Links & Briefs For July 2, 2015

It was a day for hitting the proverbial books, heavy on research, leaving little time for little else. Nonetheless, a few items worth noting and bookmarking:


From a New York Times Magazine feature on Robert Frank, the most influential living photographer in the world today, whose seminal work ‘Americans’ is still widely considered one of the finest photography books ever published:

‘‘I photographed people who were held back, who never could step over a certain line,’’ he says. ‘‘My mother asked me, ‘Why do you always take pictures of poor people?’ It wasn’t true, but my sympathies were with people who struggled. There was also my mistrust of people who made the rules.’’ That impulse seems particularly potent today, during our charged national moment — our time of belated reckoning with how violent, enraged, unbalanced and unjust the United States often still is. To look again at the photographs Frank made before Selma, Vietnam and Stonewall, before income inequality, iPhones and ‘‘I can’t breathe,’’ is to realize he recognized us before we recognized ourselves.

He’s 90. If you’re not a NYT subscriber, make this one of your monthly freebies.

BP enters the record books

BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion in damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. It’s the largest environmental settlement in history to help pay for the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The agreement was made between the oil giant and five Gulf coast states that will divide the payment, to be made over the next 18 years.

In a statement issued by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said:

“Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — the largest environmental disaster in our nation’s history — the Justice Department has been fully committed to holding BP accountable, to achieving justice for the American people and to restoring the environment and the economy of the Gulf region at the expense of those responsible and not the American taxpayer.”

Following the announcement of the settlement, Propublica republished its October 2010 investigation into BP, co-produced with PBS “Frontline” with this intro:

The settlement largely puts the legal ordeal of Gulf spill behind the oil company, which has also sought to slim and refocus its operations over the last five years. But it’s too early to tell whether the company has fundamentally changed its approach to safety. As ProPublica detailed in 2010, BP had faced one disaster after another from the 1990s up until the Deepwater Horizon, many deadly, and often spaced just a few years apart.

You can watch the Frontline documentary based on the investigation, “The Spill”, here.

Here in Colombia..

Donald Trump’s “Latino” problem and the fallout from the words that dribble out of his mouth continues. Colombia Reports reports that Bogota has retracted its bid to host the Miss Universe pageant following Trump’s comments during his presidential campaign announcement last week when he said immigrants from Mexico are drug dealers, criminals and rapists.

“Bogota declines its aspiration to be the host city of the next version of the contest. The decision was adopted after the disrespectful statements against Latino and Mexican community pronounced by Donald Trump from the United States,” the tourism agency said in a statement released on Tuesday.

According to the Bogota tourism office,  “Trump must present deep and serious regret.”

..and here on the website

A gallery of 26 images from the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve located in Bolivia’s southwestern-most reaches

and the Tune du Jour, “You’ve Been Pre-Approved” by Clearance. A pleasant lo-fi ear worm.

The Photo? Bookshop window, Krakow, Poland, June 2014.


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