Happy Friday, y’all! Get out this weekend and, if you’re in the District, enjoy the weather. AT LONG LAST.
- Documenting poverty in America.
- Al Jazeera has a fascinating piece on undocumented small business owners. Similar note: Dolores Huerta sets the record straight on Cesar Chavez’s opinions regarding undocumented immigrants.
- Stephen Colbert is in some hot water over a tweet he apparently didn’t even send.
- Your afternoon cry, courtesy of my main human news source, involves an adorable lesbian family, Michigan, and judges.
- Former Norwegian PM is new chief of NATO.
- Top five whiskeys you should probably try.
- Algae is awesome.
- Tribal tensions in Kandahar are complicating the impending Afghan presidential election.
- Afghan warlords are also holding a significant amount of sway.
- The U.S. says that counter to claims to the contrary, it is not giving Pakistan used military equipment from Afghanistan.
- Images of life in modern Afghanistan. | Portraits of Afghanistan’s female lawmakers.
- The Taliban have stormed a guesthouse in Kabul.
- 1971 was a dark year for Pakistan, and the birth of modern Bangladesh.
- Men, women, honor, rape, torture, and abuse: All highlighted by one story.
- The issue of non-combatants could determine the future of the talks between the government and the Taliban. Meanwhile the Taliban has refused to free the sons of assassinated Punjab governor Salman Taseer and former prime minister Gilani.
- Four Pakistani conspiracy theories that aren’t actually ridiculous.
- The chief judge in the case against Musharraf has quit.
- The Pakistani Christian man facing the death penalty under the country’s blasphemy laws is maintaining his innocence and will likely appeal the ruling. We have Zia to thank for much of this.
- The UN has agreed to open an investigation regarding the Sri Lankan civil war.
- In Kashmir a civilian was killed and three others injured in a terror attack.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern over Iraq’s suppression of journalists. A journalist was also killed by an Iraqi presidential guard.
- The UN is warning of increasing militant links between Iraq and Syria. Both countries are also experiencing a polio outbreak that has many health organizations on edge and concerned.
- 33 people have died in bombings throughout Baghdad.
- Saudi Arabia has named its second-in-line to the throne.
Israel & Palestine
- Iranian artist banned in Iran showcases her art in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Obama seeks to calm Saudis amidst growing tension in the Gulf; his visit aims to repair ties and soothe current animosities.
- The Obama administration appears poised to expand aid to the Syrian opposition.
- The threat posed to Lebanon by Syria’s mass exodus of refugees is growing daily.
- Tunisia’s golden age of crony capitalism.
- Former Libyan dictator Qaddafi’s son is asking the Libyan people for forgiveness.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Russia has been holding military exercises in a breakaway Moldovan region.
- Putin’s afraid of technology, which complicates life for American spies.
- Russia’s Eurasian dreams are unfolding.
- Russia could have additional plans for the Ukraine.
- Turkey’s vote approaches, with both democracy and stability at stake.
- Also, don’t tell Turks what they can and cannot share on the internet.
- Rainbows over the UK: Britain is set to hold its first same sex marriages.
- Bosnia has uncovered a wartime mass grave, containing the remains of Bosnian Muslims killed in the midst of a conflict that tore the country apart.
- The Ethiopian government is using imported technology to spy on its opponents.
Central African Republic
- A dire situation is developing in makeshift refugee camps in the CAR.
- Peacekeepers in the country have declared war on ‘anti-balaka’ vigilantes.
- 3 million Nigerians are suffering from an Islamic militant uprising, and living in horrifying conditions — some of which have upwards of 500 people per single latrine.
- Thousands of Chileans are marching for a constitutional overhaul, encouraging President Michelle Bachelet to carry out her left-leaning reform programme.
- In health coverage signups, a clear disparity has begun to emerge.
- The UN has chastised the U.S.’s human rights record, citing drones, the death penalty, and massive NSA surveillance.
- Walmart is suing Visa over swipe fees.
- The U.S. energy boom is creating millions of jobs.
- Growing up homeless in suburbia.