For Boston resident Barbara Fisher, the snow has been more than just an inconvenience. Problems with public transit caused the 25-year-old mother of two to lose hours at her job at Dunkin’ Donuts. Added to the extra child care she had to pay because schools were closed, that has put a real strain on her budget.
“It’s very expensive. I can’t wait for it to go,” Fisher said of the snow. “It’s terrible, because you be trying to do your best, and there’s something that’s always going to stop [you].”
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Lifelong Oakland resident Maurice Johnson was leaving Starbucks on Sunday, Aug. 31 when he heard drumming and the sound of Japanese monks chanting the first line of the Lotus Sutra. Johnson then saw nine members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF), all in meditation posture, risking arrest by blocking the Oakland Marriott City Center’s main entrance. A banner at their feet read “Evict Urban Shield.” On the other side the hotel’s front driveway, about 25 other BPF members meditated silently with signs that called for an end to police militarization.
The protest’s Buddhist packaging surprised Johnson at first, but he understood its message instantly.
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Tensions continued to escalate in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9. His death set off days of protests and a heavy-handed, militarized police response that has sparked national outrage.
But Ferguson residents got a pleasant surprise on Sunday: A visit from a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks.
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ALA’A SHEHABI is not a woman to be trifled with. Born in the U.K., she earned a Ph.D. from Imperial College London and has worked for prestigious institutions like Rand Europe and the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance. At the same time, Shehabi has been active in Bahrain’s ongoing uprising.
“The name ‘Bahrain’ means ‘two seas,’” our tour guide explained as we walked away from the old Portuguese fort on the outskirts of Manama. “There’s the saltwater sea that surrounds Bahrain. Then there’s the fresh water that bubbles up in the middle of the sea to our north.”
The fort itself is breathtaking, set on a hill overlooking the city on one side and the ocean on the other. Next to it stands a brand new visitors’ center, replete with a gift shop and an upscale café. A few yards away stand new, middle-class houses. But next to them stand shanties, all crumbling cinderblock and chipping paint and rusted tin.
Still in the grips of a two-year uprising, Bahrain is a country filled with such extreme economic contradictions.
Continue reading this article at GlobalPost …