News Round-Up 3/20/14

Slightly later posting than usual today, apologies! Your resident blogger is sick and multitasking from the couch.

flickr / Apoorva Guptay / zubin mehta conducts the israeli philharmonic orchestra
flickr / Apoorva Guptay / zubin mehta conducts the israeli philharmonic orchestra

Assorted Stand-Outs:

South Asia:



  • The provincial government in Punjab has elected to revert to Urdu as the primary language of instruction until Grade 3. This has been met with some criticism from teachers who feel the cut-off should extend to Grade 5. Others feel that additional regional languages should be included:

ITA Director Baela Raza Jamil says the government is still “stuck in the colonial times”. “Why can’t Punjabi or other regional languages be made part of the classroom?” she asks. Jamil says that while Urdu can be made the dominant language in classrooms, English and Punjabi can be secondary languages in all primary schools across the province.

“We are a multilingual people and our children are accustomed to it…we need to have an education system that incorporates local languages while gradually transitioning to a foreign language at higher levels.” Jamil stresses that English should be taught as a subject at the primary level, but adds that any decision relating to the medium of instruction should contribute to positive learning outcomes. “If it doesn’t contribute to the learning of children, then regardless of the medium of instruction, it is going to be utterly useless in the end.”

  • Bin Laden’s son-in-law takes the stand. Also re: OSL, Pakistan denies its intelligence officials knew where he was hiding, rebutting the NYT article stating otherwise.



  • Sunil Pant is on a mission, and he’s sparked a queer rights movement in Nepal.


  • Women have no say in marriage, apparently.
  • NYT: India’s new breed of politician. Also regarding elections: The country’s new social media restrictions when it comes to candidates.
  • Four men have been convicted of raping a 22 year-old photographer in Mumbai, who had gone to photograph an abandoned mill area with a male colleague.

Middle East:

Israel & Palestine

  • AJ: Israel-held conference focuses on big data and security.

Saudi Arabia

  • 13 men have been sentenced for aiding terrorist efforts both abroad and at home,


  • Reuters: 45.6% of Syria’s chemical weapons have been destroyed.
  • Syrian rebels are mass-fleeing to Lebanon following an ambush.



  • The latest death count across the country is as high as 46 after a bloody series of attacks.



  • NATO is concerned that Russia won’t stop, and that its next move will be to invade Eastern Ukraine.
  • Who can sanction each other more, the U.S. or Russia?


  • The Ukraine is essentially admitting defeat and pulling out of Crimea, which is now in the hands of the Russians.


  • In Turkey, a row over a reading of documents containing graft allegations.


  • Photos: Surges of African migrants are trying to enter the country.

Latin America:


Southern Africa:

South Africa

United States:

  • The House is set to vote on a controversial policy that would ban national parks. (?!)
  • The military officially has an accountability problem on its hands concerning sexual assault.

Daily Wow: That one Mysterious Missing Plane idea everyone’s talking about.

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