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Bad news, guys: the news is bad. But I know you know that, it’s sort of an open secret around the universe these days, something horrible and scary that everyone knows about to some extent. But if you stick with me for some of the grim, I’ll find something nice as a palate cleanser and we’ll eschew the news for some long reads and stuff.
Reuters has a deeply reported account of how Saudi is starving an already vulnerable population in Yemen. Full disclosure: co-author Selam Gebrekidan, a completely brilliant, unfailingly fearless foreign correspondent in my completely objective opinion, is also my sister-in-law. I swear I charged her no more than a nominal fee for this mention.
Perhaps you heard a lot—and by that I mean literally anything—about Yemen when uprisings began there during the Arab Spring. I was working in breaking international news at the time, and it was thrilling to watch the news unfolding, the hopes of the protestors, the possibility of change. From the beginning, however, some said that Yemen was not like the others. As you know, the hopes of the Spring have mostly been crushed: Syria is decimated, Egypt has been wracked by political chaos and reactionary forces, Libya is Libya. Yemen has received relatively little coverage compared to, say, the atrocities in Syria, but the country is in the grips of a humanitarian nightmare. As the article succinctly notes, “Yemen is starving because it is a battleground in a political struggle in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran.” Yep!
Not to make a liar of myself, but before we move onto more lighthearted fare, I highly recommend this look at how speaking different languages changes our view of one another’s humanity. It’s also an interesting meditation on translation. Speaking of translation, read any good books in translation recently? Here’s a bunch of them. I personally am looking forward to Wicked Weeds.
Ok, off we go: Chef José Andrés is absolutely crushing it in Puerto Rico, feeding thousands. And this badass bakery on Ukraine’s front lines is doing it’s part to feed people as well. And more people feeding people. Here’s a random squirrel I follow on Instagram. A 70-mile-wide wave of butterflies flew over Denver. This made my Scottish acquaintances happy, so here’s trying. I will read anything that pertains to The Rock. Meet our favorite vodka-drinking, centenarian, USSR combat aviator. She makes me believe that I can day drink vodka and live for a century, and that’s the comforting note on which I’ll take my leave.
That’s it for this week! Join me again next week for more of the best in food, politics, and travel from around the web. Tweet me stories you want to see here @caraparks.