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Alireza Naraghi

Journalist and feature writer

Location icon Canada

Journalist and feature writer with experience in print, online and photojournalism.

Email: [email protected]

A tiny-house movement in Alberta hits a big wall -

When Thomas Grenier was close to finishing his master's degree in biomedical technology at the University of Calgary, he grew disenchanted with academic life and began considering his options. His grandfather, who had spent his entire career working for a construction company in Calgary, had barns full of rare cuts of wood-"bits and ends," Grenier recalls, "that could easily be incorporated into a tiny home.
The urgent fight to save Toronto's ravines from invasive species -

At first glance, there seems little amiss in the thickly forested valleys that wind throughout Toronto. The peerless ravine system, with its abundant oaks and pines, forms a vein-like network of green trails and streams that criss-cross Canada's largest metropolis, earning Toronto its reputation as a "city within a park."
Why the Liberals can't get any political buzz out of legal weed -

In 2018, the veteran Conservative MP Scott Reid was the only Tory who voted in favor of the Liberal government's policy to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. After nearly two years, he has no regrets. "The marijuana industry is currently the largest single private-sector employer in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston," Reid says of his riding in eastern Ontario.
Scenes from McDonald's, where distressed America takes refuge -

After nearly two decades on Wall Street, Chris Arnade left his successful career to chronicle the lives of people living in marginalized and deindustrialized communities across America. His work is focused primarily on the "back row," the forgotten people who are shackled by economic blight, addiction and general social dysfunction.

The Big Story
The Little Canadian Town That Could (Go Carbon Neutral) - The Big Story

Sometime very soon, Eden Mills, Ontario, will become Canada's first carbon-neutral community. How did it happen? You might be surprised. It wasn't with millions in carbon taxes. Or through government intervention. It didn't come from a billionaire's sweetheart investment. It's not a PR stunt. One citizen saw communities overseas who had proven it was possible....

When the Politics of Anger Prevail

Why low wages in America are at the root of the Trump presidency V isit any small town in the US, and you'll no longer ask yourself why rural America bubbles away with resentment. People living in rural communities, on average, are poorer than they were a decade ago, when Wall Street plunged the global economy into chaos.
Best communities in Canada for great health care 2019 -

There are certain things people looking for a place to live tend to research in detail, such as the quality of the local schools, access to transportation and the safety of the neighbourhood. Something it's easy to forget about until it's too late, however, is the quality of health care they will be able to access when they really need it.
Canada's richest communities 2019 -

Watchers of Canadian real estate prices won't be surprised the most affluent place in Canada is West Vancouver, with an average household net worth of $4.5 million. The median household income in this municipality sits at $107,000, but West Vancouver's average housing price of $2.8 million-the highest in the country-indicates that property values are still the primary driving force behind household net worth.
Where to find the best weather in Canada 2019 -

There's nothing Canadians love more than talking about the weather and when they're choosing a place to live, minimizing the number of days they'll spend shovelling snow can be an important factor. For the most desirable weather, no province in the country comes close to B.C.
Best communities in Canada for immigrants 2019

As Hania Abbasi searched for a place to settle with her family in Canada, access to good schools and jobs were her top priorities. Grimsby, Ont., a town of 29,000 on Lake Ontario between Hamilton and St. Catharines, offered all that plus affordable housing prices.
Best communities in Canada to retire 2019

Jila Jalali moved to downtown Toronto after her kids graduated from university, and the 68-year-old retired piano teacher has no regrets about choosing Canada's largest metropolis as her retirement spot. "My closest relatives live downtown, and when you're older, you need family around you," Jalali said.
Best communities in Canada for families 2019 -

When Jonathan Wadham was searching for a place to raise his family, a city with excellent public schools and well-paying jobs topped his list. Burlington, Ont., a city of about 260,000 west of Toronto, offered all that plus a strong sense of community.
Fastest-growing communities in Canada 2019 -

Rapid population growth is often considered a negative trend, especially among long-time residents who have to put up with sudden overcrowding and environmentalists concerned about the carbon footprint of all these extra people. But fast-growing populations also mean more workers, tax revenues and spending within the community - all things any city would love to have.
This Ontario town is trying to be Canada's first carbon-neutral community -

An hour's drive from Toronto on the northwestern edge of Milton, Ont., is a little-known town with a little-known story of climate-change activism. With about 350 residents, Eden Mills has long sought to preserve its 19th-century charm, making it a haven for big-city escapees who enjoy cycling or placid walks along the Eramosa River.
With the Raptors' win, Toronto leaves the agony behind -

When Vince Carter hobbled off the court early in the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons 15 years ago in what would be his last game in the Toronto Raptors uniform, you could almost hear the collective groan from basketball fans on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario.
Céline Dion, and why it's all working out for her now -

Céline Dion has announced she is ending her residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on June 8. "I definitely have mixed emotions about this final run," Dion said in a statement. "It's been an amazing experience, and I'm so grateful to all the fans who have come to see us throughout the years."

Five years after the water crisis, Flint residents are being ignored

Photographer Bria Ferguson has an activist spirit about her. When she talks, her words demand attention. Five years ago, when lead-laden water changed life immeasurably for Flint citizens, Ferguson was one of the first volunteers who got involved in helping locals.

OPINION: Bernie Sanders' 'radicalism' is tomorrow's common sense

Alireza Naraghi, Senior Reporter When Bernie Sanders announced he was going to run for president last election, his candidacy was viewed by most as a relic of the past. His role was a simple one: energize the large but relatively powerless left-wing of the Democratic Party and, most importantly, clear the way for Hillary Clinton's path to the White House.

With Wages So Low For So Long, No Wonder The Politics Of Anger Prevail In America

Visit any small town in the US, and you'll no longer ask yourself why rural America bubbles away with resentment. People living in rural communities, on average, are poorer than they were when Wall Street plunged the global economy into chaos. And despite the economic recovery, the improvements haven't really trickled through to small communities.

We're Ignoring a Crisis of Entrenched Cynicism in American Democracy

For the last few weeks I have been driving around rural and deindustrialized counties in Ohio, chatting with scores of people as they talk about why they've voted for Trump in the election. From an ardent Trump supporter in Youngstown to university students in Dayton who were 90% for Democrats, often soaked with passion for political engagement, I have sampled shades of diverse opinions.

HuffPost UK
Teachers' Strike Speaks To The Plight Of Working Americans

After years of shrinking wages, teachers across the United States are striking back. On Monday, after the historic victory in West Virginia, thousands of teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona went on strike after decades of unfunded schools and low salaries. There's bound to be more protests because teacher strikes are just one dimension of the surging economic inequality.

HuffPost UK
With Trump In Charge, Young Americans Are Turning To Socialism As The Only Alternative

Donald Trump's dark presidency may turn out to be the best thing that has happened to Socialism since Eugene Debs at the height of the socialist movement in American politics. Anyone puzzled by my sense of optimism should look to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a grassroots organization whose membership has jumped from about 5,000 a year ago to around 31,000 today.

The Bold Italic
The Outbreak of Fentanyl Shows How Broken the War on Drugs Is

It's a menacing nightmare that killed more than 64,000 people in 2016 and has taken the lives of at least 4,000 Californians, with 130 deaths in the Bay Area since 2015. It's the substance that's behind most of the surging overdose deaths, and evidence suggests that the pandemic has continued to worsen in 2017.

Novara Media
What You Don't Know About Bernie Sanders' Foreign Policy | Novara Media

So now we know that Bernie Sanders's ambition to renew US politics does not stop at the water's edge. Last week, when presenting his foreign policy vision at Westminster College, Sanders did not limit himself to the moral deficit of U.S. national security orthodoxy. He squarely targeted core aspects of American foreign strategy.

Novara Media
There's No Going Back to Social Democracy | Novara Media

Across western Europe social democracy is facing a mortal threat. Voters are fed up with the status quo: super trade deals, endless austerity and the concentration of corporate power. Jeremy Corbyn's overwhelming re-election as leader of the Labour party is just the latest blow to the centre-left and its conversion to neoliberalism.

Novara Media
Of Demagogues and Democrats | Novara Media

The Rise of Trump has exposed the crumbling facade of neoliberal politics and a long line of elites refusing to address its failings. Now, is the time to address these mistakes. But is that a challenge they are willing to take?

Novara Media
Canada's Housing Bubble Warns What Happens When a Community's Lifeblood Drains Away | Novara Media

As average Toronto house prices smash through the $780k barrier, the pressure for young people to get a foot on the property ladder before it's too late has never been so intense. But as well as competing with thousands of others in the same boat, young first-time buyers are also having to contend with cash-rich foreign investors and a lack of involvement in community planning.

Novara Media
Why can't today's mainstream media deal with anti-establishment politicians? | Novara Media

In case you missed it, Britain has a new leader of the opposition, even if the news media doesn't yet know quite what to make of him. Consider this: when Jeremy Corbyn threw his hat into the ring for the Labour leadership, even the most liberal media outlets initially wrote him off as a fringe anti-establishment candidate, out of touch with the political mainstream.

Extra Newsfeed
Revenge Is What Drives Trump And His Men, And It Is Resonating With An Alienated Base

For those of us who expected the worst from President Donald Trump, the last two weeks have been a hair-raising experience. We seem to be in a comic book, where a group of super villains mete out violent retribution as they see fit. There isn't any new Trump; he remains deeply insecure, constantly searching for affirmation.

The Progressive Army
Direct Action Against North American Pipelines More Important Than Ever

Six years ago, hundreds of Canadians - among them, community leaders, environmentalists, and indigenous organizations - gathered in front of Ottawa's Parliament Hill to push back against the Keystone XL pipeline. The beat of a native drum kept protesters energized. Activists passed around flyers to sign people up for future campaigns.

HuffPost UK
Regardless Of What Happens, Corbyn Has Already Changed British Politics

There has been a political eruption of historic proportions in British politics. Few commentators saw it coming; many predicted that if Corbyn faced the electorate, Labour surely would be heading for a crushing defeat. They were wrong. Instead, the British people have endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's vision and his movement for a new kind of politics.

HuffPost UK
Corbyn Has Defied The Naysayers In A Big Way  -  Thanks To May's Vanity Election

When Theresa May called a snap general election on April 18, the aim wasn't just to secure a Tory landslide. At its heart, the plan was to internalize May's supreme authority; to present a united Britain behind her vision on Brexit negotiations, and crush any meaningful opposition. But these are no ordinary times.

HuffPost UK
American Foreign Policy Cannot Be A Force For Good If It Arms Despots

Attention is focusing on over $100bn worth of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, understandably so. The Saudi dictatorship backed by the United States is given diplomatic and military cover as it razes Yemen to the ground. If you're somehow glued in the myth that the U.S.

The Huffington Post
Democrats Should Take Heed - Trump's Red Wave Is No Blip

Donald Trump's red wave changes everything. His rise to power upended the establishments of both parties, dispatching dynastic establishment candidates. His right-wing populist movement mobilized voters against the elites, reminding us it could no longer be dismissed as just a glitch. His surprising victory could herald the end of the global political and economic structures as we know them.

The Huffington Post
Millennials Are Being Stiffed -- No Wonder The Quarter-Life Crisis Is On The Rise

The contract between the generations is disintegrating. According to a report from the Resolution Foundation, millennials in the UK earn £8,000 per year less than the previous generation, highlighting a growing intergenerational divide. Economic realities for young people today would be unrecognizable to the Boomer generation, who rarely bother to consider such situations in detail.

Globalization Has Supersized Inequality - Backlash Politics Was Bound To Follow

To add to the full-blown working class revolt against global capitalism - already stoked by the rapid rise of inequality, free trade deals, stagnant wages, trickle-down economics, and tax regulations skewed for giant corporations and the elites - we now have Britain's rejection of the EU's single market, an institution that has been in place for decades.

The Huffington Post
Hillary Clinton is Facing a Campaign That Resembles Wildfire

If you are wondering why Bernie Sanders is overwhelming Hillary Clinton's establishment-style campaign, you might get a graphic answer by looking at one of Sanders' latest TV ads. A coherent message is often identified as the backbone of every successful presidential campaign, and Bernie Sanders' message is clear: his campaign is about the people and the mobilization of a movement.

Is Anything More Patriotic than Ending the Housing Crisis?

This is London, capital of the United Kingdom, one of the wealthiest realms that has ever existed. And yet in this astonishingly prosperous city, one in ten Londoners are helplessly trapped on the waiting list for social housing.

Bernie Sanders Has Already Transformed Politics

There is no mystery about why Bernie Sanders is advancing so rapidly in the polls. For decades, America's mood has alternated between fear and hope, often encapsulated within the struggle between economic inequality and political power. For all this time Bernie Sanders has championed ideas and issues which have essentially been below the radar of downsized mainstream politics.

The Huffington Post
Labour Party Must Leave Behind Internal War of Attrition and Start Talking to Voters

If you think you've been hearing entirely too much about Jeremy Corbyn's "revenge reshuffle" over the last few days you wouldn't be wrong. Labour's prolonged internal war of attrition is taking attention away from the burning issues the country faces and all the while providing the Conservatives with a welcome sideshow.

Does War Always have to be the Answer in the Middle East?

As the UK government dives into another perpetual war in the Middle East, this time in Syria, it is worth remembering the catastrophic mistakes of the past. Is David Cameron heading towards opening another Pandora's Box, such as we saw with the fall of Gaddafi in Libya or the deposition of Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

Finding a Lost Generation

When the discussion shifts to the Middle East or North Africa, and the majority of policymakers find themselves pondering geopolitical gains and strategic ramifications, they frequently tend to ignore the catastrophic conditions and tragic human suffering on the ground.

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