Tragic week on global scale. Nearly 300 people died needlessly following violence in Ukrainian airspace and both Israel and Palestine will pay heavy price for the thoughtless and selfish actions of their leaders and extremists. Meanwhile thousands of children at the Texas border are being denied their human rights, millennials continue to take the flack for the irresponsibility of generations past, neither Congress nor the Obama Administration can be bothered to even attempt to perform the duties for which they are paid, and both AIDS and Ebola are killing far too many. But, a silver lining — pop culture may finally be opening its doors to better reflect the global population, and human rights activists across the world are commendable, as always. Have a safe and happy Friday, everyone. And a belated Happy Bastille Day to all my Frenchmen/women/people!
Photography – NBC News
- Crowdsourcing human rights? | Is ranking failed states a futile business?
- Captain America is black and Thor is a woman. Our moment has come.
- Op-ed: Israel and Palestine are led by men “too small” to affect change.
- With a college degree comes housing privilege in America’s cities.
- Putting the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” to rest.
- Texas is in trouble with the DOJ over Republican-led redistricting aimed at keeping out minority voters. Also in Texas, a minister committed to social justice set himself on fire in an act of protest. Additionally: Following a SCOTUS decision that pointed against using race in admissions, UT Austin has been handed a retaliating boon: the university can continue its policy, after arguing that failing to do so would hinder diversity at the institution.
- Antonio Vargas, journalism’s most famous undocumented immigrant, has been detained at the border for attempting to leave the country without a passport. In a statement he commented: “I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country,” he added. “Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family.” (Related: More Dems oppose Obama’s immigration plan than support it.)
- The West is in no position to preach about democracy. | Americans are fine with drones…no one else is.
- Where mental illness meets brutality in jail.
- Millennials think the system is f*****.
- In sad news for this blog, Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup. Congratulations, Deutschland. (We still love you, Messi.)
- Pope Francis says 1 in 50 clerics is a pedophile.
- Zoos are morally wrong. (Endorsed by this blog.)
- How one college failed to properly handle a sexual assault. And by failed I mean disastrously failed.
- Malala Yousafzai continues to be better than everyone else.
- The WHO says all homosexual men should take antiretroviral drugs, citing the “exploding” HIV epidemic.
- John Kerry is the man of the hour in Afghanistan: Every vote cast will be audited in a deal between Kerry, Ghani, and Abdullah. Neighboring Pakistan hailed the move, as did the majority of Afghans.
- Upwards of 89 people were killed by a car bombing in Afghanistan’s Paktika province earlier this week. (Revision: As of Wed. the number was adjusted to 69.) | Like the charmers they are, the Afghan Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack on the Kabul airport this week. Another attack followed shortly after the first.
- Pakistan’s economy has been upgraded from negative to stable.
- Pakistan also violated its Kashmir ceasefire with India as of Thursday. (India was having some other border issues as well…with China.)
- US drone strikes have killed upwards of 50 people in North Waziristan.
- Two Pakistani diplomats in Britain have been accused of rape and child abduction.
- A raid in Lahore reportedly left one militant dead following reports that militants were holed up in the city.
- Sri Lanka‘s downward spiral.
- Poor sanitation may be causing malnutrition in Indian children who are otherwise well-fed.
- In Bangalore a six year-old was reportedly raped by two gym teachers at her school.
- The BJP has fallen short in the Delhi elections despite a seemingly sweeping mandate only a few months ago ushering in Modi. One BJP minister caused a stir recently by defending the right of LGBTQ people to health care.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Inspecting the election dispute in Indonesia.
- Is Burma‘s liberalization effort over?
- China has withdrawn an oil rig from waters it is currently disputing over with Vietnam, but has threatened it could return.
Europe & Eurasia:
- A passenger jet carrying nearly 300 people from Amsterdam, Netherlands en route to Malaysia was shot down over Ukrainian territory on Thursday. There are no survivors. (A famed AIDS researcher was among the casualties. He was en route to a conference. Other casualties include many other prominent AIDS researchers [around 100], a nun, multiple families, and other irreplaceable lives.) The route being used is a popular one that hosts many planes traveling between countries and continents.
- The World Cup victory is bringing a wave of patriotism to Germany. | Also racism. | But everyone loves Ozil.
- Germany may return to typewriters in order to counter espionage. Yup.
- Cross-border shelling is leading Russia and the Ukraine to come to blows yet again. The US has also increased its sanctions on Russia.
- Bosnia’s future – what awaits the country, once torn apart by religious and ethnic feuding?
- Turkey‘s LGBTQ community faces an uphill climb – but not necessarily an impossible one.
- The crisis in Gaza is harming traditionally friendly Turkish-Israeli relations.
- Eviction turned dance party? The Roma make the most of things in Belgium.
- A Romanian princess has plead guilty to cockfighting.
- A Kurdish leader has accused Turkey’s AKP party of opening the border to IS, who have been attacking Kurdish land.
- The Church of England has voted for female bishops.
Middle East & North Africa:
Israel-Palestine update: Many of the statistics below are somewhat outdated. As of Thursday morning, following a five-hour humanitarian truce, Israel invaded Gaza.Abbas has called on the country to cease the invasion and the UN Security Council is set to meet to discuss the issue.
- As of Monday Israel has claimed it has shot down a Palestinian drone, the first reported. Meanwhile over 17,000 Gazans are seeking shelter and nearly 200 had been killed as of the beginning of the week. By Wed: 205. (The women and children of Gaza have paid among the heaviest price.) Palestinians say Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza. As of Tuesday morning Israel had agreed to a ceasefire but Hamas rejected the overture and rocket fire continued. The Monkey Cage: Rockets and bombs make Israelis and Palestinians less likely to compromise.
- The disgusting details of how the Palestinian teenager was murdered in a revenge killing. | An adult and two minors have been charged with carrying out the murder.
- The costs of escalation in Gaza. | The tragedy of Israel and Palestine. | Hamas’ attack on Israel destroys Gaza. | Israel’s Iron Dome has a 90% success rate, though as of Wednesday the country had its first casualty. On Friday it had its second.
- Only 42% of the Israeli public think that Israeli troops should be sent into Gaza. | What Hamas wants and what Israel needs. | A lose-lose situation. | The humanitarian situation in Gaza.
- Iran‘s nuclear talks are continuing. | Facebook activists will do time in prison in Iran.
- An explosion in Baghdad killed at least 29 people. Iraq remains in flux as ISIS makes inroads, and minorities are increasingly falling victim to sectarian violence.
- The dark world of Iraqi prostitutes, who are being slaughtered.
- As of Wed., a political deadlock had finally been broken.
- Fighting for the right to skate in Egypt – the country’s lone female roller derby team are impressive.
- Tribesmen have blown up a major oil pipeline in Yemen.
- A closing window of opportunity in Bahrain.
- The UN is preparing for another clash over aid to Syria.
- Rival militias are duking it out over Libya‘s airport, near Tripoli.
- Tunisian police are shutting down restaurants during Ramadan.
- How civilians protect themselves nonviolently during mass killings.
- France has ended its offensive in Mali and redeployed its troops to the Sahel.
- A South Sudanese rebel leader has made a call for federalism at a conference held in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa.
- In South Sudan, a responsibility to protect…the bad guys?
- West African governments have no idea what to do about Ebola, and little to no help.
- The World Cup draws to a close in Brazil.
- How one DC mother had her children smuggled from Honduras. (Hondurans are facing poverty and gang warfare.)
- A male US Navy nurse refused to carry out the forced feeding of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. He has since been reassigned to other duties.
- Taking Obamacare away from the territories? Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, et al are not pleased.
- Immigrants in New Mexico are being deported to Central America. | Obama is facing backlash from Latinos over his handling of the border crisis.
- The Yuma tribe has turned down money from the foundation run by the owner of the Redskins, saying, quote, “We know bribe money when we see it.” Amen.
- Bowe Bergdahl could be returning to active duty very soon.
- What would it take for cities to eliminate the need to own a car?
- Is brownface as unacceptable as blackface? The treatment of Polynesian Tongans in an Australian-birthed show is questionable.
- Certain New Zealand politicians think that in the case of sex crimes, burden of proof should be on the accused. Uhm.