Short week, everyone, since this blog is out of town for the 4th of July weekend. A happy holiday to all my Americans (and a happy Canada Day to all my Canadians on July 1st)! And a wonderful Ramadan to all observing! (Related to tomorrow: The 4th of July – Made in China? | Fun July 4th facts.) This has also been a hard week for many people near and dear – a sincere and heartfelt prayer to all affected on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This blog remains pro-peace and strongly opposed to the killing of innocent people, especially children, regardless of who they are or where they come from. L’chaim.
- This blog has broken up with the SCOTUS. What all the justices who suck have in common. The best way to deal with the mandate? Make birth control available over the counter. (Re: The Decision itself, it’s clear that the opinion was about corporation and mentioned women only 13 times. The dissent is ALL ABOUT WOMEN.) Why the decision hurts people of faith. Also the fall-out has begun: Religious corporations want to discriminate against LGBTQ people as well. (Somewhat related: LGBTQ people are VERY discriminated against in the workforce.)
- Israel’s search for its missing teenagers ended in tragedy on Monday – the bodies were discovered near Hebron. Hamas has been blamed and Israel has promised retaliation.
- Obama has named a former Proctor & Gamble chief to lead the VA.
- Obama issues order protecting against gender-identity discrimination.
- Americans increasingly don’t believe that they are No. 1, in a shocking reversal from the patriotism that reigned down upon this blogger’s very Southern American flag-decorated somewhat brainwashed upbringing.
- In the US, it’s really just millennials who care about the World Cup. Because we are the best.
- Don’t count Hillary out yet.
- How racial discrimination remains alive today. | The era of majority white public schools is over in the US. | Double standards for black men in the recession. | How the Civil Rights Act changed the South’s economy.
- Pakistan’s tourism industry is suffering from last year’s Taliban mountain raid.
- Immigration reform has been declared dead in the water, but Obama has vowed to began anew.
- Facebook may have been messing with your emotions. | And that’s their entire MO, really.
- Queens of finance Yellen and Lagarde face off.
- Inequality is not inevitable.
- Blackwater is a scary, scary company.
- In shocking news, Muslims, who are also humans, are not too fond of terrorism. Because most humans aren’t.
- GM will offer hefty compensation to families of victims of its faulty ignition switch as well as a massive recall.
- Pop culture: Robin Thicke is the creepiest human ever.
- OITNB is a positive contribution to television, does not need more male characters, etc.
- The SCOTUS is getting set to review pregnant workers’ rights.
- In a week of domestic violence incidents, a couple was killed in Pakistan over a love marriage and another young woman was burned to death by a man her parents had rejected.
- The Express Tribune chief in Peshawar has survived the latest attempted bombing of his residence.
- An American-born Pakistani teenager is flying around the globe to raise money to educate Pakistani children.
- Pakistan’s parliament has approved another sweeping antiterror bill, prompting concern from rights groups.
- Opinion: Dying from apathy, not terrorism.
- In Afghanistan, Abdullah has renewed his accusations of election fraud. Runoff preliminary results have been delayed as a consequence.
- Pakistanis are fleeing across the border into Afghanistan from Waziristan.
- Human Rights Watch is asking Sri Lanka not to deport Pakistanis seeking asylum.
- Life as a pro-democracy activist in the Maldives.
- Making a life on the margins of society: India‘s largest “transgender” carnival.
- The latest Indian political fun: One politician wants to unleash murderers and rapists on the rival Communist party.
- India is easing its visa policy for Afghans.
- Modi loves social media.
- The American NSA has been snooping on the BJP and they ain’t pleased.
Southeast & East Asia:
- In recent maps, China has claimed India’s AP province as its own.
- A secretive agency is leading China’s intense anti-corruption campaign.
- For Western companies in China, dollars trump democracy.
- Ramadan’s required fast has been banned in a Chinese province. In Xinjiang, observant Muslims are seeing a crackdown on their religious freedoms in a country where secularism is the letter of the law.
- Japan has announced a military shift to thwart what it views as China’s growing threat.
- The Japanese press conference of the century.
- In Burma a genocide is underway, as the country’s Muslim population are rounded up by its Buddhist majority.
Europe & Eurasia:
- As the West eyes a rising India, France has been the first in New Delhi to court Modi.
- Ukraine‘s new president is struggling to keep the peace. However, he also lifted a ceasefire and is looking to crush pro-Russian separatists.
- Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan will attempt to become the country’s first leader elected by popular vote.
- Are Georgia and Europe ready to commit to one another?
- Examining the deaths of Russian journalists.
- People are feeling more free in Uzbekistan than in the USA.
- The Moldovan parliament has ratified the EU accord.
Middle East & North Africa:
- ISIL has declared a caliphate. The move comes as a challenge to Al Qaeda, who have severed their ties with the group.
- Across Iraq and the Levant, the sectarian “genie” is out of the bottle. Lawmakers were also unable to agree to a replacement for Maliki that would appease Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds alike. Meanwhile the Kurds are exploring their options. (Israel would welcome a Kurdish state.)
- Following the kidnapping of three teenagers, Israel began the week by continuing its siege of Gaza in Palestine. The bodies of the teenagers were found later on Monday, as noted earlier in this post; Israel responded immediately with airstrikes on Gaza and vows that Hamas would pay. A Palestinian teen was among those killed in the ensuing violence; another was found near Jerusalem in what appears to have been a revenge attack. Update: All hell as broken loose in the Holy Land. Indyk says the peace process is dead. Additionally it appears one of the Israeli teens made a call to the police before being killed.
- Despite claims on all sides, it seems clear that the rouge Hamas wing in Hebron has a dark history. | Will the Palestinian unity government survive the siege on Gaze?
- Netanyahu is seen as slow-moving in response to right-wing cries for action — infamous wingnuts (term meant in all seriousness) Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Ya’alon, and Naftali Bennett are overshadowing the more moderate voices of Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, who have been calling for a less fiery and deadly response to the kidnappings/killings.
- The Kurds want independence from Iraq.
- Nuclear talks with Iran and world powers have resumed.
- A year after its most recent revolution, Egypt remains in furor.
- Aleppo’s water crisis grows in Syria.
- The process of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons will likely take between 45 and 90 days.
- Saudi Arabia is being taken to task for its handling of the MERS virus.
- Libya has declared an end to its oil crisis.
- A Sudanese woman was forced to give birth chained and now says her daughter may never be able to walk as a consequence of the experience.
- The US has a secret military presence in Somalia.
- The US embassy in Uganda has warned of a ‘specific threat’ to the country’s main airport.
- African leaders have granted themselves immunity in a proposed court, thereby somewhat defeating the purpose.
- Gunmen appear to have fired at Nigerian churchgoers this week, in the latest alleged attack by Boko Haram.
- Offering to disarm in the Congo after 20 years of war.
- France’s defense minister says the country is seeing progress in steps made to counter terrorism in Mali.
- Obama wants refugee status granted to the children who have swarmed the Texas border, seeking to migrate from countries like Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
- Argentina is eyeing default…again.
- Military movement in Venezuela has been okay-ed.
- A small town revolt saved the job of a South Carolina lesbian police chief.
- Kentucky queers have some rights headed their way!
- The great American Hispanic wealth gap.
- Democrats are relying on single women to maintain their hold on midterm elections.
- At the White House, men still make much, much more.
- The Hobby Lobby decision is just plain wrong. | Behind the 9-0 decisions this session lay great rifts. | Gay rights groups are wary of the decision. | Justice Ginsburg reigns.
- The UN has voiced strong concern regarding Australia‘s response to Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. The continent-nation sent back two boats carrying Tamil refugees; the nation’s government has argued that Sri Lanka is now at peace following the country’s brutal civil war. The move has prompted extreme criticism from all corners.
- Malaysia will send back an envoy to New Zealand to face sex charges.
Weekly Wows: The surprising history of Ramadan in the US. | Population-shifting in the US has slowed a tad. | Corporations are people and some of them are religious. | Photos that capture the LGBT community’s struggle for survival in the midst of AIDS.