- Here in the District we had a bit of a mayoral upset last night: Muriel Bowser will officially be the Democrat (i.e. the Mayor of D.C.) going into the mayoral election.
- The SCOTUS has rejected campaign contribution caps, meaning corporations now really are people.
- Why are rich countries democratic?
- The Nations asks, Who’s afraid of Suey Park? (Answer: Probs white men: liberal, conservative, and otherwise.)
- Musicians Janelle Monae and M.I.A. apparently have something big planned for tomorrow. Your blogger might pee.
- PSA: We have pubic hair for a reason, friends. Also good knowledge to have: Apps are helping to combat sexual harassment more now than ever before.
- In Houston, a lens on the Arab world. Elsewhere in the South, we eat dirt.
- Afghan women, after a lifetime of violence and uncertainty, see hope in the ballot box as Afghanistan heads to the polls on April 5th. 195,000 members of the Afghan police forces have been deployed to polling stations throughout the country as the nation gears up for its first democratic transition in a decade, which has many on edge and uncertain. Continuing the trend of violence, six Afghan policemen have been killed by a suicide bomber at the interior ministry. IRC has appealed for urgent aid for the country.
- Though election violence reigns supreme throughout Afghanistan, March held a shocking zero number of casualties for American troops stationed within the country. The last time such a number occurred was in February 2003.
- In order to protect foreigners, the Afghan government is shutting down hangout spots for locals.
- In Pakistan, Lahore’s (and Punjab’s) illusion of safety prevails, at what (some feel is) the expense of Quetta, Peshawar, and Karachi. Meanwhile the Pakistani government has rejected former leader Musharraf’s petition to strike his name off an Exit-Control List (ECL).
- Dawn: Three killed, two injured in Quetta.
- A draft of India‘s new direct tax code has been leaked, suggesting higher tax burden on the ultra-wealthy.
- A trio of women serve as India’s kingmakers and could determine the outcome of the election: Amma, Didi, & Behenji reign supreme in a country where the role of women in politics and public life is often under fire. Meanwhile in election news, AAP party chief Kejriwal says his goal is to defeat BJP’s Modi in Varanasi. Poll spending is also set to boost the Indian economy.
- A BBC reporter’s take on Indian-controlled Kashmir.
- Feature: Living with fire in India’s Jharia.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Japan has re-opened a small area near Fukushima, encouraging residents to return. However, it seems unlikely that many will due to radiation fears.
- In Burma/Myanmar, ethnic tensions are clouding the country’s census. Ethnic minorities make up 40% of the Burmese population, with Buddhism reigning as the dominant religion. Minority Muslims Rohingya have been under persecution in Burma, in what several groups have warned could be a full-scale genocide.
- A WWII-era bomb ripped through a scrap shop in Thailand today, killing 7. Elsewhere in the country, one person was killed and several more were injured in a protest against the government.
- The mystery of Malaysian flight MH370 may never be solved. Comforting.
Europe & Eurasia:
- NATO chief warns Russia could invade the Ukraine within a week. Meanwhile Russia is tightening its pressure on Ukraine by utilizing its main tool: gas.
- Ukraine’s ousted leader hopes Russia will return Crimea.
- In France, President François Hollande has appointed a new cabinet, which includes a number of surprises–namely his former partner, Ségolène Royal.
- A Turkish court says the government’s Twitter ban violates the rights of citizens.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is taking defiant steps in the region, and they could cost the world this round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Haaretz has some thoughts on why Palestine might be taking this approach, though Palestinians insist they don’t want the talks to falter.
- Saudi Arabia has declared that all atheists are terrorists.
- Libyan rebels have agreed to ease an oil port blockade.
- In Egypt, two were killed in explosions outside Cairo University. Meanwhile Sisi’s presidential rival is suddenly facing a probe.
- Furthering a disturbing trend: A Syrian woman’s self-immolation case speaks to the country’s tragic state, as well as the impact of its civil war on what has now become a global refugee crisis.
Eastern, Western, & Central Africa:
- In troubled states, new governments with the same historic problems?
- The UN says millions are at risk of hunger in South Sudan. The UN is already struggling with issues stemming from South Sudan’s IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), who have been growing dramatically in number since last December.
- In northern Nigeria, suicide attackers have killed 15 people. The terrorists are suspected to have affiliations to Boko Haram.
- In Ethiopia, a man is apparently ‘suing’ the United Kingdom for aiding human rights abuses through its aid money.
- Yearning for a musical renaissance: Somalia works to recover from a civil war that two decades have yet to heal.
- A teacher may be charged with murder in South Africa following the death of a boy he beat over the head.
- A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake off of Chile‘s northern coast has left six dead and three injured.
- A top Venezuelan opposition MP has been blocked by troops and barred from entering parliament.
- In the U.S., President Obama has declared the rollout of his healthcare plan a victory.
- Lives lost and families mourned after the mudslide in Washington state.
- Paul Ryan’s absurd budget proposal is taken to task by the NYT editorial board. Meanwhile, meet the U.S. Senate candidate who wants to occupy Russia.
- Police shootings of mentally ill suspects are on the rise.
- Many Latinos in the U.S. are rejecting the ballot box altogether, following a national failure to address immigration reform and other concerns that disproportionately affect the country’s overwhelmingly large Latino population. In other discrimination news, the state of Mississippi has passed ‘Religious Liberty’ legislation aimed at legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ persons.
- Creationists ruin everything. However, conservative Christians do not have a monopoly on Noah.