News Round-Up 4/1/14: A Lot Of Fools & A Lot Of News

Today is apparently April Fools Day, which I forgot. You can imagine how much fun everyone has had at my expense. For the record, nicely played, Gmail, nicely played.

flickr / disterics / april fools to you too
flickr / disterics / april fools to you too

Assorted Stand-Outs:

South Asia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • In Yemen family members of drone strike victims are coming together to launch a victims’ union that will offer support and will also serve as a lobby group focused on pushing the government to reassess the covert program.
  • In order to keep Israelis and Palestinians at the proverbial peace talks table, the U.S. is looking at releasing spy Jonathon Pollard from jail following his imprisonment for spying on behalf of Israel. In exchange, Israel would release 14 Arab-Israeli prisoners. An anonymous source claims that a peace deal could include a suspension of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, as well as a prisoner release and an extension of talks into 2015. However, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas canceled a meeting with Sec. of State John Kerry earlier today in a move that could bode ill.
  • Meanwhile in Israel, Ultra-Orthodox Jews are making life complicated for women in Beit Shemesh.
  • 150,344 people have died in the Syrian civil war, which has been waging now for several years. In art news, a Syrian artist in Damascus has set a Guinness record with his mural made of recycled materials, a testament to  his love for a country where violence has become the plat du jour.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood’s latest enemy is Britain: Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into the group’s activities.  Meanwhile in Egypt, three Al Jazeera journalists have again been denied bail after refusing to connect themselves to the MB.
  • Lebanon has deployed troops to its northern city Tripoli following an outburst of violence.
  • Two Tunisian policeman have been sentenced to prison for raping a woman initially brought to task for allegedly violating modesty laws.
  • FT has a special report on investing in the Arab World.
  • Activists are protesting the use of migrant labor to build the Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Western, Eastern, & Central Africa:

  • An al-Shabab recruiter has been shot in Kenya — he died of his injuries in Mombasa.
  • The UN has released a new warning regarding the deteriorating conditions in the Central African Republic, where Christians have turned on Muslims and cries of genocide are already circulating. The country is becoming increasingly dangerous for its minority Muslim population, in an echoing of violence similar to that occurring in Burma (though perpetuated by Buddhists), a continent away.

Europe & Eurasia:

Southeast & East Asia:

  • The final words recorded on flight MH370 have been re-released by Malaysian authorities, with no explanation as to why they appear to have changed.
  • A corruption scandal is slowly enveloping the Chinese military.


  • Mexican marines have killed a top leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel.
  • Is Canada tarring itself?
  • The United States is backing off sharing radar information with Honduras, a big step away from its previous highly controversial relationship with the country’s military.
  • A new report finds that black, Latino, and Native American children are lagging in U.S. schools.
  • A Senate report alleges that the CIA mislead on its interrogations program.
  • Nancy Pelosi says more than 7 million people have signed up for healthcare.

Daily Wow: Shakespeare inspires a cast of young Syrians


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