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Macedonia renamed: Countries' name
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Greece and Macedonia signed an agreement Sunday to bring an end to their vicious, three-decade diplomatic dispute, the story had an unlikely hero. Yes, the force that finally brought an end to the poisonous conflict that had long kept Macedonia out of NATO and the European Union was not bold political leadership or a savvy negotiator.
In Italy, how one cooperative is trying to counter the Mafia’s influence
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The first time Simmaco Perillo arrived in the Italian hamlet of Maiano di Sessa Aurunca, everything around him was abandoned. Today, the social cooperative Al di là dei sogni, or Beyond the Dreams, is making pasta and growing organic vegetables on land that once belonged to the powerful Camorra Mafia. The cooperative, run by Perillo, indeed works with disadvantaged individuals, including those recovering from addiction, former prisoners, and people who were released from public mental hospitals, to provide sustainable livelihoods and combat the influence of the Mafia.
In Sierra Leone
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the police came they did not ask, they did not inform the people,” remembers Fadda Kargbo, a farmer whose village is tucked into the verdant Sula Mountains of northern Sierra Leone. On that day in November 2010, the brutal civil war had been over for eight years – ushering in a surge in foreign investment, from mining to industrial farms. Home to some of the world’s largest iron ore deposits, more than 200 square kilometers of Sierra Leone had been leased to African Minerals Limited (AML), a London-based multinational.
Cooperative communities keep Spanish seniors cared for
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Like most sons, Nemesio Rasillo Oliver loved his mother. Rasillo began dreaming of a similar setup near his home in northern Spain that would keep him out of a nursing home and free up his family. Dressed in a crisp button-down shirt, he pulls out the development plan of his brainchild, Brisa del Cantabrico, a cooperative senior community set in farmland between a mountain range and the Cantabrian Sea on Spain’s northern coast.
In immigrant detention, a role for children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Just three years ago, many Americans were in moral outrage over a particular immigration policy of President Barack Obama. Faith leaders decried it. Hillary Clinton, then a presidential contender, considered it inhumane.
Young Nigerians choose to fight Boko Haram with books
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In Gwoza, the gunmen arrived just after 10 a.m., skidding to a halt outside the school on motorcycles and surrounding the Nigerian students who huddled in small groups around the courtyard, frittering away the short break between their classes. In Damasak, they came as a teacher was placing an exam paper facedown on the table in front of one of her students. In Bama, it was still too early for school when Boko Haram appeared.
On election issues, US Supreme Court sticks to the shallows
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Elections – how they’re set up, how they’re carried out – have been an important theme in the current Supreme Court term. Justices considered cases on everything from appropriate voting booth attire to methods of drawing election district lines. The gerrymander issue, dealing with partisan manipulation in the drawing of districts, was notable in this regard.
Family separation: Evangelicals add their voices to opposition
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Julie Frady planned to make a poster to protest the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” immigration policy last week, she wanted to find the perfect Bible verse to stand against it, she says, one nobody else would expect. Since she joined about 60 protesters who marched in front of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Delano, Kan., Thursday, more and more people across the United States, and from across its often-polarized political spectrum, have begun to express deep moral reservations at the logistical realities of the practice.
Amid growing tensions with Russia, a push for meaningful dialogue
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“They haven’t improved,” says the former Russian energy minister and businessman, whose foundation underwrites Russian participation in a longstanding effort to boost bilateral relations through unofficial, “Track II” diplomacy. In fact, US-Russian relations have only sunk into deeper distress since September, the last time the two citizens’ delegations of the Dartmouth Conference met: more sanctions, more diplomatic expulsions, more military clashes in Syria, and a growing sense that the entire US-Russian arms-control regime is at risk. “I invest my time, energy, money,” says Dr. Shafranik, co-chair of the Dartmouth dialogues.
Islamist and feminist: A new generation stakes its claim
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Alaa Khaled finds nothing unusual about being both a devout Muslim and a women’s activist, insisting she is an activist because she is a Muslim. “As a Muslim it is incumbent on me to fight for social justice for my country, my citizens, and my gender,” Ms. Khaled says while protesting austerity measures and taxes in Jordan in recent demonstrations that brought down the prime minister. “Fighting against injustice and inequality, fighting for human rights and women’s rights – these are not just my political causes,” Khaled says.
The high court’s hint on partisan gerrymandering
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In a unanimous ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court hinted at how it may someday decide on partisan gerrymandering, or the drawing of electoral districts by state legislators to keep one party in power. Individual voters, the justices concluded, must first show whether they were harmed by the boundaries of their particular voting district. For the courts, the effect of gerrymandering on political or social groups is not a matter of justice.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
Poachers become protectors: How tigers bounced back in an Indian park
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Over two days inside Periyar Tiger Reserve, a national park in South India, Mr. Chacko and his colleagues demonstrate time and time again their knowledge of this forest and its inhabitants. Since they were teenagers, the men have shared the lush Cardamon Hills and shores of the Periyar River with bison, elephants, and tigers – originally, as poachers. Today, they work as tour guides and caretakers of the national park, thanks to an initiative by the local forest department.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
Readers write: Understanding thinking in Taiwan, both sides of the issue, women pursuing professions
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The April 16 Focus story, “Beijing’s bid to win over young Taiwanese,” gave a very comprehensive account of what is going on in Taiwan, providing the background needed to best understand the thinking of its people. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test? Many residents feel they absolutely need guns for protection – protection from wild animals in addition to lawless people.
In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity.
Inspector general on Comey: dissecting an error in judgment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Eleven days before the 2016 presidential election, FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to members of Congress announcing that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.  
Amid legal attack on key health
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Robin Dake recalls a time when health insurance was financially out of reach for her and her two daughters ​– with the prospect of premiums of about $900 a month.
As Colombians head to polls, peace is still a work in progress
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Outside a camp for former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Wilfran Martinez runs a couple of organic farms, bursting with emerald green banana trees. Recently his farm, which is a transitional program for demobilized FARC members, signed a contract to sell its tomatoes, peppers, and other crops to 22 local schools. “We wouldn't be surprised if the next government breaks some of the promises that have been made to us,” Martinez says.
Paul Manafort goes to jail: Three questions
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she had “struggled” with the decision to imprison Manafort. Close observers of Manafort’s legal struggle have seen signs that his pre-trial status might include a cell. Manafort also seemed aggressive in pushing the edges of his freedoms.
Trudeau in Europe? Leftist governments find footing in Spain and Portugal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Spain has seen its fair share of headlines recently, but they have almost always fed the narrative of “fragile southern Europe.”
Clues of peace in Afghanistan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
After decades of conflict and costly foreign intervention, Afghanistan has a new chance for peace. Both the government and the Taliban have declared unilateral cease-fires to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Crucial to any prospects for peace will be a dialogue between the militant Islamic Taliban and the elected president, Ashraf Ghani, and his team about issues of governance and power sharing.
A model of peace to help end Yemen’s war
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Wars often can end faster when a vision of peace is clear. On Wednesday, a 21,000-strong force led by a coalition of Arab nations entered the strategic port city of Hudaydah to oust the Iran-backed Houthi rebels that started the war and to force them to the negotiating table. The battle is significant enough that the United Nations Security Council met twice this week, in large part to ensure the flow of aid to millions and also to plan for Yemen being at peace.
After asylum limits, some ask: Does 'gang violence' need a new name?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Does the bloodshed in Central America really count as “gang violence” anymore? The decision would restore “sound principles of asylum and longstanding principles of immigration law,” he said, as US immigration courts face a backlog of some 700,000 cases – increasingly from Central America’s Northern Triangle, made up of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
In Mountain West, how frontier ethos magnifies problem of suicide
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Matt Kuntz stood on a chair in his attic with one end of a rope around his neck. “Even in the urban areas, you usually have to make your appointments weeks in advance to get routine care, let alone crisis care.
Turkey elections: why Erdoğan and his party are suddenly vulnerable
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Caner Güneş, with short black beard, nationalistic tattoos, and blue jeans, is a member of the youth wing of Turkey’s main opposition party. Recommended: Think you know Turkey? Not every district in Turkey has seen such a dramatic change of heart.
Why the happiest countries are not always the wealthiest ones
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Considered a “fundamental human goal” by the United Nations, the organization has released an annual WHR since 2012. The United Arab Emirates even has a minister of state for happiness. In fact, the happiest countries, the WHR consistently finds, don’t perfectly line up with the wealthiest ones.
Meanwhile in ... Cambodia, 'hero rats' are helping with mine clearance
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Cambodia, “hero rats” are helping with mine clearance. Years of civil strife left Cambodia one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. The rats, trained to detect explosives by scent, can work far more quickly than humans with metal detectors and are so small that they are unlikely to trigger an explosion.
Gay Kenyans hope for legal win, eyeing broader shift in Africa
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Kenyan feminist blogger Peps was growing up in Nairobi in the first years of the 2000s, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people didn’t exist. Now, however, Peps, who asked that she be identified by her nickname, lives in a different world. In February, Kenya’s high court heard arguments in a case challenging the country’s colonial-era anti-homosexuality law, which prohibits “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” – or put more simply, gay sex – as a felony punishable with up to 14 years in prison.
A campaign for impeachment that’s downright Trumpian
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Tom Steyer takes the stage to the strains of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They are a-Changin’ ” – surely an intentional choice, as we are in Minnesota – Dylan country. Mr. Steyer, a San Francisco billionaire, is in the middle of a 30-city, self-funded “Need To Impeach” tour aimed at activating anti-Trump forces. Such talk divides the country even further, and risks dividing Democrats.
Why Russians may bare their teeth at the World Cup
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In Russia, which is hosting the World Cup starting Thursday, public transport workers have been trained to smile at the estimated 1.5 million foreign spectators attending the 31-day, 11-city soccer tournament. This behavioral modification in cheerfulness – smiling in public is often frowned upon in Russia – is just one way the country is using the mega sports event to not only improve its tarnished image but teach Russians to act differently. Russians in the 11 cities are being asked to be courteous to the guests and also pick up litter.
As World Cup kicks off, Russia aims to prove a world
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The latest of the Vladimir Putin-era mammoth global events – and possibly the last such to be hosted by Russia in the foreseeable future – is about to kick off in Moscow. On Thursday, the FIFA 2018 soccer World Cup gets underway with a long-awaited match between Russia and Saudi Arabia in Moscow's newly renovated Luzhniki Stadium. At least half a million visitors from all over the world will visit Russia to attend the quadrennial event, the globe's foremost professional sporting competition.
More lawmakers agree: feminine hygiene products should be free for prisoners
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Not only has the #MeToo movement toppled powerful men and highlighted the severity of sexual assault in the United States, it has brought to light a lesser known yet still serious issue: the lack of feminine hygiene products for incarcerated women. “It makes me feel like we’re making progress ... [and that] the country in general is waking up to the idea that maybe we need to be doing more for our female population,” says Monica Cooper, a former inmate and co-founder of the Maryland Justice Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to support ex-offenders’ successful reentry into society. The lack of menstrual products for female prisoners has been a largely overlooked issue despite the fact that women are the fastest growing demographic of the prison population, with an 834 percent growth over the past 40 years, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a Massachusetts-based think tank.
He dreamed of teaching children with a background like his own
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
This essay is part of an occasional series provided by our partner organization Encore.org, which created the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign, inviting those in midlife and beyond to connect with young people who need champions. After finishing high school, it took me eight years to graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona while working full time at night.