Happy Monday! In the District we are expecting snow tomorrow (casually in late March) and there’s a chill in the air following a pleasantly balmy weekend. As goes DC, so goes politics.
- Mysterious Missing Plane updates: British investigators are now saying the plane’s last recorded position probably landed it in the middle of the Indian ocean, west of Perth, Australia. The Prime Minister of Malaysia addressed the world this morning concerning the matter. He stated, “All lives are lost.” Families were unfortunately told via text. Rest in peace.
- UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon is not pleased with Syria and the result may force the US and Russia to actually dialogue.
- Some are calling for a U.S.-EU economic union. And by some I mean the Prime Minister of Romania. Hmm.
- Texas moment: Marriage equality and the Christian Bible, from a Baptist perspective.
- A Belgian newspaper is sorry for depicting the Obamas as apes. Uhm.
- From this morning’s FP Situation Report, regarding the AFP journalist and his family, nearly all of whom were killed in the recent Kabul hotel attack: “Sardar Ahmad was a “charming and talented journalist” for AFP in Kabul who had just told a tale of a lion who lived on a roof. AFP’s obit of the senior reporter for AFP in Kabul who was shot dead, along with his wife, Humaira, and two of their three children, in the recent attack by the Taliban at the Serena Hotel (the third child, not quite two, is in a coma): “…An AFP staff photographer identified the four bodies at a city hospital on Friday, and said the family’s infant son was undergoing emergency treatment after suffering serious wounds. ‘This is an immensely painful and enormous loss for Agence France-Presse,’ AFP chairman Emmanuel Hoog said. He described Ahmad as a ‘dedicated and courageous journalist, a cornerstone of our team in Afghanistan who delivered, every day, exceptional coverage of the news in extremely difficult conditions.'” Ahmad’s final story on Marjan the lion is here, his obituary is here.
- NYT: How an illusion of safety was shattered at the Kabul hotel.
- Afghanistan becomes one of the only countries to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Of the move, the NYT notes while including FP’s additions: “The Times‘ report also notes that while “becoming the first Western-backed democracy to express support for the widely denounced referendum in Crimea might seem an odd tack for Afghanistan, which is heavily dependent on assistance from the United States and European countries,” “Russia’s insistence that it is righting a historical wrong” and that Crimea should have never been ceded to Ukraine, resonates with Afghans, who have long believed they “were unjustly cut off from their brothers and sisters” in Pakistan when Britain created the Durand Line separating the two in 1947.” Moscow and Kabul are also having a dance of sorts.
- The international community is also on edge following the Kabul attack, and valued parties are departing.
- More BSA discussion.
- Direct talks between the Taliban and the Pakistani government could occur as early as tomorrow. The government is set to push for an indefinite ceasefire.
- In southwestern Pakistan, a road accident has killed 35 people and injured 20 others.
- The now in/famous NYT report on Bin Laden in Pakistan was censored throughout the country.
- Pakistan has postponed granting India MFN status.
- The media and Modi: A story of manipulation.
- In Andhra Pradesh, an IT worker was honor killed by her parents for marrying another IT worker they didn’t approve of.
- Arrests made over what would have been a “spectacular” terror attack leading up to the election have been documented in multiple publications.
- More election drama. And more.
- And more.
Middle East & North Africa:
- A group of 65 Middle East experts feel strongly that John Kerry should express more support for Tunisia’s small and infant democracy.
Israel & Palestine
- Haaretz: A rabbi, a Palestinian, and the seeds of peace. Also, the Palestinian prisoners’ dilemma.
- Israeli diplomats stage a global strike.
- Ari Shavit and his naysayers.
- Syrian rebels have captured a town near the Turkish border. President Assad’s cousin has also been killed.
- 529 Egyptians have been sentenced to death for being Morsi supporters, or, as the Egyptian government is putting it, “killing a police officer.” They are among 1200 Morsi supporters currently on trial. This is the largest capital punishment verdict in Egyptian history.
- Sisi and women — for better or worse?
- Clashes in Beirut have left one dead and ten people wounded following clashes between supporter’s of Syria’s Assad and his opponents.
- FP: Libya is on the brink of war.
- Campaigning has begun ahead of Algeria’s April 17th presidential election. Protests against incumbent President Bouteflika are also underway.
- An Al-Qaeda attack has killed 20 Yemeni soldiers in an attack at a checkpoint in Hadramawt province.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The U.S. is quickly spying on Russia as much as possible, not being very subtle about it. Also Putin doesn’t really “need” the Ukraine but he might just have a go at taking it anyways in an attitude probably only ancient European powers and the U.S. will be familiar with.
- Putin’s Onion cameo is on point.
- Is Russia illegally occupying the Ukraine?
- A Russian state TV reporter says Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves.
- It’s looking like Syria and Russia could be headed for war.
- How everyone feels about the Ukraine, the U.S., and Russia.
- There are some bad guys in the Ukrainian government.
- The father of Spanish democracy has passed away.
- The Dutch far-right have fallen out of favor.
- Sharia law makes inroads?
- Political dynasties and this Indonesian election cycle, via Reuters.
- Speaking of elections, let’s talk about Joko Widodo.
- The U.S. Army is preparing to up its game in the search for warlord Joseph Kony.
- Why Canada is recognizing Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
- U.S. military veterans are storming the hill to demand more vigilance regarding suicide prevention.
- A judge tells D.C. it can’t shelter homeless families in rec centers. Also, it takes 137 minimum wage hours to pay the rent here.
- Jimmy Carter says violence against women is the world’s leading injustice.
- Nate Silver v. Paul Krugman, sit back and watch.