Carmen G. Gonzalez (Seattle): The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights. Despite reforms, the United Nations Human Rights Council still struggles with credibility. The first chapter from The International Human Rights Movement: A History by Aryeh Neier. From The Nation, a review of The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law by Jenny S. Martinez and The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics by Kathryn Sikkink. From Global Law Books, a review of The United Nations Secretariat and the Use of Force in a Unipolar World; a review of International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect by Anne Orford; and a review of State Responsibility for International Terrorism by Kimberley N. Trapp. From Le Monde diplomatique, Augusta Conchiglia on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ evolving mandate; and Anne-Cecile Robert on the other UN: Besides the well-known building in Manhattan, the UN has three other main HQs, one of them in Vienna, where nine important organisations do the practical work.

From the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, a special issue on health equity. Mark Humphery-Jenner (UNSW): Balanced Budget Rules and Expenditure Limits: Lessons from the US and Australia and Implications for the EU. From Arts and Opinion, is the end of literacy on the near horizon? David Solway on galloping agraphia; Donald Dewey on the Overwriting Syndrome: Saving or disserving the language?; and feedbackers of the world, unite: Robert J. Lewis on reader feedback, the new fifth column. William Galston on how Europe could sink Obama’s election chances and what he can do about it. Greg Ip is getting in on the probabilities game, this time looking at the three big risks facing the global macroeconomy. Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan: A 12-part LRC series, featuring text and iPhone Hipstamatic photography. Political watchdogs like PolitiFact and the Washington Post's "Fact-Checker" are accused of favoring Democrats — but it is the facts themselves that have a liberal bias. Atlas Obscura visits the world’s quietest place: This lab's maddening silence is good for business but bad for sanity.

From New Scientist, six things we all do: A series of articles on human nature — from law to gossip, find out what universal characteristics make us human. A review of Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution by Francisco J. Ayala. From Social Evolution Forum, Herbert Gintis on the evolution of human cooperation. Transforming Humanity: Russell Blackford on enhancement anxiety. Is it human nature to be good?: A review of Sommes-nous naturellement moraux? by Vanessa Nurock. Why did our species survive? Alison Brooks, Ed Green, Chris Stringer, and Edward O. Wilson tackle the question. Are humans getting better? Peter Singer wonders. David Orban explains why he thinks machines are going to make us human again. Human Revolution: Tauriq Moosa on the ethical obligation to technologically improve ourselves. What does E.O. Wilson mean by a "social conquest of the Earth"?: Carl Zimmer asks the evolutionary biologist about the theories in his high-profile new book (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Is the "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange" unique to human evolution? Unless we stop having sex, humans will keep on evolving.