Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there! This blog isn’t really an observer but is thankful for everyone who follows, consumes, enjoys, and disputes the Blues. It was a week of mixed and violent emotions — the Ferguson decision’s release has sparked national and international outrage, and several areas are in the midst of extreme struggle, not least of all Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Still, Iranian nuclear talks have yet to stall altogether and international cooperation is excelling in many areas. As we inch closer to 2015, the world becomes a place of infinite highs and lows. Bonus: A surprising history of Turkey (the country and the bird) in America.
images / nbcnews
- Early this week a grand jury chose not to indict the police officer responsible for murdering African American teenager Michael Brown. The decision has had resounding consequences and will continue to.
- 80% of America is Christian. If someone doesn’t appreciate your Christmas talk, no, you are not being persecuted.
- Social media: How it can and cannot facilitate protest.
- It’s time to stop apologizing for Bill Cosby, rapist at large.
- Rape culture at fraternities: it’s very real.
- Former DC mayor Marion Barry passed away this week.
- Well, this is terrifying.
- Gunmen killed four polio workers in Pakistan earlier this week.
- Pakistan has the fastest-growing nuclear program in the world.
- A suicide bombing in Afghanistan killed around 50 people at a volleyball tournament.
- US President Obama has been specially invited to be the first US president to attend India‘s Republic Day parade.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Police in Hong Kong have made gains in retaking protestor strongholds.
- 18 year-old Joshua Wong, one of the leading faces of the protest movement, has been ordered to stay clear of protest areas.
- Democracy in Thailand won’t return for quite some time, according to one expert.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Careful Europe — Pope Francis thinks you’re “elderly” and “haggard.”
- Finland, a country near and dear to this blog, legalized same-sex marriage on Friday. It is the 12th European nation to do so.
- Meet the UK‘s ‘poo bus’.
- Britain‘s anti-immigrant wing scored a victory recently.
- Turkey and Iraq are turning over a new leaf.
- Turkish leader Erdogan says Muslims discovered America. Here’s why.
- Russia is making inroads into Georgia.
- Germany and Russia have hit a dead end.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Baghdadi vs. Zawahri.
- Hezbollah arrives in Iraq.
- Iraqi forces are retaking towns from Daesh/ISIS militants.
- Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had some harsh words for the West regarding the country’s nuclear talks.
- Lebanese officials are suing the state.
- Debating the constitutionality of Sisi’s deportation law in Egypt.
- Egypt’s authoritarian crackdown has sparked the suicide of youth activist Zainab al-Mahdi. (The topic is trending under مهدي_زينب# ).
- Egypt is debating health care reform.
- A proposed nationality bill in Israel is causing extreme controversy. | The politics of security officials in Israel is fascinating.
- Relations between Israel and Jordan are suffering.
- A raid in Yemen freed eight hostages, but another five are still held, including an American journalist.
- Tunisia voted for its president this past week, in an election widely viewed as democratic and fair. | The country’s youth aren’t necessarily turning out to vote.
- Human rights abuses are leaving 1/3 of Libyans with mental health problems.
- Two suicide bombers have killed dozens in Nigeria.
- Sudan has put pressure on the UN Darfur peacekeeping mission, asking the organization to close its headquarters in Khartoum.
- A horrifying massacre on a bus in Kenya left over 20 people dead. The government retaliated by killing over 100 militants. (One man survived the massacre.)
- In Madagascar, 40 people have died of the plague.
- Burkina Faso’s democracy protests could fail if people become complacent.
- Ebola is still raging in Sierra Leone.
- The terrors facing Central American beauty queens.
- A giant of Mexican leftist politics has resigned from the party he helped to found.
- Following a stint in the hospital, Argentina‘s president has made a public appearance.
- In Chile, two men who tortured the father of current President Bachelet to death under Pinochet have been imprisoned.
- The Canadian government was attacked by hackers mid-week.
- Canada’s new immigrant investor plan.
- Secretary of Defense Hagel has stepped down amidst pressure from the White House. The frontrunner to replace Hagel removed herself mid-week, leaving little indicator as to who a successor might be.
- A new court case on Facebook could yield ringing ramifications.
- Same-sex marriage is coming to Mississippi and Arkansas.
- Restrictions on ozone emissions are set to be announced.