- Gabriel García Márquez, my favorite male author, died today. Rest in power.
- In more uplifting news, Chelsea Clinton, heiress to the Clinton political dynasty, is giving birth.
- Opinion: Right-wing extremists are more deadly than jihadists in the U.S.
- Apparently (not completely confirmed) a group carrying Russian Federation flags in a town in the Ukraine is telling Jewish residents they have to “register” with the government. TP and USA Today both have information. The New Republic has some clarification that the group responsible is a fringe group, which is still only mildly comforting.
- Haaretz: The importance of learning Arabic.
- All the problems with that ‘world’s toughest job’ video, over at the Weekly Wonk.
- Southern art’s Harlem renaissance.
- Texas news: Someone peed on the Alamo and now he’s going to prison.
- Salon: Why does the female orgasm exist? Additionally, scientists have reportedly discovered the animal kingdom’s first female penis.
- The Taliban have formally ended their ceasefire with Pakistan but will continue peace talks.
- Meanwhile, the Taliban in Afghanistan claim they have kidnapped and killed seven Afghan police officers.
- Elsewhere, the IEC have set aside several ballot boxes that may contain fraudulent ballots — the boxes will be investigated.
- India‘s fifth and biggest day of voting is finishing as the Congress Party trades jabs with the BJP. Meanwhile 17% of the contestants for a seat in the Lok Sabha are facing criminal charges.
- Vox: Narendra Modi’s rise.
- Delhi’s High Court is set for its first female chief justice. Also in the courts, moves are being made to translate legal advice for rape survivors into local languages.
- AAP’s Shefali Misra is facing harsh realities on the campaign trail.
Southeast & East Asia:
- The Pentagon has offered to help with South Korea‘s ferry disaster, but time is running out to find survivors.
- Relations between the U.S. and Burma are thawing but violence against ethnic Muslims may threaten that.
- Two journalists have been charged with defaming the Thai navy following a story about the trafficking of refugee Muslims from Burma.
Eurasia & Europe:
- A neo-Nazi brand has opened shop in the heart of Jewish London, Britain.
- The U.S., EU, and Russia are all working towards an agreement on the Ukraine. We think. Meanwhile Putin doesn’t seem to be backing down, and the Russian economy is already dipping even before sanctions hit.
- Poland, however, wants boots on the ground, as it eyes an increasingly punchy Russia. Right on cue, NATO is stepping up its game.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Is victory even a possibility in Syria? Meanwhile Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon are all in flux over the first’s civil war. Meanwhile the lack of security around the Jordanian-Syrian border is raising a few eyebrows.
- Young Algerians are less than delighted by their election, which will likely see Bouteflika, age 77, remaining in power.
- Reports show Iran has cut a nuclear stockpile, appears to be abiding by international demands. (Related: Learning from the past in the Iranian nuclear dispute.)
- Brain drain: Can Iran convince its intellectuals to return?
- In Iraq, militants have attacked a base, killing 10.
- Talks between Israel and Palestine are set to resume this Thursday. Meanwhile an Israeli Palestinian rights advocate is under house arrest.
- Three militants have been killed in a blast in Gaza.
- Oman‘s foreign minister says the rift between Qatar and the other Gulf States has been resolved.
- The UAE has detained a Taliban commander.
Eastern, Central, & Western Africa:
- The fate of 115 kidnapped girls in Nigeria is currently unknown. Initial reports claimed they had been freed, but their principal now says that is not the case.
- Kenya‘s answer to terrorism: Rounding up Somalis.
- Burundi has expelled a UN official over an arms report.
- Housing efforts in Haiti are lagging, according to reports.
- Canadians are pleading for the release of Al Jazeera staff, currently being detained in Egypt.
- The Onondaga Nation says the U.S. violates human rights.
- Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel wants a broad review of the military justice system.
- Off the coast of Australia, still no Malaysian plane.