At the Whispering Wall

At the Whispering Wall

This article was co-written by Corbin Duncan and Michel Nehme. It was winter in Beijing, and Gough Whitlam cut an unusual figure in a terracotta-clad temple of the Chinese capital. Towering over his Chinese counterparts at 6’3”, Whitlam’s presence was marked by obvious bemusement and subtle suspicion in equal measure. It was his second visit … Read more

Chinese Document Leaks Provide New Evidence of China’s Persecution of Muslim Uyghurs

  Protest against the Chinese government’s persecution of Uyghurs. In November, two documents were leaked detailing chilling evidence of the mass detention and onslaught of violence by the Chinese government against Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China. This series of documents is the most recent evidence revealing this brutal crackdown on Muslim ethnic … Read more

Orange Juice in December

There is an old Chinese adage that has coerced centuries’ worth of petulant children into finishing their dinners: “Every grain of rice in your bowl is won by the sweat of the brow.” It may not be the most appetizing of associations, but it underscores a sentiment that has been long lost to urban culture: … Read more

The Arctic’s Human Voice

Troms County, Norway, July 2014: At the foot of the Bassečohka mountain, thousands of reindeer lumber in tandem. In a sea of antlers, fur, and hooves, they seem indistinguishable. But closer inspection reveals several patterns notched gently and painlessly on the skin of their ears. Those patterns belong to various families of the Saami, an … Read more

Pursuing Equality: Western Response to Gay Rights Abroad

In 2011 Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was beaten to death after a national newspaper’s cover featured his face above the words “Hang Them.” In the summer of 2013, two gay Russian men were stabbed for their sexuality. That July, Jamaican teenager Dwayne Jones was chopped to death for cross-dressing. In August 2014, Bryan … Read more

Winning the Battle, Losing the War

This fall, after significant push and pull amongst the White House, CIA, and Congress, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee published the executive summary of its report on uses of “enhanced interrogation techniques”—considered by many to be torture—by American intelligence in the aftermath of 9/11. The revelations in the report caused shock and indignation around the … Read more

Behind the Curtains: The Pros and Cons of Publicizing Politicians’ Private Lives

Perhaps one of the most fascinating political and cultural disparities between the United States and many other places in the world is the way in which the public treats the private lives of its leaders. The degree of importance that people and media seem to give to public representatives’ private affairs varies tremendously from place … Read more

Ukraine’s Geopolitical Crisis

Russian tanks and troops descend upon the Crimean peninsula. The Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk describes the situation as a “red alert” and “a declaration of war.” NATO calls an emergency meeting. The UN Security Council convenes to assess the situation. President Obama gets on the phone with allies in Europe and even speaks … Read more