Category / Politics
The border between the United States and Mexico stretches 3,169 kilometers (1,969 miles), crossing deserts, rivers, towns, and cities from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. Every year, an estimated 350 million people legally cross the border, with another 500,000 entering into the United States illegally. No single barrier stretches across the entire border, instead, it is lined with a patchwork of steel and concrete fences, infrared cameras, sensors, drones, and nearly 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents. As immigrants from Mexico and other Central and South American countries continue to try to find their way into the U.S., Congress is now considering an immigration reform bill called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The bill proposes solutions to current border enforcement problems and paths to citizenship for the estimated 11 million existing illegal immigrants in the U.S. Gathered here are images of the US-Mexico border from the past few years.
On Sunday, Venezuela held a national election to decide who would succeed former president Hugo Chavez, who passed away last month. Chavez made it clear that he wished his Vice President Nicolas Maduro to assume the office. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles staged a popular campaign, though, and the results of Sunday's election were very close. Maduro was declared the victor with 50.8 percent, compared to Capriles' 49.0 percent. Capriles supporters have been protesting all week, claiming voter fraud, with Maduro supporters staging counter-demonstrations. Some of the protests have resulted in violence, with as many as eight deaths reported so far. Gathered below are scenes this week from a deeply-divided Venezuela.
Images of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents patrolling along the international border between Mexico and the U.S.
Here we are again at the end of another week, number 13 already, of 2013. Have a happy Easter or any other religious holiday and see you all in week 14. Unless North Korea has blown us all up.
These are this week’s prize photos when it comes to coolness or news value. have a smashing weekend.
Millions of Kenyans poured into polling stations on March 4, to cast their ballots in a crucial presidential election. Voter turnout was tremendous, starting hours before dawn, with lines of voters stretching nearly a mile long. Some voters waited nine hours on their feet in the hot sun to cast their ballot. The presidential election was the first since 2007 which ushered in months of tribal violence that killed more than 1,000 people and displaced 600,000 from their homes. Election officials in Kenya are now counting ballots by hand after abandoning the electronic tabulation system. With about a quarter of votes counted, Uhuru Kenyatta, the scion of a political family who has been accused by the International Criminal Court of financing death squads, held a commanding lead of 55 percent to 41 percent over the second-place candidate, Raila Odinga, Kenya's prime minister. Election observers cautioned that the preliminary results might not be representative of the countrywide vote. Kenyans await the results.
Recently, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai ordered U.S. forces to leave Wardak province, partly in response to U.S.-funded militias in the region accused of "torturing, harassing, and murdering" ordinary civilians. The U.S. has been training and funding tribal militias in Afghanistan for years, hoping to emulate the success of a similar strategy in Iraq. Journalist Vikram Singh has been been tracking these militias across Afghanistan over the last few months and says that "the accusations of torture and murder come as little surprise. ... In my visits to different zones where militias are active, I've seen their leaders operate as quasi-warlords. Instances of abuse are common and well documented. In provinces like Kunduz, there are districts with no government unit strong enough to challenge the militia's authority." In this essay, Singh focused on two different militia groups. One is in Logar Province, set up by a construction company owner angry at the killing of his mother by the Taliban in 2012. The second group operates in the northeastern province of Kunduz, where it chased the Taliban away almost three years ago but did not disband afterward. The militia's leader, an ex-mujahideen called Nabi Gecchi, has now started taxing the local population to finance its operations. Singh, a journalist based in Kabul, is a part of Babel Press.
Twenty-four months have passed since the start of the uprising that led to the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. In that time, much has changed, but many of the most vocal revolutionaries are not yet satisfied. President Mohamed Morsi, who assumed office last summer, has frustrated the opposition within the new government. Morsi has sought to expand his powers by decree and has been accused of heavily favoring the wishes of his own political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is promoting a new Islamist constitution for Egypt. In the midst of all this, many of the same activists who set things in motion in 2011 took to the streets again this past weekend, feeling that their voices had been drowned out once again. At least 50 are now reported to have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and government (and pro-government) groups, and a state of emergency has been declared in three provinces.
Sometimes it is really tough calling the images you see on this site as totally cool. Week 50 was going rather well until some lunatic with an assault rifle walked into an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and shot dead 20 6 and 7-year-old children and 6 teachers. May they all rest in peace and may the US gun lobby finally see sense and positively work towards gun control which works for all parties.
No change from week 47. The world is still burning in Congo, Egypt and Syria. Let’s hope things change soon.