of war doesn’t simply happen; combatants contribute to it strategically, with their attempts to mystify and confuse adversaries. Meanwhile, both the Assad regime and ISIS targeted journalists for their work. We can build and maintain trusted relationships with friends, colleagues   and sources who are proximate to the conflict. The Syrian civil war may be the most documented war in history. And at the same time, we struggle to understand whether this information fits into our existing worldviews, or upends them. That is the essence of understanding power, and its limits. But access to huge online archives of information about the war doesn’t guarantee that it is organized or presented in ways that accord with our expectations of war reporting.