Weekly Round Up: Divestment, Hate Crime and Shaggy Memes

Jussie Smollett Hate Crime

The brutal attack on actor Jussie Smollett has been widely condemned as a hate crime – the attackers chanted ‘Make America Great Again’ as they put a noose around his neck – yet predictably, many have sought to deny the importance of Smollett’s sexuality in this case. As Ellen Page put it in a recent interview, it is time to “…connect the dots. This needs to fucking stop”.  Jack 

BP and BHP offer Cambridge University millions despite calls to Divest

Fossil fuel companies BP and BHP offered Cambridge Uni what was a de facto confidential bribe to persuade the university to keep investing in fossil fuels. Cambridge divesting (moving investments away from problematic industries) would set a considerable precedent – many British unis have already been persuaded to stop investing in oil extraction and the lucrative trade in weapons. Oxford, in the meantime, continues to profit from arms traders’ production of cluster bombs which are used to kill Yemeni children and invests heavily in many of the 100 companies responsible for 71% of global warming. That’s only the university itself – the college picture is even more bleak, with greater secrecy and larger funds involved. Luckily, our own divestment campaign is alive and kicking. But this week theirs seems an even more Promethean task. Drop them a line if you want to get involved. With climate change killing 5 million people a year, someone has to tell the bursars that it’s not business as usual.   Jorrit

Woman in the UK charged of FGM crime

FGM (female genital mutilation) is a practice carried out, worryingly and disquietingly, in parts of Asia, the Middle-East, and Africa. In the UK there were an estimated 5000 cases in 2017 – almost half of which affected women and girls living in London. This conviction could be a watershed moment – what stops most people coming forward to report this crime is the secrecy surrounding it.   Louis 

War victims reduced to landfill scavenging in Yemen

14 million people in Yemen are at risk of death by starvation. A local doctor in the port city of Hodeidah reports that starving civilians involved in the Yemen conflict are so hungry they are scavenging for food in landfills. Hodeidah was previously the entry point for 70% of imports, but since the outbreak of civil war in 2015, food supplies have been almost entirely blockaded — over 85000 children under the age of five had died from malnutrition. Now families have been reduced to foraging garbage heaps for survival. Just like the college investments mentioned above, our government is also complicit in these deaths by selling arms to the Saudis.  Juni

Shaggy Memes

Upon the revelation that Shaggy has only ever been hindered by his overriding cowardice as opposed to a chronic lack of strength, bored creatives(?) worldwide began to envisage what he might amount to if he harnessed more than 1% of his potential power. Like most memes it really can’t be explained beyond that so just look at some weird images and if you laugh then, like, zoinks.  Christian ∎

Journalist Marie Colvin killed by Assad, rules Judge

The US court have found the Bashar-al-Assad’s Syrian regime liable for the world-renowned war correspondent Marie Colvin’s death. The BBC and Sunday Times reporter was killed in 2012 while reporting on the siege of Homs. Journalism is increasingly under threat, with 2018 having been one of the deadliest years on record for the profession. Press Gazette reflected on the role the rise of ‘strongmen’ politicians such as Trump have in the attack on the free press.   Sophie

Illustration by Sophie Kuang. Words by Leela Jadhav, Louis Davidson, Jorrit Donner-Wittkopf, Antonio Perricone, Juni Ham, Christian Jones, Jack Womack and Sophie Coe.