News Round-Up 3/18/14

Annnnnnnd we’re back! DC still covered in white (happy late March, y’all) but buses running, federal government open, world still spinning, etc). Hope everyone in the area enjoyed their time off (or, for a tragic few, lack thereof) and are well-caffeinated and back to work.

flickr / dr_tr / quieter days in crimea
flickr / dr_tr / quieter days in crimea

Edited to add:

  • The Texan lesbian couple who were murdered? The dad did it.
  • What our dominant narratives say about abortion.
  • A South Dakota lawmaker has come out as so blatantly racist it makes even the biggest of racial macroaggressions look minor.
  • Tribune: The trouble with dramas and Pakistani women.

Assorted Stand-Outs:

  • Breaking: the United States has suspended diplomatic relations with Syria.
  • Mystery Malaysian Plane updates — the timing of the report by the plane’s pilot is raising suspicions; The Atlantic on where it might have landed. Also the plane search area is the size of Australia. It’s also looking like the co-pilot spoke the last words we’ll hear from the plane. Also — the flight path data was changed by cockpit computer (AFP).
  • A judge in Tennessee has called the state’s gay marriage ban an ‘historical footnote’ and now CSM wants to know if the South as a whole has come to agree. (Side note – your Southern editor/blogger found this particularly interesting.)
  • FP brings us some guidelines on how to correctly label a fascist.
  • WaPo: Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party lady and savior, as you’ve never seen her before.
  • DD: Should the United States give up on ‘Arab democracy’?
  • Via the Wilson Center: MENA women: Opportunities & Obstacles in 2014.
  • The Obama administration: keeping a lot of secrets, breaking a few promises. (AP)
  • Rosa Brooks on the real meaning of American exceptionalism.

South Asia:


  • Final address to parliament: Hamid Karzai will not sign the BSA and feels that the country will be better off sans American troops. Meanwhile: on the British troop withdrawal — “history will judge us.”
  • A gunman killed an Afghan judge and his bodyguard.
  • Election season updates — ex-defense minister Abdul Rahim Wardak has dropped out of the running, and the Taliban is threatening voters. A bomb attack in the northern part of the country is also fueling concerns.
  • After Karzai, the BSA seems much more likely.
  • Afghanistan has a new vice-president.


  • Shakil Afridi, of Bin Laden fame, has had his sentence cut by 10 years. His bail was reduced as well.
  • A new arrest warrant has been issued for former leader and general Pervez Musharraf, also synonymous with being to Pakistan what Silvio Berlusconi is to Italy re: embarrassment level (kinda sorta maybe).
  • Dawn: Five ways Pakistan degraded women.
  • Pakistan to grant India Most Favored Nation (MFN) status. The condition? A concession from New Delhi on trade.
  • All that military equipment in Afghanistan? The other half of AfPak wants it.
  • A Jewish group is going to court in an attempt to preserve the land atop which a synagogue once existed in Karachi.


  • Narendra Modi, BJP’s main candidate, will stand for parliament in Varanasi, a Hindu stronghold. The move is seen as an effort to speak to India’s Hindu majority, as Modi has campaigned predominately on economic issues. Speaking of, Indian Muslims are nervous about the election.
  • The death penalty for two men involved in the New Delhi rape case has been put on hold.
  • Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has been re-indicted in the United States.
  • Report: India remains the world’s biggest arms importer.
  • India v. Italy on Choppergate. And other concerns.

Middle East/North Africa:

Israel & Palestine

  • NYT: Abbas, Obama, Netanyahu, and the peace process.


  • Talks have been overshadowed by the pissing contest betwixt the United States and Russia.


  • The United States has seized an oil tanker, following a significant amount of controversy within the country.


  • Syrian forces have taken hold of Yabroud.
  • NYT: Three years of hell and a civil war without end.
  • New envoy from the United States pledges to aid the opposition, is vague as to exactly how.
  • Updated list of Syrian war criminals.
  • Jadaliyya: Women’s activism and the polio epidemic in Syria.


  • Two Hezbollah members were killed in a blast near the Syrian border.


  • NYT: Jordan’s ‘urban refugees’ following the Syrian civil war.


  • Egypt and energy — and everything that goes with that conversation.
  • Four policemen convicted of crimes against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia

  • Foreign Affairs: Saudi Arabia v. the Muslim Brotherhood, and it’s not pretty.


  • The United States is delivering Hellfire missiles and ammunition to Iraq in an attempt to counter ISIL.


  • Tunisian police have killed three militants in a raid.




Non-MENA Africa

East Asia:


  • Unskilled homeless workers are becoming primary targets for Fukushima clean-up efforts.

Southeast Asia:


  • Sodomy laws to discredit the opposition is apparently not out of the ordinary in Malaysia.

Latin America:


United States:

  • WaPo on the latest re: sexual assault in the military and the trial that really wasn’t. Editorial on our broken military justice system.
  • Yellen’s Fed will face murky days.
  • Navy Yard could have been prevented.

Daily Wow: Nomads of the sea.   |  India celebrates Holi.

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