This second issue of New Times Always! picks up where the first left off in tracking contemporary change to all corners of the earth. It’s a long story with infinite pieces, of which we uncover a goodly number. They range from a nation-changing story to an unavoidable roundup of key if not critical stories from the political spectrum. New to the second issue are the narrative blocks that precede most posts, designed to make it easier for readers to navigate the onslaught of change we continually chronicle. And on page three we introduce a number of stories from the brighter side of change, giving both readers and editors a somewhat if not total break from seriousness.
Readers are both invited and encouraged to like us on Facebook and to keep up not only with change in the world but in how we cover it. Our new logo says it all, many times over. In today’s world as never before, it’s all about change
Don West for New Times Always!
The next generation of workers is upon us: Generation Z, or the iGeneration, has begun to enter the workforce, and the first class of college degree-holders will graduate this spring. So what does this mean for the future of work? Researcher and Generation Xer David Stillman and his son, member of Generation Z Jonah Stillman, have studied this cohort and explain who this generation is, what has shaped them and what they will expect from work.
What is Generation Z, and what are some of its defining characteristics?
David: Gen Z is the generation that comes after the Millennial generation. They were born between the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, so roughly 1995 to 2010. Many are surprised to hear that the leading edge of the cohort is already graduating college this spring and heading to work. They are 72.8 million strong. Like all generations, Gen Z has its own unique events and conditions that have shaped them, resulting in a different outlook.
Jonah: As my dad said, we have our own conditions that have shaped us, plus our parents. Where Millennials were raised by self-esteem-building, optimistic Boomers, we were raised by tough-love, skeptical Gen Xers. At a young age, we were told by our Xer parents that there are winners and losers, and that more often than not, you lose. In addition, we grew up during the Great Recession, so we’re pragmatic, independent and in survival mode when it comes to looking at our future careers. We’re also the first true digital natives. We have only known phones that are smart and have been able to get our hands on any bit of information 24/7. While this makes us very resourceful, it also creates challenges in that we suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)—big time. Gen Z is always worried whether we are moving ahead fast enough in comparison to everyone else. We are definitely not the most patient generation!
Why is it important that organizations and leaders begin thinking about Generation Z now?
David: We have a golden opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive. The leading edge is just starting to enter the workplace. If leaders get to know what makes Gen Z tick today, then they can better prepare to recruit and retain them. It’s not about “out with the old and in with the new;” it’s about anticipating where the conflicts might be and how best to prepare. In the 90s, leaders were not ready for Gen X when they showed up, and they paid a serious price for it. For example, Gen X entered the workplace skeptical and wanted to keep close tabs on their performance. Once-a-year formal feedback that worked for the Boomers was not enough for Gen X. Many Xers left their workplaces in search of companies that would give them more information more often.
Read More at SHRM
Seen from above, the Pine Island Ice Shelf is a slow-motion train wreck. Its buckled surface is scarred by thousands of large crevasses. Its edges are shredded by rifts a quarter mile across. In 2015 and 2016 a 225-square-mile chunk of it broke off the end and drifted away on the Amundsen Sea. The water there has warmed by more than a degree Fahrenheit over the past few decades, and the rate at which ice is melting and calving has quadrupled.
On the Antarctic Peninsula, the warming has been far greater—nearly five degrees on average. That’s why a Delaware-size iceberg is poised to break off the Larsen C Ice Shelf and why smaller ice shelves on the peninsula have long since disintegrated entirely into the waters of the Weddell Sea. But around the Amundsen Sea, a thousand miles to the southwest on the Pacific coast of Antarctica, the glaciers are far larger and the stakes far higher. They affect the entire planet.
The Pine Island Ice Shelf is the floating terminus of the Pine Island Glacier, one of several large glaciers that empty into the Amundsen Sea. Together they drain a much larger dome of ice called the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is up to two and a half miles thick and covers an area twice the size of Texas. The ice sheet is draped over a series of islands, but most of it rests on the floor of a basin that dips more than 5,000 feet below sea level. That makes it especially vulnerable to the warming ocean. If all that vulnerable ice were to become unmoored, break into pieces, and float away, as researchers increasingly believe it might, it would raise sea level by roughly 10 feet, drowning coasts around the world.
The ice sheet is held back only by its fringing ice shelves—and those floating dams, braced against isolated mountains and ridges of rock around the edges of the basin, are starting to fail. They themselves don’t add much to sea level, because they’re already floating in the water. But as they weaken, the glaciers behind them flow faster to the sea, and their edges retreat. That’s happening now all around the Amundsen Sea. The Pine Island Ice Shelf, about 1,300 feet thick over most of its area, is a dramatic case: It thinned by an average of 150 feet from 1994 to 2012. But even more worrisome is the neighboring Thwaites Glacier, which could destabilize most of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet if it collapsed.
“These are the fastest retreating glaciers on the face of the Earth,” says Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Rignot has studied the region for more than two decades, using radar from aircraft and satellites, and he believes the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is only a matter of time. The question is whether it will take 500 years or fewer than a hundred—and whether humanity will have time to prepare.
“We have to get these numbers right,” Rignot says. “But we have to be careful not to waste too much time doing that.”
Read more at National Geographic.
DORAL, Fla. — Earlier this year, a rumor rippled through the large Hispanic community in northeast Miami, delivered through the WhatsApp text-messaging service: Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were hauling undocumented immigrants off to detention centers in buses. The “deportation force” President Trump promised during the campaign had finally arrived, it seemed.
Panicked callers turned to the source of information they rely upon above all others: Univision, the Spanish-language television network, which is aggressively tracking whether Mr. Trump makes good on his campaign vow to conduct the largest mass expulsion of modern times.
Journalists at Univision’s headquarters here started hitting the streets, calling contacts and analyzing a photograph of a supposed ICE bus in action.
No sweep was underway, they learned; the photo was from 2014.
Univision pumped out Facebook and Twitter posts debunking the rumor, posted a more detailed article on its website and produced a television package for its stations across the country. It repeated the exercise all over again when the same rumor emerged a few days later in Los Angeles.
Just another day covering President Trump’s America at Univision News.
By now you’ve probably heard that this is a golden age for journalism — how The New York Times and The Washington Post are warring for scoops in ways reminiscent of the Watergate era; how an information-hungry public is sending subscriptions and television news ratings soaring, reinvigorating journalists and reaffirming their mission (“Democracy Dies in Darkness” and all that).
But the story isn’t complete if it doesn’t include Univision News, one of the most striking examples I’ve seen all year of a news organization that is meeting the moment.
Read more at The New York Times.
It was close to midnight on the coast of Libya, a few miles west of Tripoli. At the water’s edge, armed Libyan smugglers pumped air into thirty-foot rubber dinghies. Some three thousand refugees and migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, silent and barefoot, stood nearby in rows of ten. Oil platforms glowed in the Mediterranean.
The Libyans ordered male migrants to carry the inflated boats into the water, thirty on each side. They waded in and held the boats steady as a smuggler directed other migrants to board, packing them as tightly as possible. People in the center would suffer chemical burns if the fuel leaked and mixed with water. Those straddling the sides could easily fall into the sea. Officially, at least five thousand and ninety-eight migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, but Libya’s coastline is more than a thousand miles long, and nobody knows how many boats sink without ever being seen. Several of the migrants had written phone numbers on their clothes, so that someone could call their families if their bodies washed ashore.
The smugglers knelt in the sand and prayed, then stood up and ordered the migrants to push off. One pointed to the sky. “Look at this star!” he said. “Follow it.” Each boat left with only enough fuel to reach international waters.
In one dinghy, carrying a hundred and fifty people, a Nigerian teen-ager named Blessing started to cry. She had travelled six months to get to this point, and her face was gaunt and her ribs were showing. She wondered if God had visited her mother in dreams and shown her that she was alive. The boat hit swells and people started vomiting. By dawn, Blessing had fainted. The boat was taking on water.
In recent years, tens of millions of Africans have fled areas afflicted with famine, drought, persecution, and violence. Ninety-four per cent of them remain on the continent, but each year hundreds of thousands try to make it to Europe. The Mediterranean route has also become a kind of pressure-release valve for countries affected by corruption and extreme inequality. “If not for Italy, I promise, there would be civil war in Nigeria,” a migrant told me. Last year, after Nigeria’s currency collapsed, more Nigerians crossed the sea than people of any other nationality.
The flood of migrants is not a new phenomenon, but for years the European Union had some success in slowing it. The E.U. built a series of fences in Morocco and started paying coastal African nations to keep migrants from reaching European waters. Many migrants spent years living in border countries, repeatedly trying and failing to cross. Muammar Qaddafi saw an opportunity. In 2010, he demanded that Europe pay him five billion euros per year; otherwise, he said, Libya could send so many migrants that “tomorrow Europe might no longer be European.”
The following year, as nato forces bombed Libya, Qaddafi’s troops rounded up tens of thousands of black and South Asian guest workers in Tripoli, crammed them into fishing trawlers, and launched them in the direction of Italy. Then Qaddafi was killed, Libya descended into chaos, and its shores became impossible to police. Europe’s strategy had failed; by 2013, smuggling networks connected most major population centers in the northern half of Africa to Tripoli’s coast.
As African migrants head toward the Mediterranean, they unwittingly follow the ancient caravan routes of the trans-Saharan slave trade. For eight hundred years, black slaves and concubines were transported through the same remote desert villages. Now that the old slave routes are ungovernable and awash in weapons, tens of thousands of human beings who set out voluntarily find themselves trafficked, traded between owners, and forced to work as laborers or prostitutes. The men who enter debt bondage come from all over Africa, but the overwhelming majority of females fit a strikingly narrow profile: they are teen-age girls from around Benin City, the capital of Edo State, in southern Nigeria—girls like Blessing.
Read More at The New Yorker
Noah Pozner was reluctant to go to school that day. A mischievous little boy, who had celebrated his sixth birthday three weeks earlier, he stayed in bed too long and dragged his feet getting ready. “I said to him: ‘Come on, Noah, we gotta get moving,” his father, Leonard (also known as Lenny) recalls, having thought about the morning of 14 December 2012 so often he can almost talk about it mechanically. But the drive was fun: Noah, his twin sister, Arielle, and older sister, Sophia, listened to Gangnam Style, one of Noah’s favourite songs. Noah always sat in the back seat and Leonard tickled his ankle as he drove along. At school, Noah jumped out, his backpack in one hand, his jacket in the other. He was wearing a Batman shirt and Spider-Man trainers. “I said: ‘I love you, have a great day,’ and that was the last thing I ever said to him,” says Pozner. After all, he adds, “Not even Batman could have stopped an AR-15.”
Noah was the youngest victim of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, murdered about half an hour after his father dropped him off. A sweet-faced, big-eyed, brown-haired boy, his tiny body took multiple bullets. His jaw was blown off, as was his left hand, and his beloved Batman shirt was soaked with blood. For his funeral, his mother, Veronique, insisted he have an open casket.
“I want the world to see what they did to my baby,” she said at the time.
Today, Pozner tries to look on the bright side. “I could have lost three kids that day because the other two were in rooms adjacent to Noah’s classroom. They were all in the shooter’s footprint.”
Even in a country all too used to mass shootings, the merciless killing in Newtown, Connecticut of 20 six- and seven-year-olds, along with six of the school’s employees, retains a terrible hold on the US’s imagination, gripping the memory after too many other shootings have faded away. For most, it is too horrible to mention without a shudder. But for a tenacious few, it is too horrible to believe, and soon after Noah was killed, when Pozner thought he had already seen the worst of humanity, he came into contact with the latter group.
Read More at The Guardian
As towers have stacked up and new heights scaled, through design or coincidence Dubai has become a playground for adrenaline junkies, assaulting the city from land, sea and air.