Good afternoon, D.C., it is Monday. Hold tight.
- Portraits of reconciliation: Those who were victimized during the Rwandan genocide pose with the perpetrators who terrorized them, marking the 20th anniversary of the country’s nightmare.
- As part of an AMAZING movement against drones, an installation in KP, Pakistan (heavily scarred by drone killings) will force drone operators to see the face of a child as opposed to a ‘bug splat’.
- Former CIA Director Hayden says Dianne Feinstein is ‘too emotional‘, i.e. it’s probably her by now likely long-gone period that’s pissing her off as opposed to the CIA listening in on things they have no right to listen in on.
- A controversial and fascinating recounting of the UN’s failure to protect civilians during the genocide in Darfur is at FP.
- For the record, as a long-standing tradition, I ALWAYS root for Sri Lanka in cricket. Well, Sri Lanka won the World T20 final! Here’s a letter from a Sri Lankan cricket fan to Indian rivals.
- FP has a slightly condescending pitch to make to transitional democracies and fragile states.
- Just how much HAS CNN embarrassed itself with Malaysian plane coverage?
- WaPo: Plotting the relationships between brains and beauty.
- As Afghanistan moves past its historic election this past Saturday, everything is up in the air. General Allen @ Defense One argues that Obama needs to commit to keeping a force in the country. Meanwhile all signs indicate the election’s contenders are headed for a run-off: Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah look to be going head-to-head, in what may point to Karzai’s waning influence (he backed other choices). Divided by mere percentage points, Ghani and Abdullah will likely emerge from the election well-off regardless of the victor, leaving the fate of the BSA (both favor signing) in a far more secure place. (Side note: Interesting commentary on the U.S. military in Afghanistan.)
- The new-found political power of Afghan youth – in a nation where approx. 15 million voters are registered, upwards of 7 million voted, an impressive feat given the threats of violence raging throughout the nation. In some areas, turnout was so high that ballots were depleted. The vast majority of voters were young people, and their sway has been felt. It appears voters split along ethnic lines, unsurprisingly, and approx. 23 people were killed in escalating violence around the country.
- Pakistan is set to release 13 more Taliban (TTP) prisoners in order to aid peace talks.
- The TTP is reported to be receiving active support from seminaries in the twin cities, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Speaking of, the Taliban apparently launched a website only to have it mysteriously taken down 24 hours later. It also seems that they felt Comic Sans was a good font choice.
- The Indian elections have begun, in the world’s largest exercise in democracy. On Monday nearly 60% of the voters in the five constituencies in Assam had voted by 3 pm. Polling will be conducted on nine separate days, culminating in the May 12th finale. BJP looks to take a large hand while the Congress Party may exit with its worst showing since independence. The BJP has also released its national manifesto, which focuses significantly on economics while also reaffirming the party’s commitment to Hindu nationalism. The Congress Party and AAP have also released their manifestos. (For all things Indian election, here’s some questionably toned but informed input from Peter Bergen and Ana Swanson.)
- India’s Sun Pharma is set to buy Ranbaxy, which will create India’s biggest pharmaceutical group.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A break in the search for 370? With hours or days to go before the Malaysian plane’s black box’s battery dies, searchers think they may have found something.
- The U.S. is sending missile defense ships to Japan as its tension with neighboring China escalates. However, it is also trying to assure China re: cyberattacks.
- Top-down liberation in Burma?
- IFES has a good breakdown of frequently asked questions ahead of Indonesia‘s national legislative elections, slated for April 9th.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Initially expected to take on a more active role in the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, France has stepped back significantly following critical comments from the government suggesting the French played a role in allowing the atrocities to occur. Also in France: Schools where the National Front party (a far-right party headed by the notorious Marine Le Pen) hold sway, alternatives to pork will no longer be offered in what is 110% an attempt to stick it to Muslim and Jewish students.
- In the Ukraine, Russian sympathizers have seized buildings in the country’s eastern region. (Crisis updates here.) More on Ukraine’s pretty scary far-right nationalists at FP here.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Eight ways the U.S. can help Tunisia in its democratic transition.
- Human rights in the ‘Arab Spring’ countries — a very sad and somewhat disheartening analysis.
- It seems that Egypt is in for bad news: Morsi, when all is said and done, looks to have been much more democratic than what’s about to come.
Eastern, Western, & Central Africa:
- Ebola may have reached Mali.
- In Senegal a 10 year-old rape victim is being denied an abortion.
- Foreign Affairs has an interview up with Rwandan head Paul Kegame as the country observes the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
Sub-Saharan & Southern Africa:
- Some suggestions for Zimbabwe as it stumbles towards economic recovery and more.
- In Mexico, WaPo has a piece on tracing the U.S. heroin surge back down south to the border.
- USAID’s debacle in Cuba re: that social media plan to make inroads into the country is really not going well.
- The divide in Venezuela is very real, and the gap between the opposition and the government leaves little to no room for compromise.
- One by one, Missouri’s black towns are disappearing in the U.S.
- The CIA is definitely not getting out of the drone game.
- Religion and congressmen — discussing and measuring the primarily Christian monopoly on the U.S. government.
- Nonprofits will lose workers to big business unless their workers feel a sense of purpose, says the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
- AJ: Has the ‘Pacific Solution’ solved anything in Australia?
Daily Wow: Not your tragic queer Muslim story.