- Oklahoma had an absolutely horrifying and appallingly botched execution last night. It went so poorly that a second planned execution has been briefly delayed. There is still no evidence that executions deter criminals.
- Today the Senate GOP filibustered a minimum wage increase. Thanks y’all.
- Virginia’s AG has declared DREAMers eligible for in-state tuition.
- Americans want to withdraw from the world, in a sentiment that would perhaps have better fitted national thought pre-WWI.
- The Rise of the Drone Master: Pop culture recasts Obama, the president of hope and change.
- Infographic: Sexual assault and undergraduate women (TW).
- The SCOTUS has handed the EPA a big win: Limiting cross-state pollution. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known colloquially on the internets as Notorious RBG, penned the majority opinion. (Ruling here.)
- Dems are prepared to take on the Citizens United decision.
- Why Piketty’s book matters more in America than in France. (Related: Where conservatives are failing on their response to inequality.)
- SCOTUS justices are not always up to speed with technology. They also don’t seem to know what to do with cell phone privacy.
- The NSA is undermining internet security.
- WonkBlog: Yes, you can buy your way into a congressional seat.
- Pakistani journalists are under seige — so sayeth Amnesty International, and the numbers are pretty bad.
- A blast in South Waziristan has killed 5 people and injured 3 others.
- FP has a piece on how the CIA’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden made health workers the direct and unwitting targets of militants in Pakistan, where polio remains an unsolved crisis.
- A resumption of peace talks between the government and the Taliban may be underway.
- Corruption in Afghanistan is fostered by the U.S., says the Pentagon. However, on a more positive note, social media within the country is taking on a life of its own.
- Hamid Karzai says the U.S. and the U.K. still run illegal detention centers.
- An exchange of fire on the AfPak border killed 60 militants, according to sources.
- India has surpassed Japan in terms of PPP. It is now the world’s third-largest economy, below only China and the U.S.
- The Election Commission is furious with Modi, and wants a FIR (First Information Report). Modi flashed his party symbol and made an election speech at a voting station. In other election news, high turnout in Bengal, Punjab, and Gujarat has been duly recorded.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A hotline to cool Asian crises.
- Gaps between the rich and poor are reportedly worse in China than in the U.S. Though how those two are entirely comparable I’m not entirely sure.
- WaPo: The security risks of China’s abnormal demographics.
- Tragic: NYT on the Korean city with “250 holes in its heart.”
- Brunei has adopted ‘phase one’ of a strict Islamic governing code that has the UN and various rights groups deeply concerned. Flogging, amputation, and death by stoning are all included as potential punishments for law-breakers.
Eurasia & Europe:
- The Ukraine says its forces are helpless against pro-Russian gunmen. U.S. Defense Sec. Hagel reportedly has a “hotline” to the Kremlin, but whether or not he’s getting through is up for debate.
- WaPo Opinion: The Russian threat is real, via a dialogue with Romania‘s Titus Corlăţean.
Middle East & North Africa:
- In the U.S., there is a surging congressional push-back against aid to Egypt.
- Sec. of State John Kerry and the “A” word re: Israel and Palestine.
- The PLO may seek to join the ICC. Elsewhere, with peace talks off the table, Netanyahu is looking at unilateral moves. (Time for a time out?) Israeli forces also demolished a mosque in the West Bank, in what is easily one of the stupidest and most offensive things armed forces could do.
- Re: Iraq, opinions on al-Maliki, his power, and his chance at winning a third term, all range. Regardless, he will likely need to establish a coalition government as unrest grows within the war-torn nation. Meanwhile, as the election draws near, a planned car bombing killed 24 people in Baghdad.
- Jordan has opened a new camp for Syrian refugees who are fleeing the country’s civil war.
- Atlantic Council: On Syria, pull together resources, rationalize the response.
- There is a possibility chemical weapons have been used at least nine times in Syria since February. Meanwhile in attacks on Homs, the death toll has topped 100.
- Famed Egyptian blogger Bassem Sabry has died at the age of 31 under mysterious circumstances.
- In Libya an attempt to vote on the country’s new prime minister was stalled when gunmen attacked.
- Despite a failed attempt, Lebanon still has no president.
Eastern, Central, & Western Africa:
- NYT: Keeping Al Qaeda’s West African Unit on the Run.
- The 200-some schoolgirls who were reportedly kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria have reportedly been sold as brides to militants for around $12 each.
- The UN says South Sudan is “close to calamity.” The international body has also lifted a ban on diamond imports from the Ivory Coast, reversing a 2005 ban.
- A Muslim man has been decapitated in the Central African Republic only days after the majority of Bangui’s Muslims fled the city, escorted out by peacekeepers.
- The mayor of Mexico‘s second-largest port city has been detained in connection with an organized crime investigation.
- In the U.S., Obamacare is unpopular but people don’t want it repealed. Southerners, however, hate it more than ever despite being the demographic most likely to need it.
- Angry Clippers players are protesting owner Don Sterling’s racist remarks.
- Politico says the EPA is winning the war on coal.
- Texas-related: Judges struggle in the Lone Star State as bench vacancies grow.
- Wisconsin’s voter ID law has been barred as an obstacle to minorities. Related: Voter ID is the real fraud.
- Enrollment in student debt-forgiveness programs is soaring in 2014.
- Senate Democrats are weighing a vote backing the Keystone XL pipeline.
- WSJ: How smaller government is hitting payrolls in parts of the U.S.
- The White House is attempting to take on campus sexual assault — but is it enough and are they equipped?
- A deportation report shows strict enforcement at the U.S. border. Related: The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Border Patrol.