Jan 13 2014

Daily News Flash with Courtney Morris on Ariel Sharon’s Legacy, a New Deal with Iran, and West Virginia’s Chemical Spill

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and women’s Studies at Penn State University and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel “the bulldozer” Sharon died on Saturday at the age of 85, after 8 years in a coma. Ariel Sharon, one of the most polarizing figures in Israeli government, was eulogized this morning by many including US Vice President Joe Biden who euphemistically called him “a complex man.” He was nicknamed not just “the bulldozer,” but also “the butcher.” Palestinians bitterly remember Israel’s 11th Prime Minister for his role in the 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon as well for leading the push to build what they called the “apartheid wall,” and greatly expanding Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

In other international news, the White House announced yesterday that Iran will start to destroy some of its enriched uranium starting on January 20th, as part of a deal reached in Geneva earlier. US Secretary of State John Kerry declared triumphantly, “[F]or the first time in almost a decade, Iran’s nuclear program will not be able to advance, and parts of it will be rolled back, while we start negotiating a comprehensive agreement to address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s program.” The deal includes oversight by the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency. Meanwhile, President Obama is urging Congress to hold back from slapping Iran with new sanctions that could undo the progress. Click here for a CNN article about the story.

The Wall Street Journal has found a serious lack of government oversight of a chemical plant in West Virginia which contaminated the drinking water of residents in 9 counties as a result of a spill into the Elk River. The last time the site was visited by federal or state regulators was in 1991! So far about 10 people have been hospitalized for exposure to the chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM). According to the WSJ, “MCHM is one of thousands of industrial chemicals whose effects on human health haven’t been studied.” Click here for the Wall Street Journal report on the spill.

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