It’s Trump, Water Scarcity, Yogurt Dreams

It’s Trump, Water Scarcity, Yogurt Dreams


The improbable and, in the view of some prominent Republicans, unacceptable, has come to pass: It will be Trump. The Washington Post reports that short of some unforeseen twist, the controversial real estate tycoon Donald Trump will become the GOP’s presidential nominee after a landslide victory in Indiana yesterday pushed his delegate tally to 1,047 out of the required 1,237.

  • TED WALKS Following the early results’ publication, second-placed Ted Cruz suspended his campaign (and accidentally punched and elbowed his wife). “I said from the beginning I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed,” the Texas Senator told his supporters. Ohio Governor John Kasich, who arrived third in share of the vote, is still running.
  • GOP IN JEOPARDY Though Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus called on the party to unify around Trump, some are already starting to consider supporting likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.
  • SANDERS SURPRISES The Vermont Senator rebounded from a series of defeats, but his victory in Indiana is unlikely to change the outcome of the Democratic race.


Brazil’s Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot has asked the country’s Supreme Court to open an investigation against President Dilma Rousseff, former President Lula da Silva and Attorney General José Eduardo Cardozo, accusing them of obstructing the course of justice in the ongoing corruption scandal at Petrobras, Estado de S. Paulo reports. The news will be a blow to Dilma, who’s awaiting a Senate decision on her possible impeachment, and to Lula’s hopes of returning to the top job. According to Janot, Lula played a key role in the scheme to obstruct the Lava Jato (“car wash”) operation and “still has control over the most relevant decisions” despite being “formally outside of the government.” Read more in English from The Guardian.


Soviet Tenacity â€" Sofia, July 1965


Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a 155-billion-real ($43.5 billion) lawsuit against the mining companies responsible for last November’s dam collapse that unleashed a tsunami of toxic mud, killing 19 and caused severe damage to the ecosystem. This is one of the biggest civil lawsuits ever in Brazil and it matches the mind blowing cleaning costs. A report published in National Geographic Brazil says that the toxic waste could even have wiped out animal species in the affected regions.


Huge wildfires are burning across Western Canada, forcing unprecedented evacuations. Here’s the front page from the Edmonton Journal.


The success story of a Kurdish shepherd who came to New York and made a fortune with his Greek yogurt recipe â€" a capitalist fairy tale of a new genre, told by Massimo Gramellini for La Stampa: “Soon, Chobani yogurt became a fixture in refrigerators up and down the East Coast, making Ulukaya a billionaire and allowing him to hire some 2,000 employees, most of them chosen from a pool of immigrants without jobs, people with a background similar to his own.

The shepherd recently shared two pieces of news with his flock: First, that Chobani was about to be listed on the stock exchange; and second, that Ulukaya intended to give his employees 10% of the total shares.”

Read the full article, A Yogurt Story, When Immigrant Dreams Feed American Capitalism.


Photo: Prabhat Kumar Verma/ZUMA

Worsening water scarcity, fueled by climate change, could have a severe impact by 2050 on the GDPs of regions such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa, the World Bank warns in a new report. The international organization says that scarcity could provoke migrational movements as well as conflicts and warns that there may be up to two-thirds less water available in cities by 2050, partly because of “competition from other uses,” for example energy and agriculture.


Whether you prefer Hepburn or Thatcher, this is a day to remember: Here’s today’s 57-second shot of history.


“Angela Merkel filleted me, served me for tea to a highly strung despot and made me into a German Ai Weiwei.” German satirical comedian Jan Böhmermann, who is being prosecuted in his country for reading out a poem that insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made his first public comments since the controversy started in an interview with weekly newspaper Die Zeit.



For the first time in history, American viewers will be blessed with a dose of a very particular kind of European culture: The final of the Eurovision song contest in all its glorious weirdness will be broadcast live on U.S. television. You’re welcome, America.

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What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.

At a protest against antisemitism in Berlin

Eva Marie Kogel


BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.

Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.

The incident at the cemetery

They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."

There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.

It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.

Photo of the grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

Jens Kalaene/dpa/ZUMA

Crimes against Jews are rising

Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.

Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.

Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.

And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?

Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously

This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.

Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.

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