As we draw near to the end of 2014, a note from the blog re travel plans — your blogger will be in Pakistan for two and a half weeks starting next week. Updates are not expected to cease entirely but they may come at odd times. As far as this week goes, it’s been a tragic one. Prayers, thoughts, and condolences with the cities of Peshawar and Sydney, the former of whom experienced a massacre and the latter of whom lost three lives at the beginning of the week. These are hard times. Elsewhere in the world, North Korea is being accused of hacking SONY, Cuba’s embargo is on its way out, and Americans don’t seem to mind that their country illegally tortured people. Meanwhile college is getting more and more expensive and millennials are suffering across the board. Despite less than happy tidings, a beautiful and light-filled Chanukkah to Jews across the world — Chag sameach!
images / nbcnews
- A Pessimist’s Guide to the World in 2015.
- #illridewithyou | #IndiaWithPakistan
- Over 140 people, most of them children, were massacred on Tuesday by the Pakistani Taliban as an act of revenge for military action in the country’s north. Reports maintain that children were shot, stabbed, and beheaded, and at least one teacher was set on fire.
- Cuba libre.
- One Syrian woman has been filming her life in Daesh/ISIS-controlled Raqqa.
- Mass protests around the world in solidarity with slain American black men can be summed up in one visual.
- The college trap that keeps Americans poor.
- Everyone should travel.
- In Egypt and in Turkey, free speech is being curbed.
- Americans are apparently okay with their country illegally torturing people.
- Life on Mars.
- The five people who tried to stop CIA torture tactics are here.
- Inside the failed attempt to save the life of one American hostage.
South & Central Asia:
- In Afghanistan terror attacks have spiked dramatically.
- Afghanistan is stepping up talks with Kazakhstan.
- Can Ashraf Ghani steer a shift in AfPak relations?
- PTI leader Imran Khan attempted to shut down the city of Lahore in Pakistan on Monday, causing many workers to stay home. Khan has been traveling the country in an effort to raise support for a new round of elections in the country. His efforts have stopped as of Wednesday in light of the tragedy mentioned below.
- The most wide-scale tragedy this week was the Taliban-led storming of a military school in Peshawar, KP, where over 130 people, the vast majority of them children under the age of 16, were brutally murdered.
- Pakistan has approved bail for a terrorist linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (India is outraged.)
- In the wake of the massacre, Pakistan has lifted the ban on the death penalty and called upon Afghanistan to assist in locating Taliban top commanders. The country claimed to have killed 62 militants as of Friday morning.
- India has banned Daesh/ISIS.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A new article argues that it’s time to come clean about Indonesia’s anti-communist massacre in the 1960s.
- Japan’s ruling coalition coasted to victory admist low turnout and will remain in power for the next four years.
- A 19 year-old American marine has been charged with murdering a transgender woman in the Philippines.
- An American man has been paraded in North Korea for denouncing the U.S.
- Nut rage in South Korea…
- Tibet’s leader-in-exile says he may be the last to hold his title.
- Residents in Beijing can barely breathe.
- In Cambodia an unlicensed physician may have given over 100 people HIV with contaminated needles.
Europe & Eurasia:
- In Chechnya, the war goes on.
- Russia’s military antics are concerning everyone, namely Sweden and Poland.
- The Russian ruble is crumbling.
- Opinion: In Spain, the left CAN win.
- Belgium labor unions were on strike on Monday protesting austerity measures.
- Anti-immigrant marches in Germany are ongoing.
- In Turkey, more protests as trial looms for protesters. | Another Turkish witch hunt.
- An EU court has removed Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Muftah’s LGBTQ sexualities in the Middle East & North Africa series is worth checking out.
- Washington and Europe wait to see if PM Netanyahu will stay or go as Israel’s elections approach.
- U.S. Secretary of State Kerry met with Netanyahu to discuss Palestine’s upcoming UN bid. | A Jordanian-submitted bill outlining Palestinian demands for statehood is being submitted.
- The true power couple of the Israeli election?
- Israelis shot and killed a Palestinian man in a clash earlier in the week.
- Gaza’s universities are struggling.
- Corruption in Bahrain runs rampant.
- Following controversy surrounding ghost soldiers, Iraq must now contend with ghost contractors following heavy rains.
- Iraq’s new premier has his work cut out for him.
- Syria’s LGBTQ community finds Damascus more open.
- Kurdish forces say they are holding Mount Sinjar despite hits.
- A mass grave found in Syria this week is believed to house the bodies of a tribe who fought Daesh/ISIS over the summer.
- One Saudi Arabian cleric is facing backlash over his small measures of support for women.
- Some background on the CAR’s hidden and raging conflict.
- Via Devex: Why natural resources matter in Nambia.
- Sudan’s leader has declared victory following a decision by the ICC to abandon an investigation into war crimes committed in the Darfur region.
- In the shadows of a civil war, Ebola continues to rage in Sierra Leone. |
- Boko Haram’s new weapon in Nigeria: Young women.
- Nigerian soldiers will face the death penalty for mutinying by refusing to fight Boko Haram. | Boko Haram recently killed 32 people and kidnapped over 180.
- Op-ed (John Kerry and Susan Rice): South Sudan‘s leaders need to set aside their dispute.
- A Kenyan security bill has stirred outrage.
- In Venezuela, a gathering storm as oil prices plummet.
- Haiti’s prime minister has quit amidst an election dispute.
- Climate talks are ongoing in Lima, Peru.
- In an historic decision, the U.S. and Cuba are restoring full ties. Which is good since that embargo was a terrible idea.
- SONY would really like the media to not pass around its dirty laundry. | And also don’t piss off North Korea.
- Meet Jeb Bush.
- Vivek Murphy has finally been confirmed by the Senate.
- The president is set for a big fight re the Treasury.
- Gay culture’s misogyny problem.
- USAID’s Rajiv Shah has resigned.
- Governor Cuomo has banned fracking in New York and all signs point to that being a good thing.
- Contractor Alan Gross has been released from Cuba after serving five years in prison.
- Paying your rent in the U.S. is really, really hard.
- Presidential brushes with racism.
- The US is suing New York over cruel and unusual punishment towards juveniles in prison.
- In a horrifying sequence of events a gunman held a group of people hostage for around 16 hours in a cafe in Sydney, Australia. Policemen were finally able to storm the cafe and liberate the hostages. Three people were killed, including the gunman, who was reportedly of Iranian descent and had many prior brushes with the law for a wide range of offenses.
- Australia’s problems reach beyond the hostage crisis.
- The gunman was a known rapist and suspected murderer.
- Meet the hero of the day, who was killed in his efforts.
- Eight children were found stabbed to death in a home in Australia’s north.
Weekly Wow: Mom of the year. | Five inspiring millennial women from the MENA* region (*blogger note, Malala Yousafzai is from South Central Asia.)