The ethics of whaling

An objective look at whaling as the 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission starts

“Indeed, much of the criticism of the meat industry concerns the conditions in which the animals are kept; given that whales live in their natural habitat until the point at which they are herded and killed, whale meat may be more ethically sourced than, for example, most beef. But, if there is no principled difference between eating whale and eating beef or chicken, and whale meat might actually be more ethical from some points of view…” Image Credit

Luke Davies | Practical Ethics

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Tropical Babel

The El Helicoide building in Caracas was meant to be consumer heaven, but things didn’t go to plan

“Spurred by the official relocation of five hundred landslide refugees in El Helicoide in 1979, small groups began to install themselves in the building. By 1982, the unfinished structure was home to some twelve thousand squatters, all living without basic services in an economically depressed part of town. The building became a zone for trafficking in drugs and sex, with attendant high crime rates.” Image Credit

Celeste Olalquiaga | Failed Architecture

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The $3.2 billion man

Can Tony Fadell help Google outsmart Apple?

“Fadell pushed his team, much as he did at Apple. His reputation is for being intense, willing to go to war with Steve Jobs and his lieutenants over the development of the first-generation iPod and iPhone, and hard on his own troops. “The kiss of death at any of these product meetings–what would send Tony over the fucking moon–was when he went around the table asking how things are going, and you said, ‘Great!’ ” recalls one former Apple team member.” Image Credit

Austin Carr | Fast Company

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Kafka on the Black Sea

On newly independent Crimea’s first elections

“Even sending documents by mail is tricky: Ukraine does not accept mail from the new Crimean post office. Some customers have been told they could send mail only to states which recognise Crimea as Russian, ie North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Belarus and a few others. Ultimately, mail sent to Western countries seems to arrive, though it make take some detours.” Image Credit

Report | The Economist

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The ghost of Hirohito

A new official record of Emperor Hirohito’s life shows Japan still failing to come to terms with its past

“As was true of all imperial conferences, Hirohito was expected to remain silent and approve a policy that already had been decided. Breaking with protocol, however, Hirohito cautioned against giving up on diplomacy too soon, and then recited his grandfather Emperor Meiji’s poem from the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904: “Beyond all four seas, all are brothers and sisters/Then why oh why these rough winds and waves?”” Image Credit

Eri Hotta | Project Syndicate

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Farmaceuticals

Eye-opening Reuters investigation into the systematic feeding of antibiotics on farms

“Poultry producers began using antibiotics in the 1940s, not long after scientists discovered that penicillin, streptomycin and chlortetracycline helped control outbreaks of disease in chickens. The drugs offered an added benefit: They kept the birds’ digestive tracts healthy, and chickens were able to gain more weight without eating more food. Over the years, the industry’s use of antibiotics grew…” Image Credit

Brian Grow, P.J. Huffstutter and Michael Erman | Reuters

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The manhunt for the ‘Ghost Who Bombs’

The operation to catch India’s most wanted terrorist

““Sir, my source is sure, the information looks authentic, most of the details match. We have to take this chance, to pass it up would be suicidal,” he told him. “We have to go to Nepal, even if we are jailed [for it].” After a pause, the Joint Director replied: “You’re right. But you have to pose as tourists.” The Joint Director knew he was sticking his neck out, as were his men.” Image Credit

PR Ramesh | Open

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Sunshine Superman

On the documentary that charts the rise and fall of base jumping’s creator

“A day after setting that record, Carl jumped again from a different point on Troll Peaks, which had previously been determined to be too dangerous to attempt. And after making that decision, unfortunately, he met his match. Carl died at 43 years old in Norway, and left behind Jean, as well as a treasure trove of 16mm footage. Thirty years later, Marah Strauch completed a feature-length documentary on Carl and Jean…” Image Credit

Patrick McGuire | Vice

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Don’t like that Israel has the bomb? Blame Nixon.

The new documents that reveal how Nixon ‘looked the other way’

“The State Department, with some dissent by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, favored a “graduated approach,” by which the United States would begin with “essentially persuasive tactics but maintain the flexibility to move to tougher policies depending on Israel’s response.” Thus, if the Israelis were “unresponsive,” the report said, Washington could “make it clear” that Israel’s pursuit of nuclear weapons will impose a “major strain” on the relationship…” Image Credit

Avner Cohen and William Burr | Foreign Policy

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The memory of hell among the sunflowers

The lasting impact of reporting from the scene of MH17

“”If you’d come here before, I would have said to go down that road. There’s the most beautiful fishing lake down there – we’d go swimming with the kids,” he says. There’s a large wooden cross next to his house, and Alex – who’s a devout Christian – mumbles something about Jesus having spared the hamlet. But he’s less clear as to why the divine powers sanctioned the slaughter of 298 innocents here.” Image Credit

Darius Bazargan | BBC News Magazine

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