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Saturday, April 21, 2018

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As its beaches recede, Florida shores up private ownership
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
With his straw hat, rubber waders, and a quartet of 12-foot fishing poles, Peter Schilling is the modern version of an ancient archetype: the surf fisherman, casting knee-deep in the ocean foam. At least twice a week, Mr. Schilling casts the breakers for pompano, whiting, or spotted trout, driving up to Amelia Island from his home in Jacksonville.
The art of parsing apologies
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Sorry to say but in recent days there has been an abundance of apologies from public figures. Mark Zuckerberg, Laura Ingraham, Tony Robbins, Theresa May, Jimmy Kimmel – all have issued some form of regret over words spoken, actions taken, or past neglect. On Thursday, Philadelphia’s police commissioner apologized to two black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were arrested while merely sitting in a Starbucks.
Diversity on display at tech conference minus 'tech bros'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The one-day event held here Tuesday was explicitly designed to to show that the privacy and security sector has a healthy share of female and minority experts who can speak to a wide spectrum of issues relevant to a male-dominated industry. OURSA, short for Our Security Advocates, was conceived in early March after a major security convention, the RSA conference, announced a list of 20 keynote presenters with only one woman: Monica Lewinsky, who was to speak on cyberbullying.
Churches struggle with their #MeToo moment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian has devoted most of his career to an emotionally and spiritually wrenching task. A former prosecutor, he’s been investigating charges of sexual misconduct and child abuse for nearly three decades. “It was an eye opener for us, we left our soul behind after the investigation,” says Mr. Tchividjian, who in 2003 founded an organization called GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.
What's in a name? Why a Castro
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Recommended: How much do you know about Cuba? Cuba’s National Assembly, a group of more than 600 handpicked politicians who run unopposed, nominated the island’s next president this week. Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, the only candidate put forth, will be Cuba’s first leader in nearly 60 years who wasn’t part of the revolution that overthrew US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista and installed a Communist government on the island.
#MeToo's next challenge: domestic gun violence
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
During the decade she lived with her boyfriend, Sara Elmer was surrounded by guns. “I was in survival mode every day,” says Ms. Elmer. Indeed, in the United States, close to half the number of women killed in violent homicides each year are fatally shot by their intimate partners, according to federal crime statistics.
The new mercy for corrupt firms that fess up
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Just before its annual meeting this week, the World Bank announced that an African railroad company would be barred for two years from any new loans from the bank because of a corrupt act. This is the latest example of a legal trend in many countries, from Argentina to Singapore, as well as at the World Bank. Another assumption is that such a deal, called a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), will provide incentives for companies to self-report misconduct.
Kremlin cyberpower? How fight over messaging app is showing its limits.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Kremlin forces appear to be badly losing their latest war, but it isn't in Syria or Ukraine. It's in cyberspace, where Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor this week began trying to block the popular messaging app Telegram because its encoded services are allegedly “terrorist friendly.” Since the app has consistently refused to hand over its encryption keys to law enforcement, it has been a target of official ire for at least three years. Meanwhile millions of Russians – including Kremlin officials and State Duma deputies – continue to use the service despite the ban, according to business news agency RBK.
Meanwhile in ... Gambia, voters will vote using glass marbles for the last time
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Gambia, voters will head to the polls this spring to elect local officials as expected, but it will be the last time they will vote using glass marbles. For the past 60 years, each Gambian has cast a vote by dropping a glass marble into a barrel painted in party colors. The system works well, discourages fraud, and allows illiterate voters to participate, Gambian officials have said in the past.
Why Bob Corker is bucking GOP tribalism, in a Tennessee tradition
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Here’s the rub: Mr. Bredesen is a Democrat. Corker, in fact, was so concerned that the very conservative Congresswoman Blackburn would lose his seat that a few months ago, he floated the idea of running for reelection after all.
Even at Starbucks? A conversation grows about hidden racial bias
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Videos of two black men leaving a Starbucks in handcuffs last week has confronted many Americans with one of the nation’s most troubling and divisive questions: How deep does racism still run? Half a century after lunch counter sit-ins that cemented the civil rights movement, the similarities between the images then and those from a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks were jarring: police officers escorting two stone-faced black individuals from a storefront after they had insisted on equal treatment. In this case, two black men were waiting for a friend, but not making a purchase, in one of the most overtly progressive corporations in the nation.
For still
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
On the top of a steep hill in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinians’ de facto capital, the new Mahmoud Darwish Museum unfolds like the pages of an open book. In one wing of the milky colored stone building, poems written in the neat hand of the man celebrated as the Palestinian national poet are on display alongside items like his writing desk and the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, which he penned. Recommended: How much do you know about the Palestinians?
How an activist who helped transform postwar Germany views its newest challenges
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In American terms, you might best think of Gesine Schwan as a German Eleanor Roosevelt. To be sure, Professor Schwan was never a president’s first lady. During the great depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt famously lent her voice to workers who lost their jobs, to second-class women, and to African-Americans.
In Kim story, a likely ratings boost for diplomatic repairman designee Pompeo
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For a year, Mr. Trump’s short-lived first secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, isolated himself on the State Department’s storied seventh floor to pursue a slash-and-burn department reorganization. With one Republican and a rising number of Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee already saying they will vote against confirmation, the former Kansas congressman looks unlikely to get an affirmative committee vote and faces an uncertain outcome in a full Senate vote later this month.
Moon shot for peace between the Koreas
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In coming weeks, the world’s most heavily armed border, or the line between North and South Korea, could soon be the scene of the greatest peacemaking in 2018. On April 27, Kim Jong-un is expected to cross the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone and become the first North Korean leader to set foot inside South Korea. Then, if all goes well at that historic meeting, President Trump could, either in May or June, fly to a yet-unknown country and become the first sitting president of the United States to meet a North Korean leader.
How the world made macro strides in curbing microbeads
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When it comes to eliminating plastic waste, a great deal of progress is being made at the smallest of levels: microbeads. Used as exfoliators in such personal care products as face washes and shower gels, these tiny plastic spheres often end up in waterways and oceans, with the potential to pass toxins to fish and humans. Microbeads are so small they can’t be filtered out of the water system once washed down the drain.
Maple syrup inc.: Vermont’s maple syrup tradition goes high tech, high finance
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
On the rugged western slopes of Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield, a web of plastic tubing connects some 71,000 tree taps to one of the frontiers of Vermont’s rapidly changing maple syrup industry. Workers package up sleek bottles holding cardamom-infused and pecan wood-smoked maple syrup – two of about a dozen flavors that Runamok’s owners Eric and Laura Sorkin have developed in the two years since they ditched bulk syrup production and started this artisanal, direct-to-consumer business. The Sorkins have been upending conventions here since they started sugaring a decade ago, a few years after they quit jobs in Washington, D.C., to farm in Vermont.
Tunisia's democracy: Freedom is disappointingly messy, but there's hope
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Tarek Dziri cannot forget Tunisia’s revolution for a single minute. Mr. Dziri was 26 years old and a new father, working as a chef in the town of Al Fahs, 40 miles south of the capital, when riots broke out in central Tunisia in December 2010 against the country’s dictatorial then-president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. On Jan. 12, 2011, Dziri and his friends decided to join the protest movement and demonstrate in front of the Al Fahs police station to denounce the killing of innocent civilians.
India’s swing in favor of girls
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
A string of protests has erupted in India over recent days – in the streets, on social media, and, notably, among Bollywood actresses. The size of the protests suggests a strong challenge to India’s historic fatalism about the role of girls and women as weak, submissive, or expendable. Rape remains a particular problem in India, even after mass protests in 2012 over an attack on a young woman in Delhi.
Russia wants US military out of Syria. But it still needs US to help bring peace.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Whatever the message the US hoped to send Russia with its carefully orchestrated missile barrage Friday on alleged chemical warfare sites in Syria, it doesn't seem to have changed any minds in the Kremlin. Moscow remains convinced that the US has no coherent endgame for Syria, and its continued occupation of about a third of Syrian territory, together with its allies, has no purpose other than to play the role of spoiler, analysts here say.
Meanwhile on ... Réunion Island, there is now a turtle sanctuary
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Réunion Island, on a beach where sea turtles were once hunted and then bred commercially, there is now a turtle sanctuary. Kélonia was founded in 1994 to care for and protect the giant creatures (they can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds), which are among the most ancient on earth. Until fairly recently, sea turtles were hunted for their meat and perceived medicinal properties.
Legal question swirls around Trump: What constitutes obstruction of justice?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
During his career, James Comey has served as a federal prosecutor, senior Justice Department official, corporate lawyer, and FBI director. If special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proceeds as many Trump critics are hoping, Comey could eventually emerge as the star witness at a congressional trial to possibly impeach President Trump for alleged obstruction of justice.
Trump’s attack on Syria: a bias for hope?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Twice within a year, President Trump has ordered missiles fired on Syria’s military for its use of chemical weapons on innocent people. In his second response on April 13, Mr. Trump doubled the number of missiles. The slaughter in Syria is largely expected to continue, albeit with conventional weapons for now.
Why West, amid horrors of modern war, is struggling to set red lines
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
A “red line” against the gassing of civilians has been drawn. The film is called The New Barbarianism, and was made by former PBS NewsHour foreign editor Justin Kenny in partnership with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. It lays bare the extent to which civilians are being attacked, and how the particular horror of chemical weapons attacks is part of a broader assault on civilian populations that has received far less international attention.
Forget prom king – they're running for governor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Jack Bergeson, the garrulous 17-year-old Democrat running for Kansas governor, hadn’t even bothered to put his phone number on his campaign website until recently – because everyone already seemed to have it. “National networks all have my stuff,” says the young Mr. Bergeson, nibbling on a few fries at his parents’ Wichita burger joint. It’s a Saturday, and he has been up since 4:30 a.m., when he headed to Kansas City for a CNN interview – only to be displaced at the last minute by the latest Trump drama.
The girls who took over a town in rural India
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Girl power is blooming across India. Clubs intended to boost adolescent girls’ sense of worth are sprouting in remote villages. In Thennamadevi, a village sheltered by banana trees and nestled amid rice paddies and sugar cane fields in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, girls have moved beyond discussions of the challenges they face in India.
Readers write: Author Steve Coll’s work, US and world relations, connections across cultures, the comfort of books
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The Feb. 7 CSMonitor.com book review of Steve Coll’s “Directorate S” was excellent. A previous book written by Coll, “Ghost Wars,” was one of the finest ever written. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Time for an tax overhaul for digital multinationals, Why China and the West diverge sharply on privacy, Understanding Pakistan’s anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“As the recent scandal over Facebook and the company Cambridge Analytica has shown, many companies operating in the new ‘digital economy’ are, essentially, extractive industries,” write Eva Joly and Sorley McCaughey.
Mueller probe: As Trump mulls retaliation, where do Republicans draw the line?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The drumbeat on the right is getting louder: President Trump should fire a key figure in the Russia investigation – not special counsel Robert Mueller, but his supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump allies say. The latest example of an expanded mandate – the FBI raid Monday on the hotel room and office of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer – infuriated the president, and boosted the argument for firing Rosenstein.
Mourning 'Marielle,' Brazilian women push to carry on slain activist's legacy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Rio de Janeiro’s city councilwoman and human rights activist Marielle Franco was assassinated after a political event last month, Carla Duarte, a university student and aspiring politician here, felt whiplashed. Recommended: How well do you know Brazil? Franco described herself as a “woman, black mother, lesbian, and child of the Maré favela [slum],” and for many she was a symbol of hope: Someone carving out a passionate career focused on giving voice to Brazil’s silenced.
After visiting a nursing home, he began pairing older Americans and newcomers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Rey Castuciano didn’t plan to become his father’s primary caregiver, but when Mr. Castuciano spent six weeks in a nursing home with him after he had a stroke, it led to an aha! moment that changed Castuciano’s life for the better. “I befriended a lot of the nursing home residents,” Castuciano says. During one of his stops in the nursing home’s cafe, he watched a video about seniors in the United States helping Brazilian students improve their English through Skype sessions.
War in Syria. Gloom over Iran. Can Iraq provide hope?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As Western leaders debate when to strike Syria over its use of chemical weapons and wonder if Iran deserves more sanctions against its nuclear threat, they may be missing a peaceful counternarrative in the Middle East – one that still needs support. Oddly enough, Iraq, the country that lies between Iran and Syria, is about to hold free national elections on May 12.
Russian consumerism may be poisoning this town. But nascent civil society is pushing back.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Few in Volokolamsk have any doubt that the two are connected. To try to remedy the situation, the parents, with their lawyer, are doing something that may be a first in Russia: file a class action suit on environmental grounds, seeking the dump's closure and damages for the harm it has done to locals. Recommended: Sochi, Soviets, and czars: How much do you know about Russia?
Did Paul Ryan leave them rolling in the aisles?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As a senior leader of his party and second in line to succeed the president, so much of Mr. Ryan’s legacy is now being judged on his legislative wins and losses, or his support, silence, and criticism concerning the behavior of President Trump. A reading of his speeches shows he did often trigger a bipartisan chuckle over a partisan issue or party division.
As civilian toll climbs in Gaza, focus on Hamas dampens compassion in Israel
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Dramatizing their demand for a “Right to Return” to long lost homes, tens of thousands of Gaza Strip residents have mobilized for what were billed as peaceful marches along the Palestinian territory’s heavily fortified border fence with Israel. As both sides gird for a third round Friday, the marches’ toll has risen to 31 people killed and more than 1,000 wounded, sparking outrage at the highest number of Palestinian casualties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 war between Israel and the hard-line Hamas movement that rules Gaza. Recommended: How much do you know about the Palestinians?
An old beast re
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
There were many reasons the murder of Mireille Knoll in Paris last month reverberated so deeply throughout Europe. As a little girl, Ms. Knoll barely escaped the ovens of Auschwitz, slipping through the notorious roundup of Paris Jews in 1942 with her mother. Recommended: Think you know Europe?
Speaker Ryan to retire: What that says about the GOP, midterms
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Whenever a speaker of the House says he is heading for the exit, it is always about much more than the comings and goings of a single member of Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced on Wednesday that he will retire at the end of his term this year, says he is leaving for family reasons and because he has accomplished a big career goal: tax reform. While politicians often cite their families in such announcements, the Republican from Janesville, Wis., may actually mean it.
Zuckerberg testimony: a tipping point for new privacy regs?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologized on privacy issues before. Members of Congress have chastised him before. And, despite all the uproar over a massive leak of personal data from Facebook to a political-advertising firm, the vast majority of Facebook users aren’t fleeing the platform.
Pence replacing Trump at Peru summit. But name that matters most is Monroe
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The political leaders of Latin America may have been justified in daring to hope over recent years that the Monroe Doctrine was a thing of the past. Indeed it seemed – as a succession of US presidents starting with Bill Clinton in 1994 emphasized hemispheric partnership over backyard dominance – that the 19th-century policy declaring Latin America the sole domain of the United States was a relic that had been retired. Barack Obama had appeared to provide the coda, ending the last cold-war-era conflict in the region by normalizing relations with Cuba.
Hungary plants two kinds of seeds
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Democracy’s decline in recent years has been a slow-moving trend, one marked by a steady erosion of rights and rule of law more than military coups. About 60 percent of 129 countries have seen a decline in political rights since 2006. A good example of the trend is Hungary.
In Brazil, support for anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Lorena Faria travelled more than 100 miles by bus last week to hunker down with thousands of protesters outside the metalworkers union headquarters in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, in support of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Behind shock of Cohen raid, signs of a meticulous process
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In many ways, the sudden seizure by federal law enforcement of piles of documents from Michael Cohen, a stalwart of Mr. Trump’s business for years, seems an extraordinary event, an inflection point for the legal problems gradually creeping up on current and former Trump campaign and administration officials. The question is, in what way, for whom, the raid is evidence that problems will be getting worse. Given the stakes, and the people involved, it is almost certain that the Justice Department and FBI are trying to avoid missteps, proceeding slowing and double-checking along the way.
A creative solution to the US
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In an April 10 speech, President Xi Jinping suggested China will continue on its government-driven path to be a technological superpower by 2025 despite US actions. The final compromises to end this “trade war” may depend on how much each country changes its view of itself as able to invent and create new markets. For the US, a report by the National Science Foundation in January warned that the country’s global share of science and technology activities is declining.
Why the number of new jobs for people with disabilities grew fourfold
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For years, Donald Minor says, he blamed a disability – a lack of muscle control in his arms and legs – for his unemployment. From there he found a job in customer service with Rails to Trails Conservancy in Washington, D.C., where he’s been for 2-1/2 years. “Employers need to give people with disabilities an opportunity,” says Mr. Minor.
In Syria, changing tack to match new realities
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
President Trump wants to get the United States out of Syria. Over the weekend, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apparently unleashed an asphyxiating chemical attack on Douma, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. “Big price to pay,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday, threatening almost certain retaliation for an action that defiantly crossed a red line established a year ago, when the US ripple-fired cruise missiles at Syrian airfields in retaliation for a similar atrocity.
In the Philippines, divided politics feed – and feed on – a divided web
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In this setting it’s hard to picture Esther Margaux Uson, known countrywide as “Mocha,” sashaying across a stage in vinyl hot pants or dispensing advice on sex and relationships. Then in 2015, she learned about Rodrigo Duterte. Take our geography quiz.
A chemical attack felt round the world
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The latest chemical attack on civilians in Syria, which killed at least 49 people over the weekend, has evoked a rare response to the conflict from President Trump. As Mr. Trump and other world leaders now weigh a response, it is worth noting how much his words are an echo of the response to the Holocaust seven decades ago. Perhaps the best answer to the horrors of World War II was a document, adopted by almost every nation in 1948, called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
After hurricane Maria, he's helping the ocean – and its fishers – recover
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Raimundo Espinoza Chirinos leans over the side of a fishing boat and points at a dark blur rising up slowly beneath the choppy water. It’s a fish trap – an illegal one, given that it’s made of plastic – that was lost when hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico last year. “There are no markings on the surface [for these lost traps], which means only someone under the water every day is likely to find them,” says Espinoza, founder of Conservación ConCiencia, a nonprofit supported by The Ocean Foundation that works on sustainable fisheries and climate resilience here.
How a tough UN resolution is making push for Yemen peace talks harder
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Hoping to improve the chances for peace where his predecessors failed, the United Nations’ new Special Envoy for Yemen has completed his first meetings with key players in a devastating war. The good news may be that the envoy, Martin Griffiths, is encouraged about the prospects to ease a conflict that has left some 10,000 people dead in three years and ravaged one of the world’s poorest countries. “What I heard has inspired me and gives me hope that we can find a path to peace,” Ambassador Griffiths said in Yemen’s capital Sanaa March 31.
Is Germany’s bold new law a way to clean up the internet or is it stifling free expression?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
It was a seemingly innocuous tweet: The police in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) were extending New Year’s greetings to residents. In addition to a missive in German, the department sent their well wishes in French, English, and Arabic.