1 February 2016   Leave a comment

There have been hundreds of reports of harassment of women by refugee-seekers in Europe.  These reports, difficult to confirm or to contextualize, have dramatically changed the discussions in Europe about accepting refugees.  In response, citizens are forming vigilante bands who purported purpose is to protect women from further harassment.  In Finland, these groups have organized into gangs called the Soldiers of Odin.  These incidents are making a possible resolution of the refugee crisis virtually impossible.

The outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil is a tragedy.  But the tragedy has been compounded by the spread of a rumor that the outbreak is somehow related to the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Brazil three years ago.  The rumor started on Reddit and is only the most recent example of how “information” disguised as news corrupts the public discussion of serious matters.  The Genetic Literacy Project has posted a convincing refutation of the rumor.

Boko Haram has launched another attack against people in Nigeria and reports suggest that nearly 90 people were killed, some burned alive.  Boko Haram (the name translates roughly as “Western education is forbidden”) is an extremist group that has pledged allegiance to Daesh (the Islamic State).  Since 2009 the group is responsible for the deaths of nearly 20,000 people and the displacement of 2.3 million.

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Posted February 1, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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