current events
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Jia on the Difference Between ALS and Ferguson

As we wake up to news of more arrests and another tense night of protests in Ferguson, Jia's beautiful and honest piece on the difference between ALS Ice Bucket Challenges and what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri in Time addresses the difference in our responses via social media:

For both social media movements, sharing implies responsibility. We are complicit, by our inaction, in the lack of a working cure. But the tacit acknowledgment that there is blame to be shared and apportioned in Ferguson cuts much deeper and stops right at a telling, crucial boundary. We can’t call our friends to action on a target that remains [...]

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The Trial of Theodore Wafer: "I shot in fear, I shot on purpose, I didn't want to be a victim"

Some things that middle-aged white Detroit shooter Theodore Wafer has said at his trial for the murder of unarmed black 19-year-old Renisha McBride: "I shot in fear," "I shot on purpose," "It was a threat, a threat that was coming in my house," "I needed to find out what was going on," "I didn't want to cower in my house," "I didn't want to be a victim." His only possible defense against the murder charge requires him to prove that the presence of a drunk, distressed teenager made him legitimately fear for his life.

At the Guardian, Syreeta McFadden goes over this sickening old [...]

2

At Least It's Not Yesterday

But also, of course, it is. "From here on, [the army] will start to clear the ground."

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The Execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma Last Night

The New York Times on last night's "botched" execution:

What was supposed to be the first of two executions here Tuesday night was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to writhe and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “oh man,” according to witnesses.

AP reporter Bailey Elise McBride tweeted it live, although she issued a correction: it was a prison official and not the dying prisoner who said "Something's wrong" 14 minutes in. VOX explains why Oklahoma would try to execute two men with an untested mix of chemicals:

The state publicly revealed the combination [...]

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#Ferguson on Day Five

One cop seems to be mocking the protestors —> pic.twitter.com/81WsXyvpy3

— Henry Bailey (@BenryHailey) August 14, 2014

Yesterday, the anger in Ferguson spiked after the police chief came forward with his continued refusal to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown. "The officer required protection after numerous death threats had been made," he said; in the meantime the nightmarishly militarized police force keeps their heavy firearms trained Most Dangerous Game-closely on the demonstrators who more than anything just want someone to be held accountable for killing an unarmed kid.

From the New Yorker, about those tanks and that body armor: "In [...]

2

The People at Eric Garner's Funeral

Yesterday, Amy K. Nelson went to the funeral of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island father and grandfather killed by police chokehold, and asked the attendees why they had come. Their responses, and her photos of them in protest mourning, are worth some time. [Animal New York]

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The Sandwich Party Revolution

There have been 12 coups in recent history in Thailand. But the latest – three weeks ago – was the first in the social media age. The military rulers now in charge are monitoring social media closely – meaning those who oppose the new regime have had to get inventive.

Sandwiches are not a particularly Thai food, but they've become very important in Thailand in the past few days. With political gatherings of more than five people banned, "sandwich parties" – organised via social media – have taken off. The first of these took place at Kasetsart University in Bangkok on 6 June.

State-run newspapers have [...]

10

#Ferguson

This image from #Ferguson looks like it’s 1964 and not 2014. As much as things change, they remain the same. pic.twitter.com/LDcCHkP993

— Urban Cusp Magazine (@UrbanCusp) August 12, 2014

The news out of Ferguson, Mo. is dizzying this morning. The FBI has taken over the investigation into the death of Mike Brown; the police story ("Brown pushed the officer back into the car, then entered the vehicle as the two men struggled over the officer’s gun") continues to sound one type of way, while the eyewitness account ("the officer slammed his brakes and threw his truck in reverse, nearly hitting them… [...]

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Birthright Still Sending Trips to Israel, Encouraging Participants to Tag Photos #YOLOIsrael

Miriam Berger's got the surreal details at BuzzFeed, including a recent trip participant who says, “We feel really safe, it’s almost as if we’re in this bubble."

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Boko Haram Claims "I Abducted Your Girls, I Will Sell Them in the Market"; Nigerian Police Arrest Protest Leader

The brutal Islamist militant cult (Boko Haram is an unofficial nickname that translates roughly to "Western education is forbidden") has admitted on video: "I abducted your girls." Other quotes are coming out right now:

"I abducted a girl at a Western education school and you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married."

“I will repeat this: Western education should fold up. I abducted your girls.”

“I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” Shekau said, claiming his group was holding the girls as “slaves”.

“I will marry off a woman at [...]