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Global News and Analysis

My Year of Reading African Women’s Novels

Source: The Guardian

Shamed by a gap in his reading, the Guardian writer vowed to read only fiction by African women in 2018. After 19 novels spanning Nigeria to Ethiopia, he shares what he learned

At last year’s Guardian Opinion Christmas party – modest affairs at which those who want to dance are outnumbered by those who want to talk by at least five to one – I met Chibundu Onuzo, a Nigerian author.

“We share a publisher,” she told me.

“I’m sorry,” I told her. “I haven’t read your book.” read more

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Democrats’ win of the House creates a dam that can block Trump’s agenda

Source: The Guardian

Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate, but the Democrats’ win means they can provide a legislative check on Trump’s presidency for the first time]

In the end there was no overwhelming blue wave. A wave washes all before it. But when Republicans expand their majority in the Senate, win governor’s races in Florida, Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire, Democrats cannot claim a broad and decisive shift in electoral opinion towards them.

But there is now a dam. Democrats won the House of Representatives. For the first time since his election there is the potential for some kind of legislative check on Donald Trump’s presidency. The House has subpoena power. Democrats can set their own agenda and block the president’s. For the first time since Trump’s election there is the potential for resistance to move from the streets to Congress. read more

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Trump’s presidency is unraveling. But he won’t fall without a push

Source: The Guardian

The administration is mired in incompetence and calamity. So why aren’t his enemies presenting a hopeful alternative?

Even by Donald Trump’s standards, Tuesday was extraordinary. First came the tweet that he had fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Then a state department spokesman issued a statement claiming Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his dismissal, and had heard about it on Twitter. A few hours later the spokesman had been fired too. Meanwhile the lawyer of porn actor Stephanie Clifford (stage name: Stormy Daniels), who allegedly had an affair with Trump, warned the country to “buckle up” as Clifford sought to extract herself from her non-disclosure agreement so she could “publish any materials, such as text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession”. Back in Washington, the Trump team announced it would be hiring John McEntee, Trump’s former personal assistant, as a senior adviser for campaign operations. The day before, McEntee had been escorted from the White House because he is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes. read more

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Global News and Analysis

How Labour laid the foundation for a more progressive UK

Source: The Nation

On November 20, 2016, the Grenfell Action Group, a tenants’ organization for a tower block of low-cost housing in one of London’s wealthiest areas, issued a statement regarding the company that managed the property, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, titled “KCTMO—Playing With Fire!” The tenants wrote: “[We] firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO…. It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice!” read more

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Black lives don’t matter: why stories of death on the streets rarely get told

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

The expectation that the poor and dark in America will have their lives cut short renders them invisible

‘When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” But over the past few years I have wondered if there might not be an addendum to that adage – a qualifying footnote to what seems like the obvious.

Because there are things that happen with such regularity and predictability that journalists have simply ceased to recognise their news value – not least if those things are least likely to happen to the people most likely to be journalists. read more

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America’s gun massacre blues seem to play on an endless loop

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

Only a revolution in thinking can stop the media, politicians and firearms lobby from having to trot out their well-rehearsed lines after every mass shooting

Within the American polity there is a cyclical requiem in the wake of each mass shooting – a predictable collective lament for a calamity that ostensibly everyone regrets and nobody can resolve. Profiles of the victims emerge as reporters opine in front of police tape, wringing every last detail from tear-stained survivors. Gradually facts about the shooter emerge, followed by endless speculation about his (they are almost always men) motives before the president calls for prayer and healing.
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