News Round-Up 5/20/14: Antisemitism & Guns In Chipotle

Daily observation: While I both enjoy his music and have nevertheless always found his politics problematic as a male heterosexual white champion of queer causes, Macklemore has now crossed the line even further. I know antisemitism amuses a lot of people. Your blogger is not one. More here and here.

reuters / Thai soldiers take their positions in the middle of a main intersection in Bangkok's shopping district
reuters / Thai soldiers take their positions in the middle of a main intersection in Bangkok’s shopping district

Assorted Stand-Outs:

According to a recent global survey by the Anti-Defamation League, two-thirds of respondents either had never heard of the Holocaust or believed historical accounts were exaggerated. And the ignorance is concentrated among the young. This school year, in California’s Rialto Unified School Districteighth-grade students were asked to write an essay on whether they believed the Holocaust “was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.” Note “scheme” and “wealth” — words that Jews have heard before. School officials were forced to cancel the assignment. Which National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke described as a “damn shame” — the cancelation, not the assignment. Cooke complained that academic discussion is too often “conducted between narrow and sternly policed rails.” The purpose of education is to cultivate critical thinking, not “to indoctrinate our children with the values of the state.” The application of ideology in this case — an all-purpose conservative critique of political correctness — is intellectually lazy. But the assumption of two-sidedness when considering the Holocaust is positively dangerous.

South Asia:

  • Five years after in Sri Lanka.
  • A Chinese tourist has been kidnapped in northwestern Pakistan by a splinter group.
  • Pakistan’s mighty mango moment: The country is ready to oust India’s hold on the fruit when it comes to the EU market.
  • The government of Afghanistan is fuming following reports of Iranians drafting Afghans to fight in Syria.
  • India‘s new premier, Modi, got emotional while vowing to “live for the country” as leader. No word yet on where his never-mentioned estranged wife will be living.
  • Resignations from Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have been rejected by the Congress Party, which is of course in clusterf*** mode.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • In China, five people are facing charges of cyberspying on the various American companies. The US ambassador has been summoned by Chinese officials, who say that the events have greatly damaged relations between the two global powers.
  • Also China-related: The nation has used “diplomatic channels” to warn North Korea about conducting another nuclear drill.
  • Early this morning, Thailand declared martial law. People seem to be taking it in stride. The army says it is “not a coup.” Okay.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • In a sign that times are changing, Credit Suisse, a Swiss banking giant, has pleased guilty in a felony case.
  • Speaking of Switzerland, that ~$25 minimum wage may not have been as crazy as it sounded (to Americans).
  • Russia says it’s pulling back from the Ukrainian border. NATO disagrees. Meanwhile, the crisis may be pushing Putin towards China, and overtures between the two countries appear to be underway.
  • Frustrations and tensions surrounding Turkey‘s tragic mine collapse are continuing to build with arrests being made and unions becoming involved.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Activists say a chlorine attack in central Syria killed a teenager.
  • 58 countries want Syria referred to the ICC for war crimes.
  • In Libya attacks from militants have the international community on standby. The US State Dept is making decisions re: evacuation “minute by minute.”
  • Al-Maliki will reign again in Iraq, presumably. The process of forming a coalition government, however, will likely take months.
  • Tensions are heightening as the Egyptian election draws near.
  • Lebanon‘s Christians are readying for a struggle as the country’s presidential vacancy continues.

Sub-Saharan Africa:



  • New Zealand‘s Prime Minister John Key has offered up his support for drone strikes in a controversial statement regarding the issue and giving props to American leader Obama.

Daily Wow: Your high school grades and future salary. Hmm.


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