A history of the heroin trade
After 16 years and a trillion dollars, fighting in Afghanistan continues. In this piece for The Guardian, Alfred McCoy delves into the history of the heroin trade and how it has hindered the US military's success. While Western forces could forseeably remain trapped in the same endless cycle, he writes, "even for this troubled land and its dauntingly complex policy problem...there are alternatives."
Brazil's income inequality
In the first 15 years of the 21st century, Brazil's supposed reduction of its income inequality was a good news story, studied by researchers from as far away as Bangladesh and Tanzania. But, as The Globe and Mail's Stephanie Nolen reports, it turns out the gains were merely an illusion, leaving hard-working families right back where they started from.
Climate of fear
A month after the killing of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, Houthi rebels have consolidated their grip on power, making an end to the country's civil war ever less likely. As Ali Al-Mujahed and Sudarsan Raghavan report for The Washington Post, many formerly chatty Yemenis are now afraid to discuss anything controversial — even inside their own homes.
In the national interest?
As a reporter with The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winner James Risen broke some of the most important national security stories of the post-9/11 Bush era. In this personal essay for The Intercept, he gives an extraordinary account of his battles against both the US government and his own editors in pursuit of publishing the truth.