Top Picks: Stuff that caught our eye June 28 to July 4

4th of July fireworks over the US Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

4th of July fireworks over the US Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

This is a weekly list of articles, podcasts, videos, blog posts, and other online items that have caught our eye here at Intercross. The list* is curated from a humanitarian perspective on armed conflict, so you'll discover links to a variety of things - from articles on international humanitarian law and the use of lethal force, to stories about finding dignity and compassion in the midst of conflict. It's a little bit eclectic and by no means exhaustive, but our hope is that it will open up a window on humanity in war and offer our readers some insight into what we're tracking here in DC. 

From all of us at ICRC DC, Happy 4th of July!

Writing for Lawfare, Paul Rosenzweig offers a taxonomy of cyber war IHL questions.

Just Security examines secrecy, nonacknowledgement, and drone strikes in Yemen.

Writing for Al Jazeera’s opinion page, Patricia Vieira, an associate professor at Georgetown University, asks if it’s wrong to use the expression “women and children” when reporting on disasters or war zones?

Interestingly, Al Jazeera is also carrying a story about the women left behind in Iraq as more men join the fighting in Iraq.

The New Yorker examines how many children are killed in wars.

The Pulitzer Center examines how refugees view ISIS.

Foreign Policy reports that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said on Thursday that the Pentagon is weighing airstrikes in Iraq because of a growing belief that Iraqi security forces will be unable to take back territory seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham on their own.

The Guardian reports on an Italian investigation into the deaths of at least 30 migrants, who were trying to get from Libya to Europe aboard a cramped vessel.

The New York Times reports on how an influx of Central American migrants has roiled a Californian town.

The scientist who discovered Ebola tells CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the current outbreak of the deadly bug in West Africa, in which 467 people have died, is “unprecedented.”

Al Jazeera reports on how Ebola's effects go far beyond the death toll - in Sierra Leone it has spread fear and left whole families ostracized.

CBS News had a tribute to the World War II veteran who remained "Unbroken" until the end.

On Canada Day (July 1st) the Huffington Post reported that Canada had a plan to invade the US (plus 5 other facts you didn't know about our friends to the north).

Politico says 238 years after its first birthday, America is in deep denial. “Like a dysfunctional family writ across a continent, we Americans have learned to look away from some of our hardest problems, such as inequality and climate change, and, when confronted with them, wring our hands and pretend there’s nothing we can do—even when we pretend to be making a fuss about them.”

The Washington Post reported on a new Pew Research Center poll, which shows that the number of Americans who think the United States "stands above all other countries" has declined from 38 percent three years ago to 28 percent today. A strong majority of Americans (58 percent) say the U.S. is merely "one of the greatest countries."

The New York Times’ photo blog, Lens, captures some of America’s quirky coincidences.

TEDEd dives into some of the lesser known facts about the process of writing the Declaration of Independence and questions one very controversial omission.

Finally, feeling patriotic on this 4th of July? Lawfare shared a beautiful acapella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

*A small but important 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 reflect those of the ICRC.