The world has a lot to say about the U.S. Here are our top picks on what American stories are capturing the world’s attention today.
Oklahoma earthquake felt in the UK
The BBC reports that scientists have confirmed a 2011 earthquake in Oklahoma was caused by fracking. This case study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that injecting waste water underground—a byproduct left over from fracking for oil or gas—increases seismic activity in the surrounding areas, potentially for years. The UK is particularly interested in the Oklahoma story—links between fracking near Blackpool, England and tremors in the region led to an initial ban which was lifted at the end of 2012.
Drones in Pakistan? Try drones in your backyard
Rep. Rand Paul’s recent marathon filibuster initiated a national dialogue about whether or not the U.S. government could kill an American with a drone on U.S. soil. But lethal drones are not the biggest threat to democracy, according to this comprehensive piece from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. By 2015, the FAA will clear the way for the use of commercial drones in American airspace. Realtors could use them to survey property, environmentalists to track illegal dumping, filmmakers for shooting movies. In a decade, the U.S. skies will have more drones tracking us and our activities than Pakistan’s tribal regions.
Filipinos watching gay rights case at SCOTUS
People the world over are watching what is happening with the two gay-rights cases before the Supreme Court. The view from the Philippines at least is upbeat. As she writes for Rappler, 13 years ago Shakira Sison helped start the country’s first university-based lesbian organization, which provided sanctuary for teens kicked out of their homes after being outed as gay. The U.S. is now a few steps ahead of the Philippines on the march toward equal rights for gay citizens, but Sison predicts the U.S. will be the role model many young Filipinos will need to feel confident about their identity.