In a piece for the Washington Post, style writer Krissah Thompson followed Rep.TERRI SEWELL ’86, D-Ala., to her hometown of Selma. Sewell and her family and friends reflected on the city’s historic significance and the way Selma has faltered in the years since Sewell graduated as a debate champion from the city’s fully integrated public high school — now effectively resegregated and without the celebrated debate team. “We need to live Selma and know that the assaults of the past are here again,” Sewell said during an address delivered at Selma’s Brown Chapel A.M.E. “Old battles are here again.”
Author PETER HESSLER ’92 wrote in The New Yorker about his experience traveling on a publicity tour in Beijing with the Chinese censor of his books. The story goes on to consider more broadly his experience as an American author writing about China, and the role of his Chinese translators — whose censorship, he says, is a sort of “defensive” censorship intended to circumvent entirely any negative attention from officials. Of recent articles that are critical of American writers who accept manuscript changes so that they can publish in China, Hessler writes, “The articles tend to take a narrowly Western perspective. … This was one reason I went on the tour — I figured that the best way to understand censorship is to spend a week with your censor.”
For 15 years, Sepp Blatter has been president of FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. Now, as FIFA’s reputation continues to spiral downward, Blatter faces a number of potential challengers in the next election. One of them is Prince ALI BIN AL HUSSEIN ’99 of Jordan. In an interview withThe New York Times, Prince Ali called for more transparency, more collaborative decision-making, and more financial accountability to FIFA’s member nations.
Texas Sen. TED CRUZ ’92 and Colorado Rep. JARED POLIS ’96 may be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but one thing they do agree on is Colorado’s right to legalize marijuana, writes Mark Matthews in the Denver Post. At a conference, Cruz said in answer to a question, “If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road [to legalizing marijuana], that’s their prerogative. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.” Polis built off of Cruz’s declaration in a statement: “I’m proud to join with Ted Cruz in calling on our colleagues in Congress to respect the right of local citizens to decide how to regulate marijuana use, without federal government interference.” Polis was one of two representatives to introduce the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act” into Congress.
Near Eastern Studies professor BERNARD HAYKEL appeared on PBS NewsHour to talk about a recent video showing Islamic State militants destroying centuries-old statues at Northern Iraq’s Mosul Museum. The video, he said, is a public relations move meant to affirm ISIS’ self-representation as “the real Muslims” willing to smash idols.