‘Hope Is a Powerful Weapon’: The Unpublished Mandela Prison Letters

A new volume offers insight into the personal and political life of one of the 20th century’s most influential freedom fighters.

 By the Editors of the New York Times

During the 27 years of his imprisonment — from Nov. 7, 1962 to Feb. 11, 1990 — Nelson Mandela wrote hundreds of letters — to prison officials, family and friends. The most complete collection of these letters to date, “The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela,” will be published next week.

The publication coincides with what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday, on July 18, 2018.

The volume contains more than 250 letters — well more than half of them previously unpublished.

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Posted in Nelson Mandela, South Africa

Gender discrimination comes in many forms for today’s working women

By Kim Parker and Cary Funk of Pew Research

About four-in-ten working women (42%) in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender. They report a broad array of personal experiences, ranging from earning less than male counterparts for doing the same job to being passed over for important assignments, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data.

The survey – conducted last summer before a recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men in politics, the media and other industries – found that, among employed adults, women are about twice as likely as men (42% versus 22%) to say they have experienced at least one of eight specific forms of gender discrimination at work.

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Posted in Business, Discrimination, Fairness, Gender Gap, Pew Research, United States, Women

Unmusical Chairs

By Rebecca Solnit in Harper’s

It’s often forgotten that the idea of the political spectrum—of politics having a left and right—has a physical origin. It comes from the seating arrangements at the National Assembly of 1789, the first year of the French Revolution.

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Posted in France, government, Thought-Provoking Analysis

What The Latest Mueller Indictment Tells Us About Election Hacking

By Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight

While the Mueller investigation is primarily focused on whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, it has also tackled issues of Russian interference in our democracy at large. Russian tampering with election systems is a troubling piece of that interference, and remains a worry with four months to go until the midterm elections.

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Posted in Cyber security, Donald Trump, Elections, Hacking, Robert Mueller, Russia

Key public opinion findings on Trump, Putin and the countries they lead

By Kristen Bialik of Pew Research

Earlier this year, most Americans (68%) expressed an unfavorable opinion of Putin, but Russians had a relatively positive view of Trump. Just 16% of Americans saw Putin favorably, according to a survey conducted in early 2018, before Putin’s re-election. A quarter of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (25%) said they had a favorable view of Putin, compared with just 9% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. These views have changed little since last year.

For their part, Russian views of both the United States and its president improved dramatically last year compared with the end of the Obama administration, according to a spring 2017 survey. Trump received a higher confidence rating (53%) in Russia than either of his two predecessors ever did. And U.S. favorability more than doubled among Russians between the end of the Obama era (15%) and last year (41%).

Globally, there is low confidence in Putin and Trump on international affairs. A global median of 26% said they had confidence in the Russian leader to do the right thing internationally, while six-in-ten (60%) expressed no confidence, according to a spring 2017 survey. Trump was rated even more negatively: A global median of 74% said they had no confidence in the U.S. president’s global leadership, while 22% expressed confidence.

Americans are much less confident in Putin on the global stage than Russians are in Trump.

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Posted in Donald Trump, Pew Research, polls, Putin, Russia, United States