> Happy Bastille Day!
> The general assembly is expected to admit South Sudan to the UN on Thursday.
> Indian officials have no leads regarding the blasts that killed twenty-one and injured hundreds during rush hour in Mumbai’s financial district yesterday.
> The Economist has a brief if fascinating look at the relative newness of impartial/objective journalism, and discusses the new shift towards transparency over objectivity.
This does not mean that all news organisations should take overtly political positions. Mr Rosen is just one of many media watchers who think it is time to release journalists from the straitjacket of pretending that they do not have opinions—what he calls the “view from nowhere”. Journalists signal their impartiality by quoting people on opposing sides of an argument and avoid drawing conclusions, even when the facts are clear. “There have been times in the past when CNN has been criticised for being neutral—not only non-partisan, but not really having positions,” says Mr Whitaker. But lately, he says, “we have been stronger in taking a point of view when we think it is supported by our reporting and by facts.”
…Transparency also means linking to sources and data, something the web makes easy. Bloggers have long used the technique to back up their views. Ezra Klein, a blogger at the Washington Post, has suggested that news organisations should publish full transcripts of interviews online. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, a fan of radical transparency if ever there was one, makes a similar argument. “You can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results. That should be the standard in journalism,” he said last year. Mr Weinberger has observed on his blog that transparency prospers in a linked medium: “Objectivity is a trust mechanism you rely on when your medium can’t do links. Now our medium can.”
> In the wake of the revelation that the CIA used a fake vaccination campaign in Pakistan in an attempt to get DNA from the bin Laden compound, Foreign Policy has an excellent piece on the weaponizing of healthcare, and the implications, both good and bad, of the global health movement.
People believe in their medical care. They want to be healthy, and they want more than anything to have healthy children. Accordingly, they believe in their doctors and nurses. And it’s the duty of health-care professionals — and governments — to return and protect this trust. It is not acceptable to weaponize health, to use Christopher Albon’s brilliant turn of phrase. But it’s clear — and interesting — that doing so is remarkably easy.
n a world where social cohesion is eroding rapidly, people still trust their health-care providers. Despite everything we know about medical care in much of the world — poor care, discrimination, under-the-table payments, and doctors who put their own interests first — people still open the door when you say “I’m a doctor, and I want to help.”
Maybe this in an inside-out way of seeing things, but I think this widespread trust in health care is a sign that global health efforts are working. In 1978, in Kazakhstan, the Alma-Ata Declaration called for all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to promote and protect all people in the world. It launched the global health movement as we know it. We don’t have health for all yet, certainly, but we’re making progress. And people everywhere are voting in favor of these global health efforts with their open doors.
> KFC and Diet Coke are expected to be available in North Korea before the end of the year. And by available, we mean not really, unless you’re Kim Jong Il.
> In the month of June, 1,600 couples applied for civil unions in Indiana. June is the first month in which civil partnerships have been available in Indiana, and at $30 per license, this generated just under $50,000 in revenue for the state. Tolerance is profitable!
> Bristol Palin says that Sarah Palin has God on her side. Takes a load off my mind.
> Autostraddle has a review of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which sounds just heartbreaking and gorgeous and really, you should read it right now.
“We would visit art museums. There was only enough money for one ticket, so one of us would go in, look at the exhibits, and report back to the other.”
…As Patti recounts how she sat on the floor of Janis Joplin’s Chelsea Hotel suite, watching Kris Kristofferson serenade her with “Me and Bobby McGee”, she reflects:
“I was there for these moments, but so young and preoccupied by my own thoughts that I hardly recognized them as moments.”