These conflicts have already displaced close to 60 million people, the highest number ever recorded. Half are children. Some events that drive people to escape their own countries don’t even have names. The Central African Republic simply has a “conflict”. The Yemeni civil war is only four months old. Together, these crises have displaced almost two million people. People flee Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, both Sudans, Eritrea, West Papua, Vietnam, Myanmar (formerly Burma), China, Cambodia, Liberia, Mauritania, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria. Every day last year, an average of 42,500 people were displaced. If the lost were united into a country, it would be the 24th most populous in the world.
The Monthly: Nope, Nope, Nope. Why Australia won’t help the Rohingya, August 2015
Humans are land animals, and different countries have different laws about the obligation to rescue others on land. In the United States, there is effectively no obligation: if you come upon a person, or many people, in distress—marooned or battered, blistered or bleeding, hopeless or dying—in midtown Manhattan, or in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and you do nothing to help them, that doesn’t make you an outlaw, just reprehensible. But, if you have such an encounter at sea, international maritime law and custom require that you save everyone you can, at least until you can return them to shore. According to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the master of a ship, upon learning that “persons are in distress at sea,” is “bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance.” The International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue lays a similar obligation on “State Parties”—to “ensure that assistance be provided to any person in distress at sea . . . regardless of the nationality or status of such a person or the circumstances in which that person is found.”
The New Yorker: Search and Rescue, May 4, 2015.
Best of Europe, Worst of Europe. And what is going wrong in Central and Eastern Europe.
A debate about whether slowing economic growth would be a curse or a blessing.
These are the African countries with the most promising retail markets.
A profile of Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City.
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