News Roundup – Diversity in Tukwila, Soda Diplomacy and an Endless War on Terror

(Photo by  Erika Schultz/THE SEATTLE TIMES )(Photo by Erika Schultz/THE SEATTLE TIMES )

Diversity Means Opportunity in Tukwila – From Somalis to Bosnians to Nepalis, Seattle Times photographer Erika Schultz put together a brilliant photographic tour of diverse immigrant communities in Tukwila.

As writer Susan Kelleher explains in the accompanying article from this weekend’s issue of Pacific Northwest Magazine, the once sleepy Seattle suburb has been enlivened by an influx of immigrants and refugees over the past few decades. Almost 50 percent of Tukwila residents now speak a language other than English at home.


The Romeo and Juliet of Tacoma – “Initially, I hated Islam. I tried to convince her she’d been brainwashed, that her religion was oppressive,” self-proclaimed smartass Carlos Sandoval says of his now wife Bashair Alazadi.

The Tacoma News Tribune tells the tale of the star-crossed lovers‘ courtship across culture and religion. But this story has a happy ending. As Sandoval and Iraqi immigrant Alazadi fell in love, he also opened his mind to Islam, and eventually converted in time for their wedding.


(Photo by J Michael Short/THE NEW YORK TIMES)
(Photo by J Michael Short/THE NEW YORK TIMES)

The Health Toll of Immigration – Access to higher wages and a sophisticated health care system in the US should mean second generation immigrants are healthier than their foreign born parents, right?

The New York Times reports that young immigrants are actually assimilating too well and adopting unhealthy American lifestyles, leading to high rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The article focuses on Mexican immigrants in Brownsville, Texas, and suggests that the status connected to unhealthy American fast food is a big part of the problem.


The War on Terror is Far From Over – The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman of Wired reacted to a senior Defense Department official’s statement that the War on Terror would continue for at least 10 to 20 more years.

The statement came at a Senate hearing on extending the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force against Al Qaeda. Despite recent claims from administration officials that Al Qaeda is on its last legs, they took the hearing as an opportunity to reinforce the governments indefinite authority to use force everywhere from Syria to Congo. As Greenwald put it, “It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation.”


Soda-pop Diplomacy – It’s part ad campaign, part international peace initiative. Coke has placed enhanced vending machines in malls in Pakistan and India that allow mall-goers to interact with each other through giant, touch-activated, 3D screens. So is Coke the key to international peace? Maybe not. After all, Coca-Cola has been involved in an all-out cola war with Pepsi since long before India and Pakistan split apart.