Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Shakespeare Passage

Located off the coast of Capetown, South Africa, Robben Island has been used to hold anti-apartheid insurgents and outcasts since the end of the 1800s. Revolutionaries, lepers, and political prisoners have all called Robben Island home. Most notably, Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison as an inmate at Robben Island. While … Continue reading

We Already Know How to Help These Women

I want to talk today about something difficult to discuss. You don’t hear about it in the news very often, likely because it affects people the West commonly ignores, and might be too overwhelming for the typical 24/7 news cycle. The problem is a medical one: fistula, or when an abnormal tract forms between two … Continue reading

Bangladesh and What Brings the Guilt Clouds

Last Friday I heard a brief exchange on The Diane Rehm Show’s Friday news roundup about the recent factory collapse/fire in Bangladesh in which at least 381 people have been confirmed killed. Susan Page of US Today stood in for Diane Rehm and interviewed, among others, James Kitfield of National Journal. Page asked Kitfield, “Do … Continue reading

What We Really Think of First Responders

After the recent tragedies in Boston and West, many of us celebrated the incredible stories of first responders. These were the people who ran back into the fray after the explosions, who searched for bodies in the rubble, who sacrificed their own safety and security to give blood, clothing, medical care, and whatever else was … Continue reading

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum – a Blow to Human Rights?

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down a decision on the case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. I was actually in the room when the court heard this case, which involves a group of Nigerians attempting to sue multinational oil companies for human rights abuses in Nigeria. The case involves the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which … Continue reading

What Does Australia Think of Our Asia Pivot?

While in Australia back in February I came across the Medical Association for Prevention of War. Curious, I walked into their office and wound up in an interesting dialogue with Nancy Atkin, the Executive Officer. I’ve been wanting to write about our conversation for some time since. It was a real treat to sit with … Continue reading

Doing Good on Yom HaShoah

Today was Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a Jewish commemoration, it ends in the evening at sundown rather than at midnight. It is a time to reflect and remember, and a chance to refocus our energy on preventing similar atrocities. Unfortunately, the latter half of the 20th century tells a different story than … Continue reading

Who Needs More Testimony? Her Escape from North Korea

The emotional speech below is the first Ted Talk by a North Korean. Hyeonseo Lee fled her homeland when she was 14. Like other North Korean refugees who survived and found safety in South Korea and the US, she is still haunted by memories of what she saw as a child and during her escape. … Continue reading

Why Would Uganda Kill the Gays?

An infamous piece of legislation still looms in Uganda – the “Kill the Gays” bill, which would punish homosexuality with the death penalty. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but that law is rarely if ever enforced. Ugandan public sentiment on sexuality ranges across all corners of the spectrum. So if there’s already a law … Continue reading

Site Update

Last week, I made a pretty huge change to this website: I split it in two. Yes, this move will cause a number of broken links and frustrations for me in the short run, but I needed to cut my own arm off, Aron Ralston-style, and here’s what you need to know now that the … Continue reading

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