Following last week’s attack on a luxury hotel in Bamako, Jack Watling and Paul Raymond delve into the ideological schism in Mali that’s become increasingly pronounced since the 2012 occupation by jihadists. “It is a security nightmare for west Africa,” they write in The Guardian, “and increasingly for Europe, which fears the creation of yet another haven for terrorism.”
It’s a tale of two Raqqas – one where residents were free, and another that has been proclaimed the Islamic State's de-facto capital city, where beheadings are commonplace and women are whipped for not covering up. At great risk, the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently is trying to get the message out. David Remnick reports for The New Yorker.
For decades, ISIS and other terrorists groups have been willing to pay large sums for a lethal substance called red mercury - "the stuff of doomsday daydreams." But as C.J. Chivers explains in The New York Times, the broad consensus among nonproliferation specialists is that this super-weapon does not exist.
At first, a 75-year-old German and a 22-year-old Syrian have little in common. But on closer inspection, one is a refugee in today's crisis, and the other, now thriving, also had to leave his home many years ago. The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater tells the story of an unlikely friendship.
This multimedia feature focuses on the nearly 30 million children from all over - Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Honduras, El Salvador, Myanmar, Bangladesh - who have been driven from their homes by conflict. Through text, photographs, and - ground-breakingly - virtual reality, The New York Times highlights the stories of three of these children.
Last week China lifted its one-child policy, introduced in the '70s as a way of controlling its population. "The consequences will be felt for generations—even in Canada, where more than 20,000 Chinese children, mostly girls, were adopted," writes Evan Solomon for Maclean's, as he chronicles his own family's pilgrimage back to Zhanjiang, where he and his wife first found their daughter.
In the New Statesman, Ari Shavit examines how the breakdown of forces responsible for the relative calm of 2007-2014 means that ‘if we do not resume the march towards peace, we will find ourselves in a horrific, all-consuming war.’
For The Globe and Mail, Stephanie Nolen reports from the first ever World Indigenous Peoples Games, held in Brazil. Sporting events were the highlight, but the Games also provided a venue for native cultures from around the world to learn more about each other and the issues they face in their respective home countries.
Depending on who you speak to, Sara Khan is either an activist working to keep young Muslim women safe from radicalization or a stooge for a British government going too far in its anti-extremism strategy. Alex Preston’s profile in The Guardian highlights how Khan must walk the thin line between the protection of those she is trying to help and their alienation.
Since the 1980s, more than 95 percent of Mecca’s historical sites have been demolished. For Al Jazeera, Basma Atassi tells the story of an impassioned Saudi architect who, in a time of unprecedented construction, is determined to save some of the ‘old Mecca’ of his childhood from bulldozers and dynamite.
This week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Benghazi committee — again. For Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald chronicles the saga leading up to this hearing: “It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president.”
The question on European finance ministers’ minds this past July was whether Greece would remain in the euro or be the first country to be kicked out. Over three days, they hashed out options and possibilities. Ian Traynor gives The Guardian readers a dramatic look at the "most heated debate ever held by those responsible for the European economy.”
Christian Mafigiri and Marc Ellison have produced a graphic novel for the Toronto Star, depicting the stories of four former female child soldiers abducted by Joseph Kony’s rebel army in Uganda. The collaboration is a very different – and very effective – way of telling these women’s stories of tragedy and survival.
Bulls worth thousands, selfies, slaughter – all part of Eid cattle-buying in Karachi. For Roads and Kingdoms, Saba Imtiaz writes: “Collecting sacrificial hides, much like everything else in Karachi, has become part of a turf war between criminals & strongmen of political & religious parties. Every group does it, to show themselves as players in the game.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin and American president Barack Obama have two very different views when it comes to how to how to stem the civil war in Syria. As they both shore up their positions in the Middle East and North Africa, a ‘new world disorder’ becomes increasingly apparent. Philip Gourevitch reports for The New Yorker.
In Japan, events of the Second World War cast a long shadow. Seven decades after the country’s defeat, memories of the war still stir powerful emotions and divide East Asia. This essay by The Economist explores how the history that both victors and victims are a part of continues to shape the lives of their children and grandchildren.
There are big changes underway in China, and Nathan Vander Klippe of the Globe and Mail explains that these would be best understood by looking at the country’s hotels, investment banks, restaurant chains and airlines, instead of its factories and steel mills, which are taking a back seat to a growing services sector.
Lax maritime labour laws and an insatiable global demand for seafood have led to an increase in harsh labour practices on the seas — practices "so severe that the boys and men who are its victims might as well be captives from a bygone era," writes Ian Urbina in The New York Times. Part of its four-part "Outlaw Ocean" series.
Granted political asylum in London, one Eritrean is helping to rescue other refugees on the Mediterranean sea. In The Guardian, Mark Townsend writes about how Darwit – a pseudonym – spent his summer volunteering with a Médecins Sans Frontières rescue boat, as European leaders argued over how to respond to the crisis.
In the early weeks of 2009, Chris Cole man began telling friends and associates in Columbia, Illinois, that he was worried about the safety of his family. He had been receiving death threats from an online stalker, and the e-mails had begun to mention his wife, Sheri, and his sons, Garret and Gavin, who were nine and eleven. Coleman asked his neighbor across the street, a police officer, to train a security camera on the front of his house.