Weekly News Round-Up 1/26/15-1/30/15: Restraint, Resolve, Retaliation

Greetings from the other side of a blizzard. Much of the northeastern US was battered this weekend (or less than battered, we hear you were prepared though NYC) and Boston is still recovering from its mountain of snow. Meanwhile confusion has erupted regarding a hostage exchange between everyone’s least-favorite terrorist “state”, Jordan, and Japan; Californians might want to start vaccinating their children; Greece has held what will likely be an historic election; and Hezbollah and Israel are alternating between punching one another and showing a remarkable amount of restraint. Additionally the world marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with the oft-repeated “Never again” vow that seems to be falling on deaf ears in much of Europe.

Jennifer Rice and Mike Femia battle wind-driven snow as they make their way to their jobs at a pharmaceutical lab, as seen through a window, on Jan 27, 2015, in downtown Portland, Maine.  Its winds howling at more than 70 mph, the Blizzard of 2015 slammed Boston and surrounding parts of New England on Tuesday piling up more than 2 feet of snow.
Jennifer Rice and Mike Femia battle wind-driven snow as they make their way to their jobs at a pharmaceutical lab, as seen through a window, on Jan 27, 2015, in downtown Portland, Maine.
Its winds howling at more than 70 mph, the Blizzard of 2015 slammed Boston and surrounding parts of New England on Tuesday piling up more than 2 feet of snow.
Dexter Newcomb begins cleanup at his house in Scituate, Mass., on Jan. 28, the day after a winter storm left his neighborhood coated in frozen sea spray and sand.
Dexter Newcomb begins cleanup at his house in Scituate, Mass., on Jan. 28, the day after a winter storm left his neighborhood coated in frozen sea spray and sand.
Housing rights defenders shout from a window as they arrive to the appeals court in Phnom Penh, on Jan. 26. Ten housing rights defenders and a Buddhist monk, all jailed after peaceful protests in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh in November last year, heard their appeal verdict after authorities accused them last year of obstructing public traffic and insulting public officials.
Housing rights defenders shout from a window as they arrive to the appeals court in Phnom Penh, on Jan. 26. Ten housing rights defenders and a Buddhist monk, all jailed after peaceful protests in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh in November last year, heard their appeal verdict after authorities accused them last year of obstructing public traffic and insulting public officials.
A Kurdish man stands in a destroyed building in the center of the Syrian city of Kobani, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier on Jan. 26 in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq.
A Kurdish man stands in a destroyed building in the center of the Syrian city of Kobani, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier on Jan. 26 in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq.
A glow produced by a Noctiluca scintillans algal bloom is seen along the seashore in Hong Kong on Jan. 22. The luminescence, also called Sea Sparkle, is triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, according to University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye. Noctiluca itself does not produce neurotoxins like other similar organisms do. But its role as both prey and predator tends can eventually magnify the accumulation of toxins in the food chain, according to R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University.
A glow produced by a Noctiluca scintillans algal bloom is seen along the seashore in Hong Kong on Jan. 22. The luminescence, also called Sea Sparkle, is triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, according to University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye. Noctiluca itself does not produce neurotoxins like other similar organisms do. But its role as both prey and predator tends can eventually magnify the accumulation of toxins in the food chain, according to R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University.
A flock of colored pigeons fly during a pigeon-breeding competition in the southern Spanish village of Bollullos de la Mitacion, on Jan. 27.
A flock of colored pigeons fly during a pigeon-breeding competition in the southern Spanish village of Bollullos de la Mitacion, on Jan. 27.
Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Al-Oud cemetery in Riyadh on Jan. 23 following his death in the early hours of the morning. Foreign leaders gathered in the Saudi capital for the funeral of the ruler of the world's top oil exporter and the spiritual home of Islam.
Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah at the Al-Oud cemetery in Riyadh on Jan. 23 following his death in the early hours of the morning. Foreign leaders gathered in the Saudi capital for the funeral of the ruler of the world’s top oil exporter and the spiritual home of Islam.
Swans swim over a lake as steam ascends above the water during sunset near the village of Urozhainy, Russia on Jan. 26. About 600 swans annually migrate to the lake, which is heated by warm springs, where they spend their winter feeding on yagers which helps them to survive severe cold.
Swans swim over a lake as steam ascends above the water during sunset near the village of Urozhainy, Russia on Jan. 26. About 600 swans annually migrate to the lake, which is heated by warm springs, where they spend their winter feeding on yagers which helps them to survive severe cold.

images / nbcnews

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Weekly News Round-Up 01/19/15-01/23/15: State of Disunion

A happy belated MLK Day to American readers! (MLK Day was marked by protests over the tragic and unnecessary murders of black men all over the country by police officers. There will also be no civil rights charges for former officer Darren Wilson.) This week the King of the House of Saud is dead, Yemen’s government has been toppled by Houthi rebels, Congress is courting conservative Israeli PM Netanyahu to the most extreme objections of the White House, India is preparing for Obama, Pakistan has no fuel, Japan is racing the clock (more or less — it officially ran out today) to save the lives of two of its militant-held hostages, and France’s Jewish and Muslim communities are struggling to balance identity politics with nationalism – for very different reasons. Quite the week. 

 

Sutents protesting the loss of their playground push down a fence erected around their school's playground in Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 19. Police were seen firing at least three canisters of tear gas just outside the Langata Primary School as several hundred tried to knock down a wall surrounding the playground in protest at what they called an illegal "land grab" to turn it into a car park.
Sutents protesting the loss of their playground push down a fence erected around their school’s playground in Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 19. Police were seen firing at least three canisters of tear gas just outside the Langata Primary School as several hundred tried to knock down a wall surrounding the playground in protest at what they called an illegal “land grab” to turn it into a car park.
Thousands march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge along with members of the cast of the movie "Selma" in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18, in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, King led thousands of nonviolent protesters on a march through Selma to the state capitol in a historic civil rights demonstration.
Thousands march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge along with members of the cast of the movie “Selma” in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18, in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, King led thousands of nonviolent protesters on a march through Selma to the state capitol in a historic civil rights demonstration.
Mourners gather around a coffin bearing Artiam, 4, who was killed in a Ukrainian army artillery strike, during his funeral in Kuivisevsky district on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Jan. 20. At least three civilians were killed in shelling Tuesday in eastern Ukraine as fighting continued between government and rebel forces in the separatist-held city of Donetsk.
Mourners gather around a coffin bearing Artiam, 4, who was killed in a Ukrainian army artillery strike, during his funeral in Kuivisevsky district on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Jan. 20. At least three civilians were killed in shelling Tuesday in eastern Ukraine as fighting continued between government and rebel forces in the separatist-held city of Donetsk.
A Nepalese opposition politician lifts a chair during a brawl in Nepal's parliament in Kathmandu on Jan. 20. Opposition parties staged a general strike to shut down Nepal on Tuesday as opposition politicians threw chairs and attacked the parliamentary speaker in a bid to block the government from pushing through a draft of a new constitution.
A Nepalese opposition politician lifts a chair during a brawl in Nepal’s parliament in Kathmandu on Jan. 20. Opposition parties staged a general strike to shut down Nepal on Tuesday as opposition politicians threw chairs and attacked the parliamentary speaker in a bid to block the government from pushing through a draft of a new constitution.
Kashmiri Muslim villagers carry the body of Ishfaq Ahmed Malik, a suspected local militant, during his funeral procession in Arwani, south of Srinagar, India, on Jan. 16. Indian soldiers and police killed five suspected rebels during a fierce gun battle Thursday in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said.
Kashmiri Muslim villagers carry the body of Ishfaq Ahmed Malik, a suspected local militant, during his funeral procession in Arwani, south of Srinagar, India, on Jan. 16. Indian soldiers and police killed five suspected rebels during a fierce gun battle Thursday in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said.

images / nbcnews

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Weekly News Round-Up 1/12/15-1/16/15: A Whole New-Old World

Welcome back! It’s 2015 and this blog is finally back in the States! The new year has already brought significant chaos: violence in France has kicked off an international debate on free speech and left the country’s Muslims under attack and its Jews eying mass immigration to Israel. A massacre in Nigeria orchestrated by Boko Haram has left the country further stunned, and in the US House Republicans are clashing increasingly with their slightly more moderate Senate counterparts as much as with President Obama. Additionally as a planet we are destroying the world’s oceans and apparently are close to violating the limits of what Earth can offer us. Comforting. Happy 2015, and a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend to the Americans following this blog!

More than 3 million people took part in unity marches across France after 17 people died during three days of deadly attacks in Paris. The marchers wanted to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket.
More than 3 million people took part in unity marches across France after 17 people died during three days of deadly attacks in Paris. The marchers wanted to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket.
Indian fishermen on their way to take part in a community fishing event at the Magh Bihu festival in Assam, India. The festival marks the end of the winter harvesting.
Indian fishermen on their way to take part in a community fishing event at the Magh Bihu festival in Assam, India. The festival marks the end of the winter harvesting.
In Mexico, a protester confronts military police officers during a demonstration by relatives and activists of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College who disappeared in September. National prosecutors say police handed the students to criminal gangs who murdered them and burnt their bodies, but only one student's remains have been identified.
In Mexico, a protester confronts military police officers during a demonstration by relatives and activists of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College who disappeared in September. National prosecutors say police handed the students to criminal gangs who murdered them and burnt their bodies, but only one student’s remains have been identified.

images / bbc

Assorted Stand-Outs:

 

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