Reverberations: Egypt in Crisis by Pete Muller

While Egypt’s awe-inspiring, popular revolution technically concluded in 2011, its reverberations continued in 2012. The social cohesion that once bound Egypt’s myriad political factions has deteriorated and the country has slipped into a series of rancorous political battles. In May and June, Egyptians headed to the polls to elect a new President–a highly divisive process that saw the rise of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The country’s liberal and secular communities were devastated by Morsi’s win and, as he set about implementing a series of controversial policies, they took to the streets enmasse. Attitudes in the… read more.

War in Mali by Pete Muller

In January 2013, French President Francois Hollande launched a military intervention in Mali, a former French colony in West Africa. Over the last year, Malian forces lost considerable ground to radical Islamist rebels that control the country’s north. As the Al Qaeda connected rebels pushed farther south and closer the the capital of Bamako, the French felt that the situation had become critical. More than 6,000 French citizens still live in Mali, a factor that certainly influenced the decision to become militarily engaged. The French and Malian forces keep journalists on a short leash, allowing… read more.

Machine Gun Americana by Pete Muller

On the edge of Oklahoma’s Ozarks, where prairies ascend to rolling hills, an outgrowth of American tradition thunders in the air. Under a powerful summer sun, gun enthusiasts peer down the sights of devastating weapons at the annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show (OFASTS), one of the country’s largest fully automatic machine gun expos. In the valley below, explosive-laden cars, airplanes, and old appliances lie in wait; incendiary prizes for the sharp or lucky. Husbands and wives, often with children in tow, make a weekend of firing a vast array of fully automatic… read more.

DNC Delegates by Brendan Hoffman

Upon entering the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena, site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I noticed a tendency delegates had of glancing up as an ethereal light caught their faces. This response was partly an effort to catch a glimpse of a large video monitor hanging overhead, and partly – it seemed – tied to a sense of wonder at being part of an event so deeply tied to their political beliefs and sense of identity. These are the party faithful, those who spend their own money to travel to the convention… read more.

Stand the Middle Ground by Brendan Hoffman

[Apologies for the technical difficulties as our site is updated. Please view this feature here.] Amid the fertile fields of Iowa sits Webster City, a town of 8,000 people in the midst of an existential crisis. For the better part of the past 80 years, manufacturing has kept the town employed and prosperous, with a factory that made everything from something called a doodlebug to, most recently, washing machines under the brand Electrolux. The tree-lined streets of handsome single-family homes and a main street packed with local businesses are the very picture of middle class America.… read more.

Living Positive. by Dominic Bracco II

Living Positive. Chapter 1: Sub Saharan Africa.  Miriam is deaf and mute. She has HIV, but her family hasn’t explained her status. She sits on her bed in a stifling room, resting against the wall, cradling her newborn child in her arms. The baby is crying uncontrollably. Her neighbor Hadija tries to help her calm him, wiping the beads of sweat from his face, and changing his bedding. Hours later they take the child to the hospital where he later dies. **** It takes Catherine three hours to walk to the clinic from her rural… read more.

Unincorporated: California’s Forgotten Communities by Max Whittaker

Across California there are hundreds of unincorporated communities. While a few are some of the state’s richest areas; most lack sewer systems, clean drinking water, sidewalks, street lights, and storm drains. Populated by poor, working class Latinos, they’re neglected by local government and lack the resources to install the most basic infrastructure that city residents rely on. “We have Third World conditions, not only in this area, but in other areas of rural California. Some of it has to do with political will – perhaps in the past, they never had politicians willing to ensure… read more.

Giants: Oaxaca Wind Energy Controversy by Dominic Bracco II

Giants is a work in progress. Text by Erik Vance In 2011, for the first time, the developing world created more wind turbines than the developed. That same year, the first local landowner was killed during a dispute over wind farm land in Mexico. As wind farms continue to grow to offset our ballooning carbon budget, the biggest question for the next decade will be: Where will we find the land? In Oaxaca, Mexico, this question is already coming to a head as local indigenous people clash with international Spanish wind companies over North America’s… read more.

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