Maya Angelou passed away this morning. If this blog had a flag, it would be at half-mast. Blessings and love to an incredible and extraordinary human.
- Meet Richard Martinez, a grieving father and gun control’s latest advocate. | Mass-shootings on college campuses are becoming both more frequent and more deadly. | Vivek Murphy, who by all accounts would be a top-notch surgeon general, is being held back from the position by…the NRA.
- President Obama is delaying a review of deportation procedures in the hopes that Congress will pass an immigration overhaul.
- In a potential victory for journalists, Holder may hold off on pressing charges against a reporter who has refused to reveal his source.
- For the first time in 50 years, American health costs are barely growing.
- Some people are skeptical of Piketty, some are skeptical of his critics, Nate Silver is skeptical of both.
- College is worth it. BUT. We need to tackle student debt.
- The frustrating inadequacy about the numbers surrounding violence against women.
- Snowden was apparently trained as a spy and Vox cares not. Snowden is also apparently a libertarian, so there’s that.
- US troops are set to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by 2016. “Fully” meaning a small presence will remain, all contingent upon the signing of the BSA, which both Abdullah and Ghani, unlike their predecessor Karzai, have agreed to sign.
- Afghan women, doing it for themselves.
- Two Americans were wounded in Herat Province this morning.
- The Taliban are having some marital disputes.
- Honor killings in Pakistan and why they happen. (Note: Article somewhat problematic, wording choice poor.) The woman who was stoned to death in Lahore outside a court house by her family was also apparently pregnant, so the world is a sad and terrible place. Via the NYT, which has less problematic wording than WaPo:
“Honor killings in Pakistan are often mistakenly described as the product of Islamic law. Some reports on Tuesday described Ms. Parveen as the victim of a stoning — an image that conjures up images of Taliban-era executions of women accused of adultery — because she had been beaten to death with bricks.
But such killings more frequently stem from tribal traditions or deep-rooted cultural norms. The independent Human Rights Commission reported that 869 women were stabbed, shot, beaten or burned to death in honor killings in Pakistan in 2013, usually at the hands of close family. The attacks have a variety of names in different languages, but are usually referred to as “black work,” a reference to the culturally unacceptable practice of marrying without familial consent.
In some cases, the killings are sanctioned by tribal councils or other community groups; men are also sometimes killed in such cases, but much less frequently.
As the country becomes more urbanized, and the middle class grows in size, marriages conducted through free choice are becoming more common. But for many young Pakistanis, the choice of a marriage partner is strongly influenced, if not entirely dictated, by parents.
Lawyers who defend women at risk of honor killing are routinely subjected to death threats, and the men who carry out the killings often escape imprisonment through an Islamic provision of Pakistani law that allows the perpetrator of a crime to avoid penalties by making a cash payment to the family of the victim. When honor killings take place inside a family, such a payment may not even be made.”
- After a long freeze, the US is reaching out to India‘s new leader.
- Modi and Sharif are engaging, tentatively. Indian-Sri Lankan ties are deepening as well. Modi rounded his sessions out with bilateral talks involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, and Mauritius.
- A tree grows in Afghanistan.
Southeast & East Asia:
- The US is considering a missile defense system in South Korea.
- A fire at a South Korean hospital has killed 21 people.
- Is Burma ready for a telecommunications revolution?
- Despite the bloodlessness of it, Thailand‘s military coup could harm the country for years to come.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Turkish activists are calling for a protest in commemoration of the year anniversary of the Genzi Park protests.
- Petro Poroshenko is the new leader of the Ukraine.
- The female protesters of the Ukraine.
- French police are expelling migrants from makeshift camps in the northern French city of Calais.
- Chilling images of the gunman at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Belgium are now available for all.
- The president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, has been re-elected.
Middle East & North Africa:
- The transformation of Arab activism.
- Concerned that low turnout may tar the victory of assured victor Sisi, Egypt is scrambling to raise voter participation.
- The US may sign off on a project to train and protect moderate Syrian rebels fighting in the country’s civil war.
- Lebanon‘s Hezbollah is turning eastward to Syria.
- A suicide bomber killed 17 people in an attack on a Shiite mosque in Iraq.
- The ICC and Iraq: A Pinochet moment?
- In forming a Palestinian unity government, Hamas’ leader is stressing that concessions will be made.
- Despite threats, Israel has for the most part avoided imposing economic sanctions on the PA over its deal with Hamas.
- Uh oh: Iran‘s Rouhani is under fire for commenting that heaven cannot be forced, and cultural values are perhaps best not stuffed down throats.
- Despite vast amounts of oil wealth, Kuwait is struggling with development.
- Gunmen attacked the home of Tunisia‘s top security official, killing four police officers.
- The US State Dept has asked all American citizens to depart Libya, amidst the country’s growing instability.
- The report on Kenya‘s Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission.
- Nigeria has denied that it is holding formal talks concerning the release of a group of young women taken by the terrorist organization Boko Haram.
- Why Venezuela‘s “plugged in” elites hold the keys to the country’s future.
- A harsh critic of talks between Colombia‘s government and the country’s largest rebel group has taken the lead in the country’s presidential election.
- Everyone has thoughts on Obama’s foreign policy, “new isolationism”, etc. Related: Obama’s new anti-war foreign policy doctrine.
- Is Australia‘s approach to guns something the US should be looking into?
- The Abbott administration has ruled out the privatization of the Australia Post.
- The Marshall Islands are on alert after a measles outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia.