Congratulations to the Patriots, who won the Super Bowel (Superbowl Superb Owl?) this week…though Neil deGrasse Tyson’s opinion is all this blog cares about. (That and Missy Elliott.) Apart from that it’s been a somber week — a Jordanian pilot was burned alive in a cage in a move overwhelmingly condemned by people all over the world and one which has pushed his country to take on Daesh/ISIS with a fury. Greece and Germany are going head-to-head over debt while Germany and France multitask attempting to convince Russia and the Ukraine to simmer down. Reclusive author Harper Lee will publish a sequel-come-prequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, a bunch of parents in California won’t vaccinate their children, Australia’s prime minister may be on the way out, and Argentina’s president is struggling with both a case of casual racism and a case of casual murder accusations. Meanwhile TransAsia experienced another tragic plane loss and NYC saw a metro crash in what has to be a terrible week for transportation news.
And it’s only February (though DC also has had a remarkably warm winter in light of its northern neighbors being buried under snow).
- Mom, dad, donor?
- Striving for the perfect diet is probably making you sick.
- Don’t ever use the NYC subway system ever.
- The wonders (and Hollywood’s inability to properly capture it) of the female orgasm.
- Measles is sky-rocketing, risking political divisions, and dividing many. Not this blog.
- Parents are more willing to lie in front of boys than girls.
- To Kill A Mockingbird gets a sequel. Are you excited? THIS BLOG IS EXCITED.
- Coming to mourn Tahrir Square’s dead, one famed Egyptian activist joined them instead. Her death is serving as a rallying cry for young activists.
- Can the last hostages of Daesh/ISIS be saved? | The rise of the group according to Muftah. | Its abuse of children is horrific and depraved.
- Even Brian Williams tells lies sometimes.
- The fight for net neutrality continues, as feisty as ever.
- A plastics factory fire in Bangladesh killed 13 of its workers.
- The country’s opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, has been charged in an arson attack.
- Drought-ravaged southern Pakistan is turning to solar water treatment.
- Pakistan’s transgender community is taking a stand.
- A grenade was thrown earlier in the week at a road leading to multiple schools in Karachi. No one was injured.
- One Pakistani lawmaker has offered compensation to the families of the Charlie Hebdo attackers.
- Schools with poor security in Sindh are set to be shut down.
- ISIS/Daesh claims it has killed a Taliban commander in Afghanistan.
- Frustrated with a lack of success using both tribal codes and Western legal systems, many people are turning to the Taliban.
- Activists are protesting a lack of inclusion of women in new leader Ashraf Ghani’s proposed cabinet.
- A video of an Indian woman confronting her molester on a plane has gone viral.
- Multiple people were detained following a series of protests against recent attacks on churches in New Delhi.
- Hindu nationalism hates Valentine’s Day.
- A comeback may be happening for one of India’s biggest rabble-rousers.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Japan as a nation is experiencing national trauma and grief following the double execution of two hostages by Daesh/ISIS.
- Hong Kong-based protesters have returned to the streets to demand true universal suffrage.
- 90% of China’s cities failed to meet air quality standards.
- A renewed call to drop a series of questionable bills in Burma.
- Ongoing Islamophobia plagues Burma.
- The U.S. and North Korea are having talks about having talks.
- Shocked and horrified drivers watched as a TransAsia plane crashed into a bridge in Taiwan earlier this week, killing many of the passengers onboard.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Climate change is making Iceland grow in size.
- Also in Iceland news, the Norse gods are making a comeback.
- The National Front, a far-right party, are making gains in France.
- The struggle for France’s soul.
- French soliders guarding a Jewish site were attacked earlier in the week by a knife-wielding assailant.
- The U.S. is considering sending lethal aid to the Ukraine in the fight against pro-Russian separatists.
- Western Europe’s leaders are pushing for a new peace initiative.
- On a Greek tour for debt relief.
- Greece’s new leftist PM says no to ties.
- Can the Kurds save Turkish democracy?
- Turkey revokes rival Gulenist movement leader’s passport.
- A UN court has dismissed Croatia and Serbia’s dueling genocide claims.
- Remembering the dark side of Winston Churchill.
- Certain Italians think abortions are to blame for the global crisis.
- Political apathy could save true democracy in Slovenia.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Jordan began the week seeking information regarding its hostage air force pilot, with many Jordanians uniting against the militants holding him. In a tragic series of events, the pilot was reported burned alive by militants on Tuesday; that evening Jordan executed two militants in retaliation. (The UAE has left the coalition against the militants citing concern for its pilots.) Jordan has vowed continued revenge.
- Jordan has also returned its ambassador to Tel Aviv following a thaw in tensions.
- Following accusations of bias the leader of a probe into Israeli war crimes in Gaza has resigned. He has been replaced by a U.S. judge.
- A Bahraini news channel has ceased broadcast following its decision to air an interview with an opposition leader.
- Houthi rebels have set a deadline to resolve Yemen’s political crisis.
- Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia: A love story.
- Gulf countries are continuing in their regional pattern of curtailing free speech.
- One Egyptian journalist has been freed and deported and another is expected to be as well having renounced his citizenship.
- Tunisia’s secular Nida Tounes party is forming a coalition government with Islamist Ennhada.
- Algeria’s Amazighs celebrate a 3000 year-old festival.
- Baghdad’s night curfew finally ends.
- South Sudan‘s warring sides have signed another peace agreement.
- A Nigerian writer had some fun at the expense of Americans on Twitter recently.
- A blast moments after Nigeria’s President Goodluck left a rally seems to have been the work of Boko Haram.
- An attack at the Cameroonian border left 70 people dead (also the work of Boko Haram).
- Ebola rates ticked up for the first time in 2015 in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
- A Jewish prosecutor found dead prior to testifying on the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina had sent an interesting message to friends days before his likely murder. A draft of the arrest warrant for Argentina’s president has also been found.
- Just some casual racism from President Kirchner.
- Chile’s president is set to end the country’s abortion ban.
- Multiple senior executives of Brazilian-run Petrobas have resigned.
- A Metro-North train hit an SUV in New York, leading to one of the deadliest crashes in the train’s history,
- An Australian journalist working for Al Jazeera and held in Egypt has finally been freed.
- Tony Abbott faces growing revolt. And might get fired.
- Fiji will drop its colonial-inspired flag and replace it.