Slightly later posting than usual today, apologies! Your resident blogger is sick and multitasking from the couch.
- Breaking: Fred Phelps is dead. Event presented without comment.
- Mysterious Missing Plane updates: Perhaps debris from the plane? And basically we know nothing.
- The United States is boycotting UN drone talks, despite years of U.S.-led attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yup.
- Happy Persian New Year! Shimon Peres recorded a video, Benyamin Netanyahu did not.
- Anthro Moment: The Adivasi of India.
- A protein may hold the key to an age-old question regarding Alzheimer’s.
- NYT has a fascinating article on Zubin Mehta, the Indian-born music director for life for the nation of Israel, his complex political views, and his determination to bring music to all.
- Molly Antopol’s “The UnAmericans” offers an interesting look at the lives of the brainy Jewish intelligentsia and others, inspired by her family’s history in Belarus.
- No one is pleased at the millionth announcement re: a white woman playing a woman of color.
- Meanwhile, in Texas.
- Militants have stormed a compound in Jalalabad, leaving at least 10 dead. In another incident, a deputy police chief was injured in Zabul.
- NATO will be assisting with the distribution of election materials in Afghanistan.
- 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.
- Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister Zia is facing corruption charges.
- 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.
Israel & Palestine
- AJ: Israel-held conference focuses on big data and security.
- 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.
- Lebanon suffers the effects of Syria’s war.
- 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.
- Venezuela has moved against opposition mayors by jailing them.
- 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.