Weekly News Round-Up 3/23/15-3/27/15: Plane Down & Yemen On Fire

Happy birthday Obamacare, and happy chilly spring to District residents. It’s been a scary week for planes and for Bowe Bergdahl, as well as an eventful week in Yemen (where Saudi Arabia and Iran are waging a proxy war with assistance from basically every major player you could name). American forces began strikes in the Iraqi city of Tikrit against Daesh, and Amnesty International thinks both Hamas and the IDF played dirty in last summer’s Gaza war. Enjoy the spring weather this weekend, everyone — and give the first songs off the new Muse album a listen while you’re at it. Apologies if YouTube is unavailable in your country. (Added wonk encouragement: the album’s title is Drones, and here the terrifying gliders are metaphors for man as a killing machine.)

 

The aurora borealis, or the northern lights as they are commonly known, are seen over Derwent Water near Keswick, United Kingdom on March 18, 2015.
The aurora borealis, or the northern lights as they are commonly known, are seen over Derwent Water near Keswick, United Kingdom on March 18, 2015.
A child climbs on a block of earth under an uprooted tree on March 19 near Port Vila after Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Thousands of people were left homeless by the fierce cyclone and continue to remain stuck in shelters across Vanuatu, waiting for help after their villages were flattened last Saturday.
A child climbs on a block of earth under an uprooted tree on March 19 near Port Vila after Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Thousands of people were left homeless by the fierce cyclone and continue to remain stuck in shelters across Vanuatu, waiting for help after their villages were flattened last Saturday.
Police use water cannons to disperse protesters led by the opposition Congress party in New Delhi on March 16. Police baton-charged and fired water cannons at demonstrators rallying in the Indian capital against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's land reforms, which they say will harm the country's millions of farmers.
Police use water cannons to disperse protesters led by the opposition Congress party in New Delhi on March 16. Police baton-charged and fired water cannons at demonstrators rallying in the Indian capital against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s land reforms, which they say will harm the country’s millions of farmers.
An Israeli soldier casts his ballot for the parliamentary election behind a mobile voting booth in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Migdalim, near Ariel, on March 17. Millions of Israelis voted on Tuesday in a tightly fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu securing a fourth term in office.
An Israeli soldier casts his ballot for the parliamentary election behind a mobile voting booth in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Migdalim, near Ariel, on March 17. Millions of Israelis voted on Tuesday in a tightly fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu securing a fourth term in office.
A victim is evacuated by rescue workers outside the Bardo museum in Tunis, on March 18, in Tunis, Tunisia. Gunmen opened fire at a leading museum in Tunisia's capital, killing 19 people including 17 tourists, the Tunisian Prime Minister said. A later raid by security forces left two gunmen and one security officer dead but ended the standoff, Tunisian authorities said.
A victim is evacuated by rescue workers outside the Bardo museum in Tunis, on March 18, in Tunis, Tunisia. Gunmen opened fire at a leading museum in Tunisia’s capital, killing 19 people including 17 tourists, the Tunisian Prime Minister said. A later raid by security forces left two gunmen and one security officer dead but ended the standoff, Tunisian authorities said.
Women from the Christian community mourn for a relative, who was one of the victims killed by a suicide attack on a church, during his funeral in Lahore, Pakistan on March 17. Suicide bombings outside two churches in Lahore killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 others during services on Sunday in attacks claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
Women from the Christian community mourn for a relative, who was one of the victims killed by a suicide attack on a church, during his funeral in Lahore, Pakistan on March 17. Suicide bombings outside two churches in Lahore killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 others during services on Sunday in attacks claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
Fadila Efendic prays near memorial plaques at the Potocari genocide memorial centre near Srebrenica, on March 18. Fadila lost her son and husband in the Srebrenica massacre. Serbia arrested eight men on Wednesday suspected of taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, the first such arrests in the ex-Yugoslav republic of accused gunmen in Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.
Fadila Efendic prays near memorial plaques at the Potocari genocide memorial centre near Srebrenica, on March 18. Fadila lost her son and husband in the Srebrenica massacre. Serbia arrested eight men on Wednesday suspected of taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, the first such arrests in the ex-Yugoslav republic of accused gunmen in Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.

images / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

  • Pakistan’s military courts are out of control.
  • Conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz (he of the Canadian citizenship) announced his candidacy for president on Monday. You heard it here last.
  • Starbucks is done with its #RaceTogether efforts–at least when it comes to writing on cups.
  • Attention DC residents: Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest footballer (soccer player) in the world is in town.
  • There’s an Arkansas bill in the works that would force you to let your boss snoop your Facebook. As if you needed yet one more reason to delete it.
  • Why American Jews vote Democrat, explained.
  • Fracking is finally being regulated. Some people aren’t pleased.
  • Personal plug: Your blogger wrote a piece for Muftah on the Kremlin’s propensity towards blaming Chechens for political crimes.

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 3/23/15-3/27/15: Plane Down & Yemen On Fire”

Weekly News Round-Up 3/16/15-3/20/15: Total Eclipse Of The Heart / One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

Happy Nowruz (Persian New Year) to all and  a happy belated St. Patrick’s Day to the Irish diaspora — your heritage and culture are rich and proud, no matter what Tony Abbott says (scroll down if confused.) This week saw a tragic attack in Tunisia, an equally tragic shooting rampage in Arizona, the controversial re-election of Israel’s right-wing leader (who apparently is both racist and proud of Israeli Arabs, both for a two-state solution and against it, and both pro-yarmulke and not prone to wearing one), and arrests are being made in Serbia regarding war crimes carried out two decades ago in Bosnia. Cheery week. Flip side: Europe had a super cool eclipse.

 

The Faroe Islands and Svalbard in the Arctic Circle were the only places to experience a total eclipse.
The Faroe Islands and Svalbard in the Arctic Circle were the only places to experience a total eclipse.
People gathered for the start of a total solar eclipse in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. Hotels in the area had been fully booked for months. Stargazers in the town got totality for a full two minutes, which started just before 09:41 GMT.
People gathered for the start of a total solar eclipse in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. Hotels in the area had been fully booked for months. Stargazers in the town got totality for a full two minutes, which started just before 09:41 GMT.
A soldier walks past graffiti depicting angel wings, by artist Colette Miller, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
A soldier walks past graffiti depicting angel wings, by artist Colette Miller, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Tunisians holding candles pray at the entrance to the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, where an attack by gunmen on Wednesday left 23 people dead including 20 foreign tourists and a police officer.
Tunisians holding candles pray at the entrance to the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, where an attack by gunmen on Wednesday left 23 people dead including 20 foreign tourists and a police officer.
Tadjik women throw water on men from a roof top as they celebrate the coming of spring in Kashgar, China.
Tadjik women throw water on men from a roof top as they celebrate the coming of spring in Kashgar, China.

bbc / in pictures

Assorted Stand-Outs:

  • The subject of a crime series (entitled The Jinx) has been arrested.
  • Apparently Jeb likes private emails too.
  • Mandatory voting?
  • Starbucks wants its baristas to talk about race…
  • Meanwhile a young black student was severely beaten by police officers this week. Over a fake ID.
  • A neo-Nazi recently went on a shooting rampage in Arizona.
  • Qantara has a piece on linguistical retention for Kurds in exile.
  • One transgender teenage girl is significantly cooler than most of us combined.
  • If you have a moral opposition to fraternities, Penn State is only going to seal that deal for you.
  • A guide to Tuesday’s Israeli election, for those confused by Israeli politics.
  • WaPo has a follow-up on the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative.
  • Personal plug: Your blogger wrote about, without a touch of bias, the rights of a blogger in Tunisia for Muftah.

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 3/16/15-3/20/15: Total Eclipse Of The Heart / One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State”

Weekly News Round-Up 3/9/15-3/13/15: Gatecrashers

Spring has arrived in the District — and so have spring showers. Everyone, you’ll be warmer this week, but damper. Meanwhile Iraqi forces are coming close to ousting the militant insurgency in Tikrit, Hillary is still having email woes, Israel’s election has suddenly gotten more interesting, student protesters are being detained in Burma (Myanmar), justice is arriving slowly in Ferguson, and there are two very unlucky Secret Service agents somewhere out there in the world. Don’t party and drive into the White House, kids. 

Madeleine Klonoski, 2, sits on her father's leg at a kite festival in Redondo Beach, Calif. on March 8, 2015.
Madeleine Klonoski, 2, sits on her father’s leg at a kite festival in Redondo Beach, Calif. on March 8, 2015.
A protester holds a plank to hide from a police water cannon on March 11, in Istanbul, during clashes following a protest in memory of a teenager killed in 2013 anti-government demonstrations and whose death has become a rallying cause for opponents of the Turkish president. The protesters were marking the first anniversary of the death of Berkin Elvan who died on March 11, 2014, after spending 269 days in a coma due to injuries sustained when he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by police in the mass protests of early summer 2013.
A protester holds a plank to hide from a police water cannon on March 11, in Istanbul, during clashes following a protest in memory of a teenager killed in 2013 anti-government demonstrations and whose death has become a rallying cause for opponents of the Turkish president. The protesters were marking the first anniversary of the death of Berkin Elvan who died on March 11, 2014, after spending 269 days in a coma due to injuries sustained when he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by police in the mass protests of early summer 2013.
A Russia-backed female rebel fighter watches as colleagues perform during a beauty contest involving women from the main separatist battalions in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 7. Self-proclaimed authorities in the rebel-held Donetsk held a beauty pageant for female rebel fighters on the eve of March 8, a women's day widely celebrated throughout the former Soviet Union.
A Russia-backed female rebel fighter watches as colleagues perform during a beauty contest involving women from the main separatist battalions in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 7. Self-proclaimed authorities in the rebel-held Donetsk held a beauty pageant for female rebel fighters on the eve of March 8, a women’s day widely celebrated throughout the former Soviet Union.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in a rally supporting the United Torah Judaism party in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv March 11. Israelis will vote in a parliamentary election on March 17, choosing among party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in a rally supporting the United Torah Judaism party in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv March 11. Israelis will vote in a parliamentary election on March 17, choosing among party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset.
Police hit a student protester during violence in Letpadan, Myanmar on March 10. After weeks of escalating tensions, Myanmar police cracked down on students who have taken to the streets to protest a new education bill, which they say restricts academic freedom. Authorities said more than 100 people have been arrested as police on Tuesday pummeled the protesters with batons and dragged them into trucks.
Police hit a student protester during violence in Letpadan, Myanmar on March 10. After weeks of escalating tensions, Myanmar police cracked down on students who have taken to the streets to protest a new education bill, which they say restricts academic freedom. Authorities said more than 100 people have been arrested as police on Tuesday pummeled the protesters with batons and dragged them into trucks.
 Bullet holes and blood surround a note thought to be written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the boat where he was apprehended in Watertown, Mass. The government released transcripts and stills of notes, scratched directly on to the boat, on March 10.  Tsarnaev is being prosecuted for the 2013 Boston Marathon blasts that killed three people and injured dozens at the race's finish line.

Bullet holes and blood surround a note thought to be written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the boat where he was apprehended in Watertown, Mass. The government released transcripts and stills of notes, scratched directly on to the boat, on March 10.
Tsarnaev is being prosecuted for the 2013 Boston Marathon blasts that killed three people and injured dozens at the race’s finish line.
The mother and father of Muhammed Musallam, an Israeli-Arab held by ISIS in Syria as an alleged spy, react beside a picture of him in their East Jerusalem home on Feb. 12.  ISIS on Tuesday claimed to execute Musallam in a video that also featured the startling inclusion of a boy wearing an ISIS uniform — who appears to just be in his early teenage years. Musallam is shot point blank in the head, apparently by the boy, who can be seen pointing the gun at the hostage before a close-up of the execution.
The mother and father of Muhammed Musallam, an Israeli-Arab held by ISIS in Syria as an alleged spy, react beside a picture of him in their East Jerusalem home on Feb. 12.
ISIS on Tuesday claimed to execute Musallam in a video that also featured the startling inclusion of a boy wearing an ISIS uniform — who appears to just be in his early teenage years. Musallam is shot point blank in the head, apparently by the boy, who can be seen pointing the gun at the hostage before a close-up of the execution.

images / nbcnews Assorted Stand-Outs:

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 3/9/15-3/13/15: Gatecrashers”

Weekly News Round-Up 3/2/15-3/6/15: Emails, Errors, & Social Justice Failures

Welcome back from your snow day, DC residents. This week is a bad one for Hillary Clinton, human rights advocates, anyone who cares about historic landmarks, basically every minority everywhere, and potentially advocates for same-sex marriage and health care. Happy Friday! (Bright spot: Here are Muslim students in Karachi forming a ring to allow minority Hindus to celebrate Holi in peace.)

A Ukrainian coal miner waits for a bus after exiting the underground of the Zasyadko mine, where he helped search for bodies of colleagues and clear up debris following an explosion, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 4, 2015. The explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing 33 miners.
A Ukrainian coal miner waits for a bus after exiting the underground of the Zasyadko mine, where he helped search for bodies of colleagues and clear up debris following an explosion, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 4, 2015. The explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing 33 miners.
A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officer stands near a burning pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory seized in Kenya at Nairobi National Park on March 3, the largest amount of contraband ivory burned in Africa to date. The pile was offically burned by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to mark World Wildlife Day and African Environment day. An average of 30,000 elephants are poached every year in Africa.
A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officer stands near a burning pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory seized in Kenya at Nairobi National Park on March 3, the largest amount of contraband ivory burned in Africa to date. The pile was offically burned by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to mark World Wildlife Day and African Environment day. An average of 30,000 elephants are poached every year in Africa.
A house is covered with snow from an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 27. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday.
A house is covered with snow from an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 27. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday.
Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan on Feb. 25. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Originally introduced to the mile-long island of Aoshima to deal with mice that plagued fishermen's boats, the cats stayed on - and multiplied.
Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan on Feb. 25. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Originally introduced to the mile-long island of Aoshima to deal with mice that plagued fishermen’s boats, the cats stayed on – and multiplied.
A woman with colored powder on her face joins celebrations of the Holi festival in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, Philippines, on March 1. The event is led by Indian nationals as they mark Holi, a Hindu spring festival also known as festival of colors.
A woman with colored powder on her face joins celebrations of the Holi festival in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, Philippines, on March 1. The event is led by Indian nationals as they mark Holi, a Hindu spring festival also known as festival of colors.
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, center, gets into a car to leave for a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, on March 5 after being attacked by a man. Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a blade and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified, South Korean police said Thursday.
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, center, gets into a car to leave for a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, on March 5 after being attacked by a man. Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a blade and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified, South Korean police said Thursday.
Russian police investigate the the body of Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition leader at Red Square with St. Basil Cathedral in the background in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 28. Russia's Interior Ministry says Boris Nemtsov, a leading opposition figure and former deputy prime minister, was shot and killed near the Kremlin early Saturday. His death came just a day before a major opposition rally in Moscow.
Russian police investigate the the body of Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition leader at Red Square with St. Basil Cathedral in the background in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 28. Russia’s Interior Ministry says Boris Nemtsov, a leading opposition figure and former deputy prime minister, was shot and killed near the Kremlin early Saturday. His death came just a day before a major opposition rally in Moscow.

images / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 3/2/15-3/6/15: Emails, Errors, & Social Justice Failures”