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Sunday, October 20, 2019

When The Student Newspaper Is The Only Daily Paper In Town, by Dan Levin, New York Times

“If we weren’t covering it, no one would know what’s going on,” said Ms. Sourine, 21, who also plays rugby and is taking a full schedule of classes this semester. “It’s really hard to take time out of my day, especially when breaking news hits. But a lot of people rely on us to stay informed, not only students, but the people of Ann Arbor.”

For more than a decade, The Michigan Daily, the university’s student newspaper, has been the only paper in town. After The Ann Arbor News shuttered its print edition in 2009 — and eventually its online presence, too — a staff of about 300 student journalists has worked hard to provide incisive coverage about the city’s police, power brokers and policymakers, all while keeping up with school.

Drawn From Poverty: Art Was Supposed To Save Canada’s Inuit. It Hasn’t., by Catherine Porter, New York Times

Canadians call this “reconciliation,” and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who faces a tight re-election vote on Monday, has made it central to his government and image.

In Ooloosie Saila, many might see the embodiment of these aspirations: an accomplished artist being feted for her depictions of the Inuit landscape in brilliant pinks and oranges — a young Indigenous woman who is making it.

But the world she returned to after the opening, the hamlet of Cape Dorset, is plagued by poverty, alcoholism and domestic abuse. The possibility of brutality is never far away. The relative raging in Ms. Saila’s house on the eve of her trip has assaulted her repeatedly, and has gone to jail for it.

The True Story Of The Genetically Modified Superfood That Almost Saved Millions, by Ed Regis, Foreign Policy

The superfood thus seemed to have everything going for it: It would be the basis for a sea change in public health among the world’s poorest people. It would be cheap to grow and indefinitely sustainable, because low-income farmers could save the seeds from any given harvest and plant them the following season, without purchasing them anew.

But in the 20 years since it was created, Golden Rice has not been made available to those for whom it was intended. So what happened?

The Importance Of Stories: On Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments”, by Elizabeth Sulis Kim, Los Angeles Review of Books

Turning and turning, the wheel of fortune keeps spinning. Can we ever escape it? Are we circling or spiraling? Whatever the answer, Atwood’s references to the moon cycle remind us this cycle of fortune is inevitable, too. Telling stories helps us find an anchor in this chaos and navigate difficult circumstances. We can learn to work with nature rather than resist it. The Testaments is also a rallying cry to become conscious of the stories we are told, and tell, and the roles we assume. Which choices would we make if in Aunt Lydia’s shoes? Which parts of history do we wish to claim as our own? Which do we reject? Becoming aware of the mythos that constrains us also means we can collectively help dismantle it. As readers, we can imagine and work toward a better world.