In October 2008, Human Rights Watch rated Somalia the most ignored tragedy in the world. Almost 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced, and an additional half million are refugees. Two decades of instability, including a U.S.-backed intervention by Ethiopian troops in December 2006, have failed to put Somalia on the map. If the American public has thought about Somalia at all this decade, it was as the setting of the popular 2001 movie Blackhawk Down, based on the October 1993 battle in Mogadishu between U.S. troops and Somali militia, rather than as a real place where Washington's policies were fueling conflict and prolonging suffering.
An interview with Sandra Cuffe, independent journalist reporting from the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras on the day the military opened fire on protesters. Tension peaked as unprecedented thousands marched to the airport to welcome the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, a return that was thwarted by the military. Military resorts to killing, numbers in streets double - even opponents of Zelaya join in.
The US should give clearer signals of its support for the restoration of President Zelaya, the victim of a right-wing coup. Among other reasons, Zelaya deserves our support because he was ultimately overthrown in response to his plans to organize a popular assembly to rewrite the country's constitution.
A palpable sense of triumph accompanied the passage last week of a first-of-its-kind global warming bill in the US House of Representatives. Rep. Henry Waxman of California, one of the bill's two main sponsors, called it a "decisive and historic action," and President Obama described the bill as "a bold and necessary step."
In the national debate about health care reform absolutely nothing makes less sense than the positive views of much of the public about private health insurers. There is no good reason to have positive views of private health insurers, the companies that have relentlessly increased the costs for very limited health insurance.