News Round-Up 3/31/14: Russia Retreating (?) & A Happy César Chávez Day

Happy Monday and happy César Chávez day! A civil rights advocate and champion for workers everywhere, he helped to co-found the United Farm Workers union with Dolores Huerta (also a tremendous human) and in Texas, Colorado, and California today is a celebration of his life and work. As I am a Texan, today is hereby declared a blog celebration day. 

(Blog note: Still messing around with formatting and structure, so if organization changes from day to day for the time being, apologies!)

flickr / jaygalvin / throwback in his wild youth
flickr / jaygalvin / throwback 

Assorted Stand-Outs:

  • Colorlines has a good piece on the missing heroines of the new Chávez biopic, with a specific focus on Dolores Huerta.
  • From the New Yorker: While we can all likely agree that Colbert did not send out THAT incredibly racist tweet, it’s still time to talk about liberal white male privilege, joking, and when humor is and is not appropriate. Also interesting: Spike Lee’s response to that NYT op-ed on Brooklyn gentrification.
  • Climate change: Still real and a problem.
  • Is belief a Jewish notion? NYT asks, probing religion.

South Asia:

East & Southeast Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

  • France: Anne Hidalgo has been elected the first female mayor of Paris. The Spanish-born mayor coasted to victory in an all-female mayoral race that handed victory to the incumbent Socialists. She ran on a campaign that promised “major investment in housing, transport and green spaces, with the aim of reversing a middle and working class exodus to the suburbs. She has promised to create 10,000 new social housing units and 5,000 kindergarten places.”
  • The United States and Russia have agreed to work together to solve the ever-worsening crisis in the Ukraine, but despite best efforts made at talks in Paris the two world powers had little else in common. Sec. of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went head to head regarding the escalation of events stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and there appears to have been little ground truly gained. (Also, FP thinks the Russians are coming.) Meanwhile Finland might need to worry
  • (However, Russia is reportedly decreasing its troop levels along Ukraine’s eastern border.)
  • Incumbent Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory for his ruling AKP party in Turkey, despite an ongoing corruption scandal and significant controversy involving his administration’s crackdown on social media and free speech. The election was viewed as a referendum on Erdogan’s 11-year rule, and has now emboldened the country’s leader, who has labeled his opponents ‘terrorists’ and promised a crackdown.

Middle East & North Africa:

East & West Africa:

  • Kenya‘s parliament has passed a bill legalizing polygamy, prompting extreme backlash.
  • In what may be the scariest news story of the day, several African countries are experiencing an Ebola outbreak that may well be an epidemic. Guinea and Liberia both have confirmed cases (and over 78 deaths) and suspected cases in Sierra Leone. The source appears to be Guinea, as both the Liberian and SL cases were linked to the former. There is no cure for Ebola.


  • Brazil  is seeing a massive backlash following an online survey that indicated upwards of 65% of its respondents believe a ‘provocatively dressed’ woman deserves to be attacked or raped. Using the hashtag #EuNãoMereçoSerEstuprada (“I do not deserve to be raped”) Brazilian men and women have taken to the internet in response, leading even President Dilma Rousseff to signal boost the issue from her personal Twitter account.
  • Meanwhile, FP wants to know if Venezuela’s protesters can stay the course.
  • In the U.S., Defense Sec. Hagel is emphasizing the country’s steps to combat cyberwarfare — especially against the Chinese. In other news, a U.S. agency reportedly knew about flaws inherent within cars sold by General Motors (GM) and chose not to act. And with the deadline fast approaching for the healthcare sign-up, website flaws are still creating some difficulty for last minute applicants. Also, over at the Fed, J. Yellen is determined to improve the current American job market.
  • A massive explosion has rocked a Washington State natural gas plant.


Daily Wow: Photographing the butch women of San Francisco (BF, Meg Allen Studio). | Ten images of Jewish-Muslim unity that go beyond the headlines


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