Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - The Christian Science Monitor Daily
<music> welcome to the monitor daily podcast. It's wednesday august twenty first. Thanks for joining us. I'm mark sapping and i'm samantha lane purpose. If the reports are right some sort of peace deal between the united states and the taliban might be drawing near ending the eighteen year war in afghanistan is a priority for the trump administration is time for considering how much the taliban has has changed since two thousand one the monitor scott peterson has already shared reasons to be wary of the taliban promises but it is also important want to consider how much afghanistan has changed the list is long and substantial women's rights have dramatically improved particularly in cities. Legitimate national security forces exist. The president and parliament are democratically elected. Cultural changes have taken hold too young a young afghans have embraced new clothing styles and haircuts with a vengeance rights ahmad in the washington post several media channels broadcast twenty four hours a day producing everything from news to the afghan versions of american idol mixed martial arts and sesame street. We won't let the taliban forced their the ideas on us again says the carrier a high school graduate to radio free europe like sakaria half the country was born since two thousand one ultimately the question of how much afghanistan has changed. We'll be there to answer now to our five stories touching on the independent spirit of a true american political swing district the tactics of the far right in italy and seeking emotional oceana resilience amid changing environments first story american voters are so doc baked into their political preferences these days that true swing voters are a rare breed. That's what makes visiting macomb michigan fascinating. If president donald trump loses macomb county michigan next november. He probably won't be able to win reelection. That's because it's a key key swing county and a key rust belt swing state in two thousand sixteen president trump carried macomb by eleven points and became the first republican in presidential candidate to win michigan since nineteen eighty-eight macomb county voters aren't yet focused on the coming political storm but reporting swing through the area digs up indications that president trump is far from a sure thing to repeat his victorious 2016 performance many remaking voters still like him but others no longer think the president reflects their midwestern nice values the bashing of everyone and everything everything is that necessary says debbie dimac an estate sale manager who voted for president trump last time around asked about possible democrats more voters mentioned massachusetts senator elizabeth warren than a moderate like former vice president joe biden. One thing is clear the candidate that wins winds may come in the two thousand twenty presidential election will need to actually campaign here. You have to work to get the support of this county says andrea lafontaine contain a former republican state representative and may come this story was reported by story hinckley and saint clair shores michigan for the monitor in italy is a unique laboratory for right wing politics a new political crisis. There could be a bid by the leading far right politician to gain more clout italy is in political disarray after italian prime minister giuseppe kante resigned tuesday effectively putting an end to its fourteen month old ruling coalition of right-wing and left-wing populists but the more significant -nificant effect of mr conti's move might have been to prevent or at least for stall the election of the most right wing government in italy since that of benito mussolini any the political crisis is primarily thanks to matteo salvini the highly popular ambitious far-right interior minister and leader of the right-wing league party who calculated that triggering snap elections would play out in his favor. The league is one of the brightest stars in the constellation of far right nationalist parties that are gaining momentum in europe but while mr salvini is league is popular among the public at holds just seventeen percent of seats in italy's lease parliament fear of performing poorly in near term elections could be strong enough incentive for the larger parties to set aside their differences and form form an alternate government. This could spur an alliance between the league's now former coalition partner the leftist populace five star movement and the opposition centre-left center-left democratic party. This story was reported by dominique so gal in basel switzerland for the monitor. When environment change people can feel they've lost something familiar and deer in an era of climate change. There's new thinking about how to cope agnetha mosca. A therapist in calgary joined an echo grief support circle that meets twice a month. She says she joined after losing faith that that nature could rebalance itself. She compares the circles to being at awake but it's also where she finds hope together. We have less individual despair where we can just have connection instead of fear or just sadness. She says academics have begun to attach. Neologisms to feelings like ms volks goes soloist algebra coined by australian philosopher in two thousand five describes a form of distress caused by environmental change or ecological grief reef those feelings of loss surrounding a place are becoming increasingly common as wilder weather patterns and natural disasters are many scientists say becoming more commonplace and the capital of canada's oil industry where everyone knows someone employed by it that can lead to mixed feelings. Just just fifty two percent of albertans believed. They've seen conclusive or solid evidence of climate change the lowest percentage in canada but people here describe a feeling ailing akin to mourning over the loss of natural landscapes when you lose your special place. It's a deep feeling says alberton agronomists susan heather this story was reported by sarah miller yana and willow creek number twenty six alberta for the monitor reconciliation and grace are hard in divisive times but by committing to them. Tiffany robertson is changing community. This is part six and a summer series on people who are facing and successfully navigating america's most intractable challenges when saint saint louis shut down in november two thousand fourteen to hear the jury's verdict on the white officer who shot african american teenager michael brown tiffany robertson's teenage age daughter went up to her room with popcorn to watch the broadcast ready to celebrate when the news came that the jury had decided not to indict the officer. She came downstairs sobbing. There was no comfort we could give her says ms robertson another african american team vondra at myers. There's junior had been killed by a white off. Duty police officer right in their neighborhood the month before amid these tensions ms roberson reached out in prayer and was inspired to establish a frank discussion group about race touchy topics tuesday or t t t at first she was the only african american can single-handedly fielding the white participants hard and sometimes offensive questions but with patients and grace she saw outlooks transform gradually gradually the group became more diverse now there are three t t groups plus a podcast and a special group just for city police officers which ms robertson co runs with an african american police captain what i've gleaned the most from t t t is if this attitude of reconciliation doesn't become intentional attentional then we just keep moving in the same circles. She says the story was reported by christie. Case bryant for the monitor in afghanistan carpets are woven deeply into the nation sense of identity getting them out into the world. World is one group's way of sharing that spirit some one point six million afghans are in the carpet business most working from home but during forty years of conflict some ninety percent of afghan carpets were sent to neighboring pakistan for eventual export there the final touches were added an afghan and carpets were often tagged with a made in pakistan label but the british development organization turquoise mountain aims to herald a renaissance and afghan in carpet weaving by serving the bridge for afghan carpets to foreign buyers or bringing every step of the process back to afghanistan that will help ensure sure both quality and working conditions carpets have been produced in this region for millennia and when people speak about afghan rugs it resonates says natalie finally perleberg of turquoise mountain in kabul for years turquoise mountain specialized in urban reclamation and training projects in kabul and bringing afghan art to a global audience carpet dealers look in an afghan carpet and they get excited they keep using the word soul to be honest says nathan stroup afghanistan country director for turquoise mountain. They're still that sort of magical quality in the carpets and i think the mythos of the story this story where he was reported by scott peterson and kabul afghanistan for the monitor now commentary on columbia from from the monitor's editorial board. If there were an annual award for mass generosity surely columbia would win it by the end of this year. The south american nation of forty nine million people is expected to have taken more than two million refugees from venezuela whose economy is teetering on collapse largely from a dictators mismanagement in contrast columbia is a model of the freedoms that can engender mass charity largely on its own peso columbia has integrated many refugees into schools and the economy colombian also have a stronger than usual empathy towards the dispossessed. They endured a half century century of civil war until a peace deal in twenty sixteen yet. Columbia is in need of foreign assistance. The united nations has asked the international international community for seven hundred thirty eight million dollars to aid columbia and other regional nations coping with the refugee flow. Only about a quarter of the request has been filled helping colombia is a way to reinforce its big heartedness and its counter example to the tragedy of governance in venezuela availa assisting columbia's generosity is a big assist for a peaceful democratic and wayland. That's a wrap for the news. You can find the full length versions of these stories in today's issue or at c. S. monitored dot com slash daily. Thank you for joining us. Please come back tomorrow when we explore how disaster of the yemen war and saudi arabia's c._b._s. Heavy-handedness have begun to fracture one of the middle east's most important alliances today's christian science spiritual rotate perspective column shares one woman took a deep dive into what it means to truly love one's neighbor. You can find it in today's issue or at c._s. c._s. Monitor dot com slash name. We want to give a quick. Thanks to our staff including reading today's audio production team samantha lane purpose morgan anderson and jeff turkey. This podcast is produced by the christian science monitor copyright twenty nineteen.