While most of the nation still recognizes today as “Columbus Day,” there is a move across several major cities to change the second Monday of October to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” At least nine cities have formally approved the change in the name of the Federal Holiday, and several others are considering shifting the focus away from the controversial historical figure. The move was first proposed back in the late '70s, when the U.N. sponsored an International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.
Many historians now dispute the traditional narrative of the Italian explorer, who has been recognized as the first European to inadvertently “discover” the “New World.” Though Columbus' expeditions are historically significant, it is now believed that Vikings made their way to America long before Columbus in 1492. But, beyond his questionable legacy as a navigator (he was lost when he landed in the Caribbean), Columbus committed and condoned atrocities against the indigenous people he encountered, including rape, human trafficking, mass enslavement, murder, torture and even genocide. In several cities, activists have gathered to protest the continued celebration of Columbus.
An Iranian American investigative reporter has been convicted of espionage in Iran. According to a report on Iranian state TV, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaia, who has already been in jail for more than a year, faces a sentence of up to 20 years. Officials in the country have been very secretive about the actual charges and the trial, which took place nearly two months ago. The State Department told reporters that the “process has been opaque and incomprehensible from the start.”
Rezaia is one of three Iranian-Americans being held the country, including Idaho Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and a former Marine named Amir Hekmati. The President of Iran is reportedly suggesting that the United States engage in some sort of prisoner exchange. In a statement, the Washington Post’s executive editor said, “Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing.” Rezaia is planning on appealing the conviction. Discuss