Richard Ford on the Midterms
"Train wrecks are said to be attractive. Though I don’t agree when it’s my country that’s both the train and the wall." The Pulitzer Prize winner at The New Yorker.
"Midterm elections (the one we just endured) are strange things and show Americans to be strange creatures. On the one hand, people such as I am would very much like to think, 'Enough already. I voted two years ago. The guy who won is still the President. He hasn’t had his full shot at it. The jury’s still out. Let’s just let things ride, live our lives. Can’t we just?' Americans, after all, are supposedly disinclined toward government: the one that governs best governs least, etc. We claim we like not thinking about government, like instead feeling our independence (from government), the wind at our backs, our entrepreneurial blood up, possibility peeking around every last corner. All that."
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The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Air pollution is up to five times over the EU limit in these Central London hotspots.
- Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
- More than 9,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, a recent study estimates.
- This map visualizes the worst places to breathe in Central London.
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