Happy Friday! It’s Maya Angelou’s birthday today, and we’ve survived a week of April! District residents, there’s a fireworks festival happening in honor of the cherry blossoms tomorrow at the Southwest waterfront.
- AP Photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed this morning in Afghanistan. She covered conflicts ranging from Bosnia to Afghanistan for over 20 years. A collection of her incredible photographs is here. Rest in peace.
- The UN has a new goal: Surviving climate change, not stopping it.
- In Mississippi, the Christian Right reigns supreme and LGBTQ persons have yet one more reason to join the diaspora heading west and northeast. Meanwhile Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was essentially forced out of his job by OkCupid regarding an anti-gay donation made in 2008.
- Fort Hood officials are focusing on Wednesday’s shooting suspect’s mental health history. It seems that Ivan Lopez was a quiet introvert who liked music and was a loving father. FP: PTSD & the ‘Rambo’ complex.
- Also in Texas news, Planned Parenthood has announced plans to build a new surgery center in the Lone Star State.
- The ‘Asia pivot.’
- TP: There are too many white people in clinical trials.
- The world is apparently much safer than historians would have us believe. Also it’s changing: Teen Vogue has a queer-friendly article for the blossoming young lesbiqueerz of the world. MY LORD.
- Overcoming South Asia’s Peace Spoilers.
- The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) have extended their ceasefire to April 10, in what appears to be a move to restart talks with the government in Islamabad.
- Afghanistan‘s wily out-going leader Hamid Karzai is working overtime to maintain his influence as he departs office — but it will involve juggling many hats. Meanwhile as noted above, Afghanistan is becoming more and more dangerous for journalists and foreign nationals, especially as the Pakistani Taliban crosses over the border (one border crossing has been formally closed in order to prepare for the election — and few countries are as invested in the election’s outcome as Pakistan). Still, the country is prepared to head to the polls, and 325,000 observers will oversee the elections.
- Poynter: The story of women in Afghanistan must be told.
- In India, BJP’s Narendra Modi says that animal slaughter ‘will ruin the nation.’ (Modi is a vegetarian.) AAP leader Kejriwal was ‘punched’ in the back during a rally — AAP supporters later thrashed the soul responsible. Additionally: Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid is appealing to Indian Muslims to vote for the Congress Party in an attempt to not split the votes of minority religions in India.
- Death sentences for the Mumbai rapists.
Southeast & East Asia:
- South Korea has tested a missile that could theoretically strike the bulk of North Korea.
- The underwater search for Malaysia‘s MH370 missing flight has begun.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The Ukraine has implicated Russia and former leader Yanukovych in the deaths of protesters leading up to Crimea’s annexation. The country is also in emergency talks for gas.
- Neither Ashkenazi nor Sephardic, Greece‘s Romaniote Jews were virtually decimated by the Nazis, and their numbers are dwindling yearly.
- A village stadium has become a symbol of power for Hungary‘s leader.
- Turkey turns its back on the E.U.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Iraqi Deputy PM Mutlaq feels the U.S. needs to take a stand re: Iraq’s upcoming election.
- Haaretz: Why Israel cannot represent world Jewry. Meanwhile in talks between Israel and Palestine, John Kerry thinks it’s reality check time.
- Why Arab-Israelis have lower test scores, a hypothesis.
- Over 1,000 rabbis have come together to encourage the mayor of Jerusalem not to pick Shmuel Eliyahu for chief rabbi, saying the choice would send a message of intolerance and divisiveness. Eliyahu is a known Islamophobe: “The letter notes that Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed, “made a halakhic ruling barring Jews from renting apartments to Arabs, opposed military service for women, characterized Arabs and Muslims in racist and humiliating terms, while the attorney general said his candidacy for [Sephardi] chief rabbi was inappropriate.” The rabbis told Barkat that appointing Eliyahu to the post would “send a message of divisiveness and intolerance” from Jerusalem.”
- Libya’s ‘easy riders’, in pictures.
- Counter to his previously conservative politics, one cleric’s shift towards democracy in Saudi Arabia is leaving many perplexed.
Eastern, Western, & Central Africa:
- In South Sudan, rebels are quietly plotting an assault on the country’s oil fields.
- 20 years after the Rwandan genocide, the country is working towards a tech revolution.
- Ugandans held a “thanksgiving” event in honor of the country’s harsh and deadly anti-gay law.
- USAID reportedly attempted to build a social media site in Cuba, and failed.
- Today in culture: Comforting Mexico‘s mourners.
- Al Jazeera America: On the faultline of the U.S.-Mexico border debate.
- President Obama is facing immigration protests in 40 U.S. cities.
- A federal judge in the U.S. has said that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages from other states, while Michigan students are waiting tensely for the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action.
- The U.S. economy has added 192,000 jobs but unemployment is holding steady. Additionally, America is wealthier but Americans are poorer.
- Unlocking the Senate torture report: it appears torture does not produce valuable intel.
- One female officer’s opinion re: why women are failing in the Marines.
- In Australia, a woman appears to have been taken and killed by a shark. JAWS.