"Nota bene" (Latin for "note well" or "take note") is our weekly round-up of noteworthy stuff. For the uninitiated, each week, we take a look at the news from a humanitarian perspective on armed conflict, human suffering, and emergencies (with some hope thrown in for good measure!).
The Atlantic ran a photo essay from Eastern Ukraine recently, including an image of an ICRC sign in Donetsk marked by a bullet hole. There were also accolades for photographer, Joseph Sywenkyj, who was awarded this year’s W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his long-term project on family life in Ukraine, according to the NYT photo blog, Lens.
We loved this gem of a series by Humans of New York photographer, Brandon Stanton, who went around the world, sponsored by the UN, photographing Humans of the World.
The head of the Red Cross Red Crescent's Ebola response team gave a very succint and informative video presentation on how to don protective gear on the Discovery Channel. Meanwhile, the NYT Editorial Board penned a powerful opinion piece, stating: "President Obama needs personally to ramp up the urgency of the American response and the level and speed of the resources provided."
Mother Jones reported that a whopping 60 per cent of the world's population still doesn't have acess to the Internet... and the digital divide isn't going away anytime soon. They also reported on the DoD's recent statements that "global warming poses immediate risks to US national security".
There were several good articles in the New Yorker, including this item - the second in a two-part piece featuring an exchange of letters between the Israeli-Palestinian writer, Sayed Kashua, and his friend, Jewish-Israeli writer and filmmaker, Etgar Keret. Kashua implores Keret: "I want you to give me a little hope. You can lie, if you feel like. Please, Etgar, tell me a short story with a happy ending, please."
When we read this piece about StoryCorps' 10th anniversary gala featuring Stephen Colbert and honoring the oral-history organization's Military Voices initiative, it made us even more excited to be teaming up with StoryCorps in the coming months to capture stories of humanity, war, and the Red Cross. (More on that soon.)
The New Yorker also ran an excellent feature from the Central African Republic - it's a must-read for anyone looking to better understand the tensions fueling the violence and killings in this landlocked and largely underdeveloped country. The ICRC also has a Q&A on CAR here.
Over on Lawfare, the discussion about President Obama's war powers legacy continued. The contributors maintain that Obama’s precedents “will constitute a remarkable legacy of expanded presidential power to use military force.” They ask: "Now that it is clear American forces will be fighting transnational terrorist organizations well into the future, will the president finally engage Congress in a serious way to establish a durable legal framework? Or will he continue to formulate ad hoc, unilateral responses as each legal issue related to war powers arises?"
The ICRC renewed its call on parties to armed conflicts not to use explosive weapons that have a wide impact area in densely populated areas because of their devastating consequences for civilians. ICRC also reported that large segments of the population of the Gaza Strip are still deprived of safe drinking water following the intense fighting there this summer. And there was some good news from Syria, where, thanks to its continuous contact with the parties to the conflict and with the help of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC was able to get food and other supplies to over 510,000 people across the country last month. The downside, however, was that fighting in and around the governorates of Quneitra and Dara'a, intensified fighting displaced more than 100,000 people in September.
And finally, #ICYMI, check out DC public radio station, WAMU's, series: "Voices from El Salvador: A Civil War's Unhealed wounds".
**The usual disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC. **
Are you a writer, videographer, or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (aka the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: anelson (at) icrc (dot) org