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Lessons in identity from Kurds and Catalans

One of the defining challenges in the 21st century has been how to balance demands for independence by certain peoples with the sanctity of national borders. Just in the coming days alone, two regions with distinct identities, Catalonia in Spain and the Kurdish area in Iraq, plan to stage referendums on independence. The two votes are an echo of demands by several countries for more sovereignty to protest the perceived effects of global or regional institutions that were set up to purposely impinge on national sovereignty.

Remembering '85, Mexico City public leaps into quake rescue

Baruch GarcŪa stood at an intersection†Tuesday†afternoon after a deadly earthquake, trying to direct traffic away from a road cutting through La Condesa?s lush Parque Mťxico. On the other side of the park, hundreds of volunteers ? from a young boy in a yellow soccer uniform, to a woman in slacks and ballet flats, and a man wearing an apron from a nearby cafť ? lined the street for blocks, helping to remove rubble from an eight-story collapsed building with an unknown number of people buried inside. Tuesday†afternoon, a 7.1 earthquake in nearby Puebla State rocked Mexico City, some 75 miles away.

Kremlin frets as Russia's once restive Islamist region takes up political Islam

Russia fought two bloody wars in its Caucasus republic of Chechnya, ostensibly to crush an emerging threat of Islamist extremism on its own soil. Mr. Kadyrov is imposing sharia†(Islamic law) on his population ? and lately, even defying the Kremlin's foreign policy ? with an apparent eye on a global, Islamic stage. ?He has introduced politicized Islam in Chechnya, and this is definitely a problem for the Kremlin.

How social media helped Caribbean islanders say: Don't forget us

U.S. That?s us,? said MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in a segment devoted to the devastation hurricane Irma wrought across the United States Virgin Islands. Ms. Maddow?s report highlighted how hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, transformed the once green and leafy paradise in the southeastern Caribbean to a dull, brown mess.





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