South China Sea images reveal impact on coral of Beijing’s military bases

As China races to extend its military reach, it is turning pristine habitats into permanent islands. Satellite images of the South China Sea show rapid destruction of some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. The reclamation of land in the contested Spratly archipelago to build runways, military outposts and even small towns is endangering ecosystems that are key to maintaining world fish stocks and biodiversity

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The Collection of Presidential Briefing Products from 1961 to 1969 | CIA FOIA ( {Foreign policy wonk dream!}

The CIA’s Historical Review Program on 16 September 2015 released a collection of presidential briefing products written during the Kennedy and Johnson presidential administrations. This large-scale release of The President’s Intelligence Checklists (PICLs) [an acronym pronounced “pickles”] and The President’s Daily Briefs (PDBs) includes almost 2,500 documents exclusively written for the president each day except Sunday. They summarized the day-to-day intelligence and analysis on current and future national security issues. President Kennedy received the first PICL — a seven-page 8 ½- by 8-inch booklet — on Saturday, 17 June 1961 at his country home near Middleburg, Virginia. The PICL was replaced by the PDB on 1 December 1964, during the Johnson administration. In addition to the PDBs and PICLs, the collection includes The President’s Intelligence Review and its replacement, Highlights of the Week, as well as ad hoc supplemental products and annexes that featured topics of presidential interest. The CIA originators of the PICL, and later the PDB, strove to craft a daily current product that was true to sensitive source reporting and yet was easily readable by the president and his advisors.

Source: The Collection of Presidential Briefing Products from 1961 to 1969 | CIA FOIA (

Migrant or refugee? Why it matters which word you choose

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By Charlotte Taylor
The Conversation

Across Europe, a debate is raging about how to describe the thousands of people escaping war and turmoil in their own countries and making the journey to safer places. Are they refugees or migrants? The question is important: since European leaders have been justifying inaction over their plight by dismissing many of them as “economic migrants” who are less deserving of help.

Al-Jazeera has made a firm decision on this issue, announcing that it will stop using the umbrella term “migrants” when referring to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.

By choosing the term “migrant” over “refugee” (where the latter would be accurate), the choice denies the person their internationally recognised human rights, under the UN Refugee Convention.

But Al-Jazeera also noted that the very meaning of the word “migrant” was changing. What was once a basic description has come to carry negative connotations.

This kind of semantic degrading is common for words relating to controversial topics. We need only think of the endless cycle of terms used to describe people with disabilities, which often develop into insults and are eventually replaced.

In the early stages of a meaning change there is a tendency for people to resist the new interpretation, by claiming that they are using the dictionary definition. But dictionaries do not merely define words – they also describe how they are used. If a negative meaning develops this will be listed. For example, the definition of “villain” has shifted from meaning someone of low-born status “villein”, to the current understanding of evil.

Loaded words

At any one moment in time there are a range of terms available to describe human migration. The use of one name over another involves a choice and also carries information about the speaker’s opinion towards those they are describing.

For example, when people talk about “expatriates” or “expats”, they are often discussing affluent people, who have moved to another country. As Mawuna Remarque Koutonin argues, they are usually from the same country as themselves and often white.

British nationals constitute the second largest group of European foreign born residents in Spain. Most moved there looking for a better quality of life, enabled through the lower cost of living. They are “economic migrants”, but this term is not used to describe them in the UK. Instead it is most commonly used to refer to people moving from less affluent countries, both inside and outside the EU.

One way we can demonstrate how terms have specific geographical associations is by noting which words occur most frequently alongside them. If we look at the use of words relating to migration in contemporary American English we see the following sets of associations for six of the most frequent naming choices:

Words most commonly associated with six of the most frequently used naming choices.
Corpus of contemporary American English

As the table shows, the word “expatriate” co-occurs with “American” and “British”, while “immigrant” does not. The nationalities occurring simultaneously with the word “immigrant” are “Mexican” and “Chinese”. And the most frequently co-occurring word is “illegal”, which also occurs with “migrant”.

Naming is a choice which reflects not just a process, but a view of that process and the people involved. This becomes yet more evident when considering the terms “immigrant” and “emigrant”. Which could be dismissed as simply relational antonyms, reflecting two perspectives of the same process.

However, looking at an older version of American English we see that while the use of the name “emigrant” has decreased over time, “immigrant” has increased.

Historical changes in the use of the words ‘immigrant’ and ‘emmigrant’.
Corpus of Contemporary American English

Historically, “emigrants” referred to people who moved to America in the 19th and 20th Centuries from Ireland, France and England. The difference then is not due to the perspective from which the speaker regards migration, it is a difference of identity. “Immigrant” tends to refer to “others”, while “emigrant” tends to refer to “us”.

The consequences

There are differences in the meanings of the words used to describe migration and they are largely in interpretation. But in the end, what is in a name? Does the choice of one over another make a difference? As a linguist I am bound to say yes, but in the case of migration the choices made have very real implications.

The expression of particular attitudes by powerful voices will have an effect on the attitudes of others.

So when the Australian government promotes the names “illegal arrivals” or “illegal maritime arrivals” to refer to those seeking asylum, there are consequences.

The Associated Press dropped the term “illegal immigrant” in 2013 and The Guardian has similarly questioned its use of the term.

When people are deemed “illegal” – particularly by officials – it erases our shared humanity. Things that are shared are discarded in order to highlight only differences – “they” are not like “us”.

That makes the debate over the “right” term to use in relation to human migration controversial. Naming choices reflect differing attitudes and can have detrimental consequences.

The Conversation

Charlotte Taylor is a lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at University of Sussex This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Brewing Hatred: Coors Beer Company Markets to Women, Latinos, LGBTQ Communities as Coors Family Attacks Their Rights

Latina Lista: News from the Latino perspective Latina Lista: News from the Latino perspective – News from the Latino perspective. Brewing Hatred: Coors Beer Company Markets to Women, Latinos, LGBTQ Communities as Coors Family Attacks Their Rights by Latina Lista

By Zoe Greenberg & Brie Shea
RH Reality Check

(Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of the fuller investigative piece found at RH Reality Check.)

Coors Light is the second most popular beer in the United States, bringing in more than $2.3 billion of the $101.5 billion beer market in 2014, according to the market research firm IRI. The Coors family is one of America’s oldest and largest beer dynasties, and the brewing companies that still bear their name—MillerCoors and Molson Coors—rake in billions each year. (Coors merged with Molson, a popular Canadian brewing company, in 2005, and the two companies created a joint venture called MillerCoors in 2008.) Molson Coors had $4.15 billion in net sales in 2014 alone.

To maintain that success, Coors has recently developed product lines and ad campaigns designed to cater to three key increasingly profitable markets—women, the LGBTQ community, and Latinos. As these groups gain political and consumer power, Coors and its competitors have scrambled to transform beer, once a blue-collar, bro-identified product, into a multicultural cash cow.

But a new RH Reality Check investigation shows that although the Coors marketing messages and company policies have changed, the family behind the company continues to pump millions of dollars into powerful anti-choice, anti-immigrant groups, financing efforts that are directly hostile to the diverse customer base the Coors companies are trying to win over.

The Coors family foundations have contributed at least $12.5 million to conservative organizations in the past six years alone, making the Coors one of the most formidable right-wing donor families on the national stage today.

According to Kellie McElhaney, founding director of the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the public messaging from the Coors companies is in clear conflict with the private giving of the Coors family members.

The Coors beer companies and the Coors family say there is no conflict—because they operate separately. The family foundation’s website reads, “The Adolph Coors Foundation is a family foundation and not connected in any way to the brewery.”

Despite this asserted independence, public records show that Coors family members—including those who control the family’s charitable foundations—retain substantial ownership and control of the for-profit companies that carry their name.

At the same time as the Coors companies are prioritizing outreach to women and Latinos, the Coors family is funding some of the most influential anti-choice, anti-immigrant organizations in the country.

The family’s support for right-wing causes is longstanding.

And, as much as Coors marketing spokespeople tout the benefits of bilingual advertising and scholarships for Hispanic students, the Coors family has a very different idea about how to spend the profits reaped from such careful multicultural advertising.

Read the full article on RH Reality Check.

Zoe Greenberg is an Investigative Fellow and Brie Shea is an Investigative Reporting Fellow at RH Reality Check.

New children’s book highlights and supports gay parents in Peru

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LatinaLista — Latin America has long been considered one of the last remaining strongholds in the world for obedience to Catholic teachings. Yet, a recent article on Global Post identified Buenos Aires, Argentina as becoming a “mecca for gay marriage tourism.” The article noted that there now exists 20 nations around the world that allow gay unions, and many others that recognize certain rights of same-sex spouses but don’t go as far as endorsing marriages.

For as dominant as Catholicism is in Latin America, only less than a handful of countries don’t recognize same-sex couples. Peru is one such country. Same-sex couples in Peru can be “invisible” to their fellow citizens, but thanks to an activist-turned children’s book author, that’s about to change.


On September 30, Peru will see the unveiling of their first children’s book targeting children of same-sex parents. ¿Camila tiene dos mamás? is about 9-year-old Camila who lives with her two mothers, Lucia and Patricia, and her one-eyed dog. Camila’s life is happy and carefree until she starts a new school. A new classmate doesn’t understand Camila’s family and asks her why she has two mothers. Camila doesn’t know what to say and feels like an outcast.

The school principal calls Camila to his office and the children and their parents start talking about Camila. But there’s a happy ending — with everybody learning a valuable lesson about what makes a family.

Written by activist Veronica Ferrari, the book strives “to make visible all these families of lesbian mothers and of gay fathers existing in Peru, but who are not recognized nor protected.”

In an interview with Telesur TV, Ferrari said, “We want to tell them they are not alone and that living with dignity implies being prepared to be visible and confront the consequences with love and courage, and this way helping the fight against discrimination.”

The book is published by El Armario de Zoe, an independent publishing house that publishs content for the LGTB community in Peru.