Posts tagged News
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The Earth is Moving, And It’s Our Fault
Oklahoma has had more earthquakes this year than California. States are rumbling that barely did before. It’s becoming clear that humans are causing quakes through fracking-related injection wells, but plenty of people aren’t convinced.
The Earth, and the science of how everything works, is so big. We are so minute,” one Oklahoma state representative tells me. “For us to think that we have so much to do with these things is almost ludicrous.
And yet, injection-induced quakes are real. Why are we—at the level of our politics and at the level of our individual imaginations—unable to face this? 
As one USGS scientist puts it, “We’re kind of doing an experiment that we’ve never done before.”

zoeschlanger:

The Earth is Moving, And It’s Our Fault

Oklahoma has had more earthquakes this year than California. States are rumbling that barely did before. It’s becoming clear that humans are causing quakes through fracking-related injection wells, but plenty of people aren’t convinced.

The Earth, and the science of how everything works, is so big. We are so minute,” one Oklahoma state representative tells me. “For us to think that we have so much to do with these things is almost ludicrous.

And yet, injection-induced quakes are real. Why are we—at the level of our politics and at the level of our individual imaginations—unable to face this? 

As one USGS scientist puts it, “We’re kind of doing an experiment that we’ve never done before.”

You won’t know this for at least a year or two — we have not started to read books like Henry’s Freedom Box or Freedom on the Menu; you have not heard of Emmett Till, have not seen what it seems that every black child must: his bloated, disfigured face in an open casket — but someday you will understand just how many of our horror stories begin and end with sidewalks. 

Whether stepping off of them to let a white man pass or refusing to cross to one on the other side of a street in order to clear a white woman’s path, sidewalks have never been entirely inanimate for us. Our teeth have been broken against them. After tussling unarmed on one, Trayvon Martin was accused in court of using a sidewalk as a weapon, just before his blood was splattered across it. 

And even now, with no particular law in place to compel us, some confess to still ceding the sidewalk for white passersby, in spite of ourselves. It is said that the boy in Ferguson was killed because of a sidewalk. The officer who shot him, his anonymity still being carefully guarded even six days later, is said to have told the boy and his friend to get the f–k on the sidewalk. 

According to Dorian Johnson, the friend who survived, he and Mike Brown were walking in the street, a practice you will someday find is quite popular in sleepy suburbs. When no cars are in view, a street may be a scooter lot, a skateboard park, a strolling path. 

Preferring the street to the sidewalk is not uncommon for adolescents. Here in Baltimore it is not uncommon for grown folk — even if cars are barreling toward them. Baltimoreans play fast and loose with their lives when traveling on foot. 

But in the 25 years I’ve lived here, no one has ever lost his life at an officer’s gun-wielding hand for crossing against traffic. 

These days, the policing of black pedestrians while simply walking down empty streets or on the adjacent sidewalks, is no longer en vogue. What happened in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday is an anomaly, one that hearkens back to a time so many of us believed we had left far behind. A Brief History of Black Folks and Sidewalks.

You won’t know this for at least a year or two — we have not started to read books like Henry’s Freedom Box or Freedom on the Menu; you have not heard of Emmett Till, have not seen what it seems that every black child must: his bloated, disfigured face in an open casket — but someday you will understand just how many of our horror stories begin and end with sidewalks.

Whether stepping off of them to let a white man pass or refusing to cross to one on the other side of a street in order to clear a white woman’s path, sidewalks have never been entirely inanimate for us. Our teeth have been broken against them. After tussling unarmed on one, Trayvon Martin was accused in court of using a sidewalk as a weapon, just before his blood was splattered across it.

And even now, with no particular law in place to compel us, some confess to still ceding the sidewalk for white passersby, in spite of ourselves. It is said that the boy in Ferguson was killed because of a sidewalk. The officer who shot him, his anonymity still being carefully guarded even six days later, is said to have told the boy and his friend to get the f–k on the sidewalk.

According to Dorian Johnson, the friend who survived, he and Mike Brown were walking in the street, a practice you will someday find is quite popular in sleepy suburbs. When no cars are in view, a street may be a scooter lot, a skateboard park, a strolling path.

Preferring the street to the sidewalk is not uncommon for adolescents. Here in Baltimore it is not uncommon for grown folk — even if cars are barreling toward them. Baltimoreans play fast and loose with their lives when traveling on foot.

But in the 25 years I’ve lived here, no one has ever lost his life at an officer’s gun-wielding hand for crossing against traffic.

These days, the policing of black pedestrians while simply walking down empty streets or on the adjacent sidewalks, is no longer en vogue. What happened in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday is an anomaly, one that hearkens back to a time so many of us believed we had left far behind. A Brief History of Black Folks and Sidewalks.

How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program
As many have noted, Ferguson, Missouri, currently looks like a war zone. And its police—kitted out with Marine-issue camouflage and military-grade body armor, toting short-barreled assault rifles, and rolling around in armored vehicles—are indistinguishable from soldiers.
America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.
Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program

As many have noted, Ferguson, Missouri, currently looks like a war zone. And its police—kitted out with Marine-issue camouflage and military-grade body armor, toting short-barreled assault rifles, and rolling around in armored vehicles—are indistinguishable from soldiers.

America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.

Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

Huffington Post, Washington Post Reporters Arrested in Ferguson
Two reporters covering ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri, reported on Twitter that they were arrested by police Wednesday evening. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post said they had been working in a McDonald’s restaurant in Ferguson when police entered and told them to leave. According to Lowery, he and Reilly were arrested for not leaving quickly enough, and for taping police. Both reporters were released without charges, Lowery said.
Unrest has pervaded Ferguson since a police officer killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Saturday.

Huffington Post, Washington Post Reporters Arrested in Ferguson

Two reporters covering ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri, reported on Twitter that they were arrested by police Wednesday evening. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post said they had been working in a McDonald’s restaurant in Ferguson when police entered and told them to leave. According to Lowery, he and Reilly were arrested for not leaving quickly enough, and for taping police. Both reporters were released without charges, Lowery said.

Unrest has pervaded Ferguson since a police officer killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Saturday.

Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart.
“Her life speaks for itself,” Mr. Bogart said. “She lived a wonderful life, a magical life.” With an insinuating pose and a seductive, throaty voice — her simplest remark sounded like a jungle mating call, one critic said — Ms. Bacall shot to fame in 1944 with her first movie, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not,” playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, who became her lover on the set and later her husband.
Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word

Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart.

“Her life speaks for itself,” Mr. Bogart said. “She lived a wonderful life, a magical life.” With an insinuating pose and a seductive, throaty voice — her simplest remark sounded like a jungle mating call, one critic said — Ms. Bacall shot to fame in 1944 with her first movie, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not,” playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, who became her lover on the set and later her husband.

Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word

Newsweek’s 1986 cover profile of Robin Williams, King of Comedy: “You feel you are in the presence of a benign but not easily known soul.” 
Welcome to the fast-forward world of Robin Williams, who, at 33, is the unofficial comic laureate of his generation. At a time when live comedy is undergoing a renaissance of popularity in America, Williams reigns as comedy’s lunatic king. It is almost a decade since this computer-quick talent exploded into instant stardom as the suspendered alien on “Mork and Mindy,” and any doubts about his staying power have long since been erased. This year alone he singlehandedly kept the nation awake with his rude wit on the Oscar slumbercast; he cohosted the successful Comic Relief benefit for the homeless with his pals Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg and made an appearance at the Amnesty International concert as well. His fifth movie, “The Best of Times,” came out last winter, and his latest, “Club Paradise,” opens in mid-July. Also in the can is his searing, dead-serious performance in Saul Bellow’s “Seize the Day,” which may get a theatrical release before appearing on PBS in the spring. He’s about to film his touring concert show for HBO at the Kennedy Center in Washington. “60 Minutes” is featuring Williams in its new fall season. It’s safe to say that if a straw poll were taken of anyone under, say, 45, Williams would likely be voted the funniest man in America.
It’s not the he tells the funniest jokes. How many Williams one-liners can you quote? Maybe “Cocaine is just God’s way of telling you you have too much money.” No, what Williams evokes in people is not simply laughter but a sense of amazement at the spectacle of a brain on constant spin-cycle. Class stand-up comics from Bob Hope to George Carlin to Jay Leno are stars, but Williams is a shooting star. The mystery is in the motion: what miracle of the synapses got him from point A to point Z? At once a satirist, a comedian and a superb actor, this one-man repertory company dashes from mask to mask, voice to voice, like a man possessed by comic demons. And none of his material is written—he doesn’t even like to listen to tapes of his show afterward. Watching Williams share a stage at Comic Relief with such deliberate old pros as Sid Caesar and Henny Youngman is a lesson in the aerodynamics of comedy: with Williams, comedy entered the jet age. No small part of his excitement is the daredevil appeal: how high can this pilot fly before he spins out of orbit entirely?

Newsweek’s 1986 cover profile of Robin Williams, King of Comedy: “You feel you are in the presence of a benign but not easily known soul.” 

Welcome to the fast-forward world of Robin Williams, who, at 33, is the unofficial comic laureate of his generation. At a time when live comedy is undergoing a renaissance of popularity in America, Williams reigns as comedy’s lunatic king. It is almost a decade since this computer-quick talent exploded into instant stardom as the suspendered alien on “Mork and Mindy,” and any doubts about his staying power have long since been erased. This year alone he singlehandedly kept the nation awake with his rude wit on the Oscar slumbercast; he cohosted the successful Comic Relief benefit for the homeless with his pals Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg and made an appearance at the Amnesty International concert as well. His fifth movie, “The Best of Times,” came out last winter, and his latest, “Club Paradise,” opens in mid-July. Also in the can is his searing, dead-serious performance in Saul Bellow’s “Seize the Day,” which may get a theatrical release before appearing on PBS in the spring. He’s about to film his touring concert show for HBO at the Kennedy Center in Washington. “60 Minutes” is featuring Williams in its new fall season. It’s safe to say that if a straw poll were taken of anyone under, say, 45, Williams would likely be voted the funniest man in America.

It’s not the he tells the funniest jokes. How many Williams one-liners can you quote? Maybe “Cocaine is just God’s way of telling you you have too much money.” No, what Williams evokes in people is not simply laughter but a sense of amazement at the spectacle of a brain on constant spin-cycle. Class stand-up comics from Bob Hope to George Carlin to Jay Leno are stars, but Williams is a shooting star. The mystery is in the motion: what miracle of the synapses got him from point A to point Z? At once a satirist, a comedian and a superb actor, this one-man repertory company dashes from mask to mask, voice to voice, like a man possessed by comic demons. And none of his material is written—he doesn’t even like to listen to tapes of his show afterward. Watching Williams share a stage at Comic Relief with such deliberate old pros as Sid Caesar and Henny Youngman is a lesson in the aerodynamics of comedy: with Williams, comedy entered the jet age. No small part of his excitement is the daredevil appeal: how high can this pilot fly before he spins out of orbit entirely?

Actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his home in Triburon, California.
Williams’s wife, Susan Schneider, confirmed the news Monday evening. “This morning, I lost my husband and best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,” she wrote in a statement. “On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Williams first gained widespread acclaim as an actor in 1978 for his quirky performance as the alien Mork on Happy Days spin-off program Mork & Mindy. In 1998, he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in Good Will Hunting, as therapist Sean Maguire.Williams also received Oscar nominations for his performances in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and The Fisher King (1991).
The Chicago-born actor attended the prestigious program at Juilliard, and was just one of two pupils accepted that year. (The other was Christopher Reeve, who became a dear friend.)
Williams’s distinctive humor brought laughter to millions. As an actor he was known for a quick wit and impulsive comedic approach. Producers would reportedly leave blank moments in scripts so that Williams could do as he did best: improvise. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world,” the actor once said.
Williams had suffered from substance abuse problems since the 1980s, notably with cocaine and alcohol, and was sober for mroe than two decades before a relapse in 2006. In July 2014, Williams checked into a Minnesota rehab to “fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment” to sobriety, according to his publicist. As of late the actor had been battling severe depression, according to a statement released Monday evening by his press rep, Mara Buxbaum.
Last fall, Williams debuted his CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones, which wasn’t picked up for a second season. He had recently signed on to resurrect his role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel. The third installment of the Night at the Museum franchise, featuring Williams as the fast-talkin’ Teddy Roosevelt, is set for release this December.
Fellow actors and comedians took to social media to express their sadness over the loss. Fans are also sharing condolences on the last photo Williams posted to Instagram, of him and his daughter, Zelda.

Actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his home in Triburon, California.

Williams’s wife, Susan Schneider, confirmed the news Monday evening. “This morning, I lost my husband and best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,” she wrote in a statement. “On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Williams first gained widespread acclaim as an actor in 1978 for his quirky performance as the alien Mork on Happy Days spin-off program Mork & Mindy. In 1998, he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in Good Will Hunting, as therapist Sean Maguire.Williams also received Oscar nominations for his performances in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and The Fisher King (1991).

The Chicago-born actor attended the prestigious program at Juilliard, and was just one of two pupils accepted that year. (The other was Christopher Reeve, who became a dear friend.)

Williams’s distinctive humor brought laughter to millions. As an actor he was known for a quick wit and impulsive comedic approach. Producers would reportedly leave blank moments in scripts so that Williams could do as he did best: improvise. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world,” the actor once said.

Williams had suffered from substance abuse problems since the 1980s, notably with cocaine and alcohol, and was sober for mroe than two decades before a relapse in 2006. In July 2014, Williams checked into a Minnesota rehab to “fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment” to sobriety, according to his publicist. As of late the actor had been battling severe depression, according to a statement released Monday evening by his press rep, Mara Buxbaum.

Last fall, Williams debuted his CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones, which wasn’t picked up for a second season. He had recently signed on to resurrect his role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel. The third installment of the Night at the Museum franchise, featuring Williams as the fast-talkin’ Teddy Roosevelt, is set for release this December.

Fellow actors and comedians took to social media to express their sadness over the loss. Fans are also sharing condolences on the last photo Williams posted to Instagram, of him and his daughter, Zelda.

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.
In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.
Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.
On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.
He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.
The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.
It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”
The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.
The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.

In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.

Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.

He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.

The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”

The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.

The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

Sierra Leone’s Leading Ebola Doctor Contracts Ebola
The doctor at the forefront of Sierra Leone’s fight against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in the region has contracted Ebola himself, Reuters reported Wednesday.
As of this week, Ebola has claimed 632 lives in three West African countries, according to the World Health Organization. Virologist Sheik Umar Khan, 39, has treated more than 100 victims of the disease. Sierra Leone Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called him a “national hero” and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives,” according to Reuters.
Last month, Khan told Reuters that he was aware of the risk of himself contracting the disease, which kills up to 90 percent of those infected. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said. “Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Sierra Leone’s Leading Ebola Doctor Contracts Ebola

The doctor at the forefront of Sierra Leone’s fight against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in the region has contracted Ebola himself, Reuters reported Wednesday.

As of this week, Ebola has claimed 632 lives in three West African countries, according to the World Health Organization. Virologist Sheik Umar Khan, 39, has treated more than 100 victims of the disease. Sierra Leone Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called him a “national hero” and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives,” according to Reuters.

Last month, Khan told Reuters that he was aware of the risk of himself contracting the disease, which kills up to 90 percent of those infected. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said. “Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

The biggest threat to Al-Qaeda may now be its erstwhile allies. In fact, the extremist group that has long been the international symbol of jihadist terrorism faces a growing risk of irrelevance, and that poses new dangers to the West.
The strongest evidence of this comes from a declaration this week by a Sunni fundamentalist group in Iraq that it was founding a global Islamic state and naming its own leader as the supreme religious and political ruler of the new sovereign nation. In recognition of its decision, the group—previously called Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS)—also announced that it was changing its name to the more grandiose “Islamic State” (IS).
The pronouncement that IS is forming what is known as a caliphate may seem inconsequential to some in the West—a bit of hubris perhaps, or maybe a public relations move by a savvy extremist group looking to raise its prominence on the international stage. It is anything but. “The challenge is direct to Al-Qaeda,” says Richard Barrett, who for nine years headed the United Nations Monitoring Team concerning Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and who is now a senior vice president of the Soufan Group, a strategic intelligence firm. “[IS leaders] have thrown the glove down. They are saying Al-Qaeda should swear allegiance to them, and that they are obeying God.”
MORE: Iraq’s ISIS Is Eclipsing Al-Qaeda, Especially With Young Jihadists

The biggest threat to Al-Qaeda may now be its erstwhile allies. In fact, the extremist group that has long been the international symbol of jihadist terrorism faces a growing risk of irrelevance, and that poses new dangers to the West.

The strongest evidence of this comes from a declaration this week by a Sunni fundamentalist group in Iraq that it was founding a global Islamic state and naming its own leader as the supreme religious and political ruler of the new sovereign nation. In recognition of its decision, the group—previously called Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS)—also announced that it was changing its name to the more grandiose “Islamic State” (IS).

The pronouncement that IS is forming what is known as a caliphate may seem inconsequential to some in the West—a bit of hubris perhaps, or maybe a public relations move by a savvy extremist group looking to raise its prominence on the international stage. It is anything but. “The challenge is direct to Al-Qaeda,” says Richard Barrett, who for nine years headed the United Nations Monitoring Team concerning Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and who is now a senior vice president of the Soufan Group, a strategic intelligence firm. “[IS leaders] have thrown the glove down. They are saying Al-Qaeda should swear allegiance to them, and that they are obeying God.”

MORE: Iraq’s ISIS Is Eclipsing Al-Qaeda, Especially With Young Jihadists

In the great halls of La Boqueria, Barcelona’s central market, tourists, foodies and cooks gather every day to marvel at the fresh food, like pilgrims at the site of a miracle. The chief shrines are the fish counters, where thousands of sea creatures making up dozens of species gleam pink and gray on mounds of ice. But to many ocean scientists this is not a display of the ocean’s bounty but a museum—by the end of this century, many of these animals may be history due to man’s reckless abuse of the planet. As we keep dumping greenhouse gases into the air, the oceans keep sucking them up, making the waters deadly to their inhabitants.
On the Boqueria’s fish stands I count 10 types of bivalves—creatures like clams, oysters and mussels that use calcium carbonate to make their endlessly varied shells. In as little as 20 years they will be very different and, in some parts of the world, entirely gone. Then there are the ranks of huge Asian prawns and tiny shrimps, terra-cotta crabs from Scotland, and lobsters, magnificent admirals in blue fringed with gold. Lucky for them, these creatures make their shells differently (mostly out of a polymer called chitin), so the rapidly acidifying waters of our oceans won’t dissolve them as it will the exteriors of the bivalves. But the acidification—which some scientists believe is the fastest change in the ocean’s chemistry in 300 million years—appears to harm the working of the gills and change the behavior of the crustaceans when they are very young.
On the crushed ice sit a dozen kinds of finned creatures that the Spanish love—monkfish, hake, sardines, tuna. The Spaniards eat more fish than anyone else in Europe. The effect of changing ocean chemistry on fish health, longevity and reproduction is not yet certain. But even now, many species on the Boqueria stalls are also on one or more European “at-risk” lists: under threat because of overfishing or changes in the chain of foods that supply them, or from the bigger threat of the changing ocean biogeochemistry.

The last is the least understood of these phenomena. Along the coasts and out in the deep, huge “dead zones” have been multiplying. They are the emptiest places on the planet, where there’s little oxygen and sometimes no life at all, almost entirely restricted to some unicellular organisms like bacteria. Vast blooms of algae—organisms that thrive in more acid (and less alkaline) seawater and are fed by pollution—have already rendered parts of the Baltic Sea pretty much dead. A third of the marine life in that sea, which once fed all of Northern Europe, is gone and may already be beyond hope of recovery.
MORE: The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the World’s Oceans May Be Irrevocable

In the great halls of La Boqueria, Barcelona’s central market, tourists, foodies and cooks gather every day to marvel at the fresh food, like pilgrims at the site of a miracle. The chief shrines are the fish counters, where thousands of sea creatures making up dozens of species gleam pink and gray on mounds of ice. But to many ocean scientists this is not a display of the ocean’s bounty but a museum—by the end of this century, many of these animals may be history due to man’s reckless abuse of the planet. As we keep dumping greenhouse gases into the air, the oceans keep sucking them up, making the waters deadly to their inhabitants.

On the Boqueria’s fish stands I count 10 types of bivalves—creatures like clams, oysters and mussels that use calcium carbonate to make their endlessly varied shells. In as little as 20 years they will be very different and, in some parts of the world, entirely gone. Then there are the ranks of huge Asian prawns and tiny shrimps, terra-cotta crabs from Scotland, and lobsters, magnificent admirals in blue fringed with gold. Lucky for them, these creatures make their shells differently (mostly out of a polymer called chitin), so the rapidly acidifying waters of our oceans won’t dissolve them as it will the exteriors of the bivalves. But the acidification—which some scientists believe is the fastest change in the ocean’s chemistry in 300 million years—appears to harm the working of the gills and change the behavior of the crustaceans when they are very young.

On the crushed ice sit a dozen kinds of finned creatures that the Spanish love—monkfish, hake, sardines, tuna. The Spaniards eat more fish than anyone else in Europe. The effect of changing ocean chemistry on fish health, longevity and reproduction is not yet certain. But even now, many species on the Boqueria stalls are also on one or more European “at-risk” lists: under threat because of overfishing or changes in the chain of foods that supply them, or from the bigger threat of the changing ocean biogeochemistry.

The last is the least understood of these phenomena. Along the coasts and out in the deep, huge “dead zones” have been multiplying. They are the emptiest places on the planet, where there’s little oxygen and sometimes no life at all, almost entirely restricted to some unicellular organisms like bacteria. Vast blooms of algae—organisms that thrive in more acid (and less alkaline) seawater and are fed by pollution—have already rendered parts of the Baltic Sea pretty much dead. A third of the marine life in that sea, which once fed all of Northern Europe, is gone and may already be beyond hope of recovery.

MORE: The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the World’s Oceans May Be Irrevocable

Lance Corporal Victor Lu’s friends in his Marine unit—the 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force that fought in the brutal battle to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah from insurgents in late 2004—used to call him “Buddha.” The young Vietnamese-American man was 6 feet 3 inches tall, a black belt in Ju Si Tang Chinese kung fu and among the physically strongest men in his unit. But the imposing strength and physique belied a gentle, affable nature. Hence the nickname, which Lu liked so much he scribbled it onto the back of his Kevlar vest.
He had grown up in Los Angeles, not far from the University of Southern California, the eldest son of six children born to Nu and Xuong Lu, his mother and father. His parents had fled the country in the wake of the 1975 American withdrawal—and Communist takeover—of that country. Roughly 800,000 Vietnamese left the country from 1975 to 1995, with more than half of them settling in the United States.
Like many other young Americans, he had enlisted in the Marines after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and hoped, after the war, to join the Los Angeles Police Department. Before he went back for his second tour—before the assault on Fallujah—he told a friend he believed deeply in the mission. “We are bringing freedom,” he said, “to people who deserve it.”

He would not return from Iraq alive. In the early morning of November 13, 2004, the “3-5” was going house to house in Fallujah. When one front door jammed, Lu’s fellow Marines called on him to use his bulk and strength as a battering ram. He rammed his shoulder into the door, it popped open, and almost immediately Lu began taking fire from three insurgents inside. He absorbed eight or nine rounds before his unit mates could return fire. He slumped to the floor, mortally wounded. He was 22 years old.
Vietnam and Iraq Now Inextricably Linked as U.S. Geopolitical Disasters

Lance Corporal Victor Lu’s friends in his Marine unit—the 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force that fought in the brutal battle to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah from insurgents in late 2004—used to call him “Buddha.” The young Vietnamese-American man was 6 feet 3 inches tall, a black belt in Ju Si Tang Chinese kung fu and among the physically strongest men in his unit. But the imposing strength and physique belied a gentle, affable nature. Hence the nickname, which Lu liked so much he scribbled it onto the back of his Kevlar vest.

He had grown up in Los Angeles, not far from the University of Southern California, the eldest son of six children born to Nu and Xuong Lu, his mother and father. His parents had fled the country in the wake of the 1975 American withdrawal—and Communist takeover—of that country. Roughly 800,000 Vietnamese left the country from 1975 to 1995, with more than half of them settling in the United States.

Like many other young Americans, he had enlisted in the Marines after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and hoped, after the war, to join the Los Angeles Police Department. Before he went back for his second tour—before the assault on Fallujah—he told a friend he believed deeply in the mission. “We are bringing freedom,” he said, “to people who deserve it.”

He would not return from Iraq alive. In the early morning of November 13, 2004, the “3-5” was going house to house in Fallujah. When one front door jammed, Lu’s fellow Marines called on him to use his bulk and strength as a battering ram. He rammed his shoulder into the door, it popped open, and almost immediately Lu began taking fire from three insurgents inside. He absorbed eight or nine rounds before his unit mates could return fire. He slumped to the floor, mortally wounded. He was 22 years old.

Vietnam and Iraq Now Inextricably Linked as U.S. Geopolitical Disasters