Nick Turse
As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan
My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan

My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

nprbooks:

In fiction…

  • Amy Grace Loyd’s The Affairs Of Others  follows a young widow and landlord whose preference for solitude is challenged when one of her tenants goes missing and an unexpected subletter moves in. 

And in nonfiction…

Your tax dollars at work, America!

Life of Wonderment Swoon Blurs the Line Between Art and Activism
"Since she began illegally pasting images around the city 15 years ago, Swoon has inspired a lot of wonderment. Born Caledonia Curry, she started her career as a street artist, but quickly leapfrogged to the attention of gallerists and museum curators, which let her expand to installation and performance art, often with an activist, progressive bent. Her intricate paper-cut portraits and cityscapes, often affixed to walls in hardscrabble places, are meant to disintegrate in place, a refrain to the life around them. Meanwhile, her socially minded work has focused on building cultural hubs for far-flung artistically welcoming communities."
Nice to see Callie and her art getting the attention it deserves, courtesy of the NYT…

Life of Wonderment
Swoon Blurs the Line Between Art and Activism

"Since she began illegally pasting images around the city 15 years ago, Swoon has inspired a lot of wonderment. Born Caledonia Curry, she started her career as a street artist, but quickly leapfrogged to the attention of gallerists and museum curators, which let her expand to installation and performance art, often with an activist, progressive bent. Her intricate paper-cut portraits and cityscapes, often affixed to walls in hardscrabble places, are meant to disintegrate in place, a refrain to the life around them. Meanwhile, her socially minded work has focused on building cultural hubs for far-flung artistically welcoming communities."

Nice to see Callie and her art getting the attention it deserves, courtesy of the NYT

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan
My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan

My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

fotojournalismus:

The Daily Life of the Uyghurs in Kashgar (July/August 2014)

China’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic group faces cultural and religious restrictions by the Chinese government. Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer offers a rare glimpse into daily life in Kashgar following recent unrest. In the last week of July, nearly 100 people have been killed in Xinjiang Province in what authorities say is terrorism, but exiled Uyghur groups and human rights activists say the government’s repressive policies in Xinjiang have provoked unrest, a claim Beijing denies. Kashgar, where Getty photographer Kevin Frayer made these pictures, is at the heart of all this

Photos by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

fotojournalismus:

Day 19: Palestinian death toll passes 1,000 | July 26, 2014

Thousands of Gaza residents who fled the violence streamed back to devastated border areas during Saturday’s 12-hour humanitarian truce to find large-scale destruction: fighting pulverized scores of homes, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets. In northern Beit Hanoun, even the hospital was badly damaged by shelling. Across Gaza, more than 130 bodies were pulled from the rubble on Saturday, officials said. In southern Gaza, 20 members of an extended family were killed before the start of the lull when a tank shell hit a building where they had sought refuge. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Pictures from Beit Hanoun & Shejaiyah during a pause in the bombing by Israeli forces:

1. A general view of destruction in the Shejaia neighbourhood. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

2. Palestinians carry belongings they find at their destroyed houses in Beit Hanoun. (Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)

3. A Palestinian man looks staggered after seeing his home destroyed, while visiting the area during a 12-hour cease-fire in Shejaiyah neighbourhood. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

4. Palestinians inspect the damage of their destroyed houses in Shejaiyah neighbourhood. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

5. Palestinians recover the body of a man killed when his home was hit the previous night by Israeli fire in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

6. A mare and her foal walk along the debris of destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

7. Palestinians survey the damage in Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

8. Children wait for their parents, who collect belongings from their destroyed houses in Beit Hanoun. (Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)

9. A general view of destroyed buildings after Israeli attacks in a part of the Shuja’iyya neighbourhood. (Oliver Weiken/EPA)

10. Palestinian women react amid the destruction in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

cjchivers:

A Catastrophically Insufficient Restriction.
This is the map and Notice to Airmen issued by Ukraine on July 14, hours after a Ukrainian military Antonov was downed by a guided surface-to-air missile as it flew near the border with Russia.  Note Lines F and G of the text in the upper left corner and the shaded area in red.
The notice added 6,000 feet of altitude to the airspace closures in eastern Ukraine, which had previously been set from the ground to 26,000 feet. Thus, this notice forbid civilian traffic beneath 32,000 feet.
From a weapons perspective, this is a very curious decision, given that the class of guided missile implicated in the downing of the Antonov has ranges that can extend, depending on the variants, to altitudes above 70,000 feet.
Put bluntly, Ukraine’s restriction offered no protection to aircraft from a weapon newly in play in the conflict. It was, to use a crude example, akin to telling someone who is standing 10 feet from an angry drunk with a loaded pistol to move a few feet further away.  
Actually, that example is not quite right, because transiting international aircraft over eastern Ukraine already flew over the separatist area at standard cruising altitudes higher than 26,000 and usually higher than 32,000 feet. To comply with the new restriction they did not have to change their behaviors with regard to altitude — at all. This is in spite of the fact that they were in chip-shot range for a class of missiles that had reportedly slipped out state hands, and had been recently fired. So this is more like telling the man already standing 10 feet away from the armed drunk that he should not get within 8 feet. 
When MH17 took off from Amsterdam on July 17 with 298 souls aboard its crew followed an approved flight plan into this red shaded area. The flight’s route and the crew’s behaviors, according to the information publicly available so far, complied with the guidelines set by relevant authorities charged with ensuring aviation safety. But the steps these authorities had taken offered the plane and the people aboard no protection whatsoever against what happened next.
Why? One reason seems to be that the authorities and the aviation safety community did not take the obvious step of aligning the airspace restrictions with the range of antiaircraft weapons newly used in the war. Had that been done, one clear conclusion might have been that the only way to ensure civilian air traffic over the conflict area was safe from the missiles below would be to close the airspace completely and direct air carriers to plan routes around.
Civilian jetliners do not fly nearly as high as this class of weapon, have no defenses against them and cannot withstand their punch. 
Given the capabilities of the weapons involved, and recently used (under circumstances that remained cloudy), there was no fully safe route overhead. The safeguards were not safeguards at all.
 

cjchivers:

A Catastrophically Insufficient Restriction.

This is the map and Notice to Airmen issued by Ukraine on July 14, hours after a Ukrainian military Antonov was downed by a guided surface-to-air missile as it flew near the border with Russia.  Note Lines F and G of the text in the upper left corner and the shaded area in red.

The notice added 6,000 feet of altitude to the airspace closures in eastern Ukraine, which had previously been set from the ground to 26,000 feet. Thus, this notice forbid civilian traffic beneath 32,000 feet.

From a weapons perspective, this is a very curious decision, given that the class of guided missile implicated in the downing of the Antonov has ranges that can extend, depending on the variants, to altitudes above 70,000 feet.

Put bluntly, Ukraine’s restriction offered no protection to aircraft from a weapon newly in play in the conflict. It was, to use a crude example, akin to telling someone who is standing 10 feet from an angry drunk with a loaded pistol to move a few feet further away.  

Actually, that example is not quite right, because transiting international aircraft over eastern Ukraine already flew over the separatist area at standard cruising altitudes higher than 26,000 and usually higher than 32,000 feet. To comply with the new restriction they did not have to change their behaviors with regard to altitude — at all. This is in spite of the fact that they were in chip-shot range for a class of missiles that had reportedly slipped out state hands, and had been recently fired. So this is more like telling the man already standing 10 feet away from the armed drunk that he should not get within 8 feet. 

When MH17 took off from Amsterdam on July 17 with 298 souls aboard its crew followed an approved flight plan into this red shaded area. The flight’s route and the crew’s behaviors, according to the information publicly available so far, complied with the guidelines set by relevant authorities charged with ensuring aviation safety. But the steps these authorities had taken offered the plane and the people aboard no protection whatsoever against what happened next.

Why? One reason seems to be that the authorities and the aviation safety community did not take the obvious step of aligning the airspace restrictions with the range of antiaircraft weapons newly used in the war. Had that been done, one clear conclusion might have been that the only way to ensure civilian air traffic over the conflict area was safe from the missiles below would be to close the airspace completely and direct air carriers to plan routes around.

Civilian jetliners do not fly nearly as high as this class of weapon, have no defenses against them and cannot withstand their punch. 

Given the capabilities of the weapons involved, and recently used (under circumstances that remained cloudy), there was no fully safe route overhead. The safeguards were not safeguards at all.

 

guernicamag:

We’ve got four days left to do this and we know we can reach our goal with your help! When you back our Kickstarter, you’re directly supporting the Guernica Annual’s production costs and writer payments. And if you pre-order now, you’re also guaranteeing yourself a copy of what’s shaping up to be a very beautiful limited edition.
So whether it’s a little or a lot, consider helping the little magazine that could— publishing free, cutting-edge, online, and daily— and help us bring the Guernica Annual into the world.

guernicamag:

We’ve got four days left to do this and we know we can reach our goal with your help! When you back our Kickstarter, you’re directly supporting the Guernica Annual’s production costs and writer payments. And if you pre-order now, you’re also guaranteeing yourself a copy of what’s shaping up to be a very beautiful limited edition.

So whether it’s a little or a lot, consider helping the little magazine that could— publishing free, cutting-edge, online, and daily— and help us bring the Guernica Annual into the world.