- The US, Asia, and the Middle East: A convergence of interests.
- Scientists are warning of rising oceans due to the coming polar melt.
- Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN mediator in the Syrian conflict, has resigned.
- The random Muslim scare story generator.
- 102 transgender individuals have been murdered this year.
- A federal appeals court will hear a challenge on VA’s same-sex marriage laws today. The next state in the South to embrace human decency? We will see.
- This is a fascinating article I forgot to include yesterday on Jeb Bush’s potential run for president and how it would affect his family. Though this blog formally has a liberal slant and will endorse the Democratic candidate, your blogger is of the mind that it would be refreshing to see an interracial couple on a national stage, as well as a couple with Spanish-speaking chops and a comprehension of the discriminatory tendencies of US customs and border patrol.
- Obama, once the darling of liberals the world over, is about to have a riot on his hands from the left over his conservative judicial nominees.
- Reich has some thoughts on how to shrink inequality.
- Texas would like you to know it kills efficiently.
- Don Sterling is a really terrible human. Unrelated: Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria‘s remains may have been found.
- Clay Aiken’s opponent in a run-off has died unexpectedly.
- Anticipating a flood of immigrants from Afghanistan following a departure of American troops, Pakistan is cracking down on Afghan arrivals.
- Polio has been found in Karachi and Lahore. (Related: The heroism of Pakistan’s polio vaccine workers.) Pakistanis making international trips will also need to carry certificates asserting their vaccinated status.
- Punjab needs 78,000 new classrooms.
- Chief Justice: Offense against any religion falls under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
- In North Waziristan, a curfew has left hundreds stranded.
- Taliban infighting is continuing, apparently. Also in Taliban news, the “spring offensive” is in full swing across the border (ICG says the situation is very, very bad.)
- Pakistani police have charged 68 lawyers with blasphemy for protesting the arrest of one of their colleagues.
- Drones have made their way into Pakistani culture.
- Abductions in Bangladesh are being blamed on state forces.
- An Indian court has stated that forced marital sex is not rape. In other news, that is incorrect.
- Nearly all exit polls indicate a win for Modi and the BJP. Obama is trying to insert himself into India’s democratic process and praised the election overall. Hikers are busy assuming some of India’s most unpleasant democratic tasks in the meantime.
- India’s first mission to Mars is expected to reach the red planet later this year, in September.
Southeast & East Asia:
- The US is urging China to ease controls on the exchange rate.
- Protesters in Thailand have moved their rallies to a new site. The move comes after the ousting of controversial Prime Minister Yingluck and significant unrest throughout the country.
- Ethnic tensions in China are piling on and harming the country’s ties with its Muslims.
- Sea disputes are dominating the Southeast Asian summit. Hosted by Burma, a conflict between Vietnam and China is front and center, but Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan also have interests in the waters.
Eurasia & Europe:
- An EU court has ruled that internet users have the “right to be forgiven.”
- Germany‘s foreign ministers are in Kiev working to get separatists and the Ukranian government to sit down at the metaphorical table.
- Despite strife, Odessa’s Jews don’t want to leave.
- France is set to redraw its map to save money.
- Continuing with its government’s controversial record, Turkey is set to ignore demands listed in a court order to pay compensation to Cyprus.
- Turkey and Syria’s refugees have a less than amicable relationship.
- The UK has backed stripping citizenship over terrorism.
- A run-off election seems to be in the works for Lithuania.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Jimmy Carter sees the advantages in a united Palestinian government. Eternal optimist John Kerry is set to meet with Abbas to discuss potentially restarting peace talks.
- Going into London, countries supporting the Syrian Opposition have little good news to report.
- In Homs, many feel the civil war has ended.
- A top Israeli official met with Senator Dianne Feinstein to assert that Israel is not spying on the US. Also in Holy Land news: Former Israeli PM Ohmert will face six years in jail for bribery and corruption.
- The IAEA critiqued Iran for making slow progress in nuclear talks.
- The Jordanian ambassador to Libya has been freed in a prisoner exchange.
- A car bomb attack has killed 28 people in Baghdad, Iraq.
Eastern, Central, & Western Africa:
- A group of missing schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria can be seen in a new video from the militants, who are offering a prisoner swap.
- WaPo has a run-down on the situation. Meanwhile, accusations are being leveled that the government knew the attack was set to take place and chose to do nothing.
- South Sudan‘s presidential election may be postponed by two years while conflicting groups work towards reconciliation.
- The UN wants a tribunal on South Sudanese crimes.
- Chad has closed its border with the CAR due to rising concerns over violence.
- Both the UN and France are attending Mali talks with Tuareg rebels.
Sub-Saharan & Southern Africa:
- A soccer stadium stampede in the Congo has left fifteen people dead.
- The president of Uruguay met with Obama, and praised the “vigor” of Latin women.
- A Cuban man learned recently that despite living in the US for years and laying roots, he is not in fact a citizen.
- An audit is indicating a significant level of corruption in Brazil regarding World Cup costs.
- Negligence charges are being brought in a Canadian (Quebec) derailment and fire.
- The rocky road to Canadian oil.
- US presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal is wooing conservatives with the tale of his conversion from Hinduism to Christianity.
- The Chamber of Commerce essentially forwarded that if the GOP doesn’t act on immigration they might as well skip 2016.
- The Missouri senate has passed a 72-hour waiting bill, scaling back the state’s abortion access significantly.
- Australia is aiming to halve its budget deficit in a year.
Daily Wow: 40 maps that explain the Middle East.