August 22nd – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

Chad’s PM has arrived in Khartoum and will hold talks for three days on the matters of political and security co-operation. The two countries signed a deal in 2010 that normalized relations between them.

Biology

Motherboard

Clever article on how antlion larvae prey on ants and why this results in smaller ants getting devoured. As an interesting thought experiment, does this mean that, eventually, the size of the average ant will get larger and larger and that they will stop falling prey to the antlion pincers and that the antlion will die out? So, a hunting mechanism of an organism could create a vicious cycle of selection in a species that is linked to it and that which could eventually result in its own extinction?

Virtual Reality

Motherboard

Straw Labs is testing how animals perceive their environments using virtual reality systems. Andrew Straw also thanked gamers for having created the demand that has allowed the technology that has helped in the creation of this system, to have been created.

Physics

Motherboard

The physics of diamond rain on some planets and what this implies for the synthesis of elements.

Gun Violence

Vice

Trace, a non-profit did a study on gun control laws. Apparently, the threat of social disorder trumps how people feel about gun control law.

2nd Amendment Rights (Image Source: Flickr)
2nd Amendment Rights (Image Source: Flickr)

Academia

Org Theory

Bog post on the experiences of a graduate student at Chicago.

America

Vice

The person in this article makes a point that I also read somewhere yesterday (I can’t remember where). The Unite the Right rally didn’t help the right wing, or anybody who supports trump. Moderate conservatives who might have wanted to be a part of or in fact were a part of the Unite the Right Valley are now seen as being complicit in what happened. Before, if you were a conservative, you could have made arguments for the fact that the right has shades, just like the left. Instead, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make that argument.

Bitcoin

Motherboard

Bitcoin isn’t regulated by officials. That’s a good thing.

Turns out, it’s also a bad thing.

Security

Vice

The United States Navy had a collision. Article on the state of the US Navy and the nature of miscommunication in the armed forces.

Gender

The Daily Dot

Pao, who sued members of Silicon Valley has a book coming out.

Right Wing

Right Wing Watch

Ayyadurai has been heavily endorsed by the Right Wing in the United States. He also lays claim to being the “real Indian”. To me, this is also proof that the Right Wing might not be completely about ethnicity and race, and might be more of a shared vision of order and structure. It’s okay if you’re brown, as long as you don’t think brown.

July 29th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

United States

The Washington Post

Republicans need tax reform to go through. Apparently, the country hasn’t had major tax reform in 31 years. Losing that would be too many losses for the first year of the Trump administration.

Political Wire

This doesn’t explain why Priebus is gone and the Mooch is still around!

Vox

Kelly was one of three generals that Trump placed in his cabinet. He’s been the one who has stayed out of the spotlight for the most bit. The article points out that he presents the Trump administration with a tough “soldiers general” type personality. Presumably, this will at least please the people who voted for him primarily on the issue of migration.

John F. Kelly (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
John F. Kelly (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Jezebel

Trump bites harder into the anti-immigrant narrative. Watch the speech in full, if you can. A more robust stance on domestic soil will deflect from the fact that there is tremendous opposition from the legislative bodies. As mentioned before, this will also please a large portion of his support base that voted for him to be harder on immigration. The article also states sources that point out that this isolates illegal immigrants and drives them into the arms of MS-13. What incentive do immigrants have to help law enforcement authorities in an environment like this?

Drug Trade

Fusion

Cocaine produced and packed in Mexico relies on Guatemalan drug cartels to supply to the United States. It’s a stop off point on the trade route, so to speak.

Society

Rewire

On the subject of disasters and how the ensuing displacement of people can result in a permanently altered city. Naomi Klein spoke of this in the shock doctrine. There seems to be mounting evidence that she was quite right.

In Defense of Marxism

A Marxist interpretation of the Catalan question and how the author sees the proletariat of the Catalan region as having been let down by the petty bourgeoisies, at the first sign of external resistance.

Alt-Right/ Neo-Nazi

The Daily Stormer

An Alt-Right/ Neo-Nazi writer actually posted made a reference to a song by The Clash and posted a link to the song on Youtube. The irony is killing me.

The Daily Stormer

There’s some gushing about Scaramucci at the very end. It’s quite fascinating that liberal media and websites like the Daily Stormer can mention the exact same things and feel completely different about them. All of the incidents that the media reports as being indicative of crippling instability in the trump administration are exactly what the people who write for publications like the Daily Stormer want. They want the chaos.

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

Khartoum is denying that the Jebel Marra area has any need for assistance. This comes in the wake of the weekly UN bulletin that said otherwise. The government also pointed out that the World Food Program and various EU officials can attest to the fact that Jebel Marra was not in fact facing the kind of acute crisis of food, nutrition and security that the UN reported it as.

July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

United States

Zero Hedge

A poll conducted by Delphi Analytica concluded that Kid Rock had a slight edge over the incumbent democrat who occupies the Michigan senate seat that he is apparently going to contest. An absurd 44% of those who were polled were undecided. It seems ludicrous that someone like Kid Rock could win a senate seat, but stranger things have happened. The Dem’s blue wall fell in 2016 and I don’t see any real effort by them to repair the damage done by Clinton. Everybody seems to think that Trump is doing irreparable damage to the Republican party, but having Clinton as a candidate has done untold damage to the democratic cause. We’ll have to wait for the mid-terms to see if the democrats can make some gains off the fact that the Trump presidency has been doing nothing more than fending off allegations of Russian influence, though I’m not too optimistic about their chances to do that.

Kid Rock (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Kid Rock (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

The Hill

In what might be its biggest move yet, the House passed bipartisan legislation that would impose sanctions against Russia for its role in the 2016 elections. The bill also extends to Iran and North Korea.

Race

Article by Joan who was born in Africa and moved to America when she was very young. She speaks of the troubles of being African and struggling to hide her “African-ness” from others. Interesting thoughts on integration and holding on to what you would consider central to your identity.

Philosophy

Aeon via 3quarksdaily

Author (Robert Hartman) evaluates our response to a hypothetical situation of drinking and driving. He points out that we feel, for some odd reason, that someone who drinks and drives and does not end up killing anyone is better off morally than someone who does end up killing someone. Luck, then, ends up being a part of what we would consider right or wrong. Which then leads him to consider different ways of reacting to stimulus and whether or not it matters.

Finance

Motherboard

The United States Securities and Exchange commission has stated that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), might be considered securities under certain circumstances and would thus be subject to laws that govern securities. I’m not a finance guy so I don’t really know how this would impact cryptocurrency or its value, but I do know that part of the charm of digital currency is the fact that it is completely anonymous. You don’t have to reveal your identity if you don’t want to. You have a digital wallet that has a unique identifying code and that’s all you need to reveal for transactions. Digital currencies till now have not been very heavily regulated, but governments will try to cash in on this as and when they can. If the SEC considers certain types of ICOs to be securities then the companies in question would have to reveal the identities of those involved in the transaction. Apart from this, I’m sure that the US government would also like to tax these transactions more and also regulate it if possible. You can still be taxed for digital currencies now. Right now, it’s treated as an asset and you still have to report capital gains and losses that you make. Just like any other financial instrument.

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

The US Embassy in Khartoum called for the Sudanese Government and the Sudanese Liberation Army to allow the UN to establish an UNAMID mission in the Jebel Marra town.

July 24th – International News Round-Up (Part III)

United States

Political Wire

Republicans seem more divided than ever. A Trump presidency has deepened the ideological divides within the GOP.

Metro Times

Detroit is using taxpayers money that was initially intended to keep people in their houses to demolish them, in what’s a pretty bad indictment of the general plan here. Detroit rejects almost 80% of those who apply for the Hardest Hit Fund, as opposed to 53% in other states. There’s more to this story.

Mother Jones

Kevin Drum points out the influence that the anti-vaccine community has had on the spread of Lyme disease. It involves a seemingly spurious correlation between adult onset arthritis. It was never conclusively proven, and yet the fear alone was enough and the vaccine was withdrawn.

Africa

Sputnik

The Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, has called on Libya and Nigeria to join the agreement to scale back oil production in the wake of falling prices. Russia has agreed to cut their production 300,000 barrels per day as part of the agreement. If the agreed upon levels of oil production are maintained, it could go a long way in helping the Russian economy which has been impacted by the glut of cheap oil in the international market.

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan discussed the possibilities of the lifting of US backed sanctions. Sudan was on the track of being free of the sanction while Obama was in office, but that changed when Trump decided to move the deadline for the decision. Al- Bashir remains committed on paper to the talks.

 Culture

Jezebel

Jodie Whittaker continues to face flak for donning the cape of the Doctor. She is all set to be the 13th doctor.

Yemen

National Yemen

Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar received an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation at Aden. He stressed that Yemen remains committed to the peace process and that he would continue to exchange Houthi rebel prisoners with the Houthi higher command. The ICRC is midwifing this rather risky process.

Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar (Image Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Ahmed_Obaid_Bin-Dagher.jpg)
Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar (Image Source: Wiki Commons)