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:

South Asia:

  • The death sentence has been upheld for the man who killed Punjab governor Salman Taseer in 2011. Taseer was a critic of Pakistan‘s blasphemy laws and was assassinated by his bodyguard.
  • Pakistani troops have raided the headquarters of the controversial MQM party.
  • The country has lifted its seven-year execution ban.
  • A lack of toilets in Pakistan is being linked to stunted growth and difficulties with brain development.
  • Pakistan has tested a nuclear missile that could really, really mess with its southern neighbor.
  • A Taliban splinter group is now rejoining the Taliban.
  • Pakistan has released one of the militants responsible for the 2008 Mumbai bombings.
  • Peace efforts in Afghanistan are drawing fire regarding old Afghan-Pakistani tensions.
  • An agreement is set to legalize the standing of Afghan refugees stranded in Pakistan.
  • WaPo profiles Afghanistan’s women-only cycling team in an interesting piece this week.
  • The body of a female former parliamentarian, Shehla Atta, was found this week.
  • India’s NDTV has stopped broadcasting in protest against the country’s ban of India’s Daughter, a documentary digging into the 2012 rape and murder of a young woman.
  • A mob in Nagaland have been charged with the murder of a rapist they pulled from a prison and killed.
  • India is setting a target to clean the Ganges river.
  • As a scandal surrounding former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh continues to grow, Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi is heading a solidarity movement aiming to protect Singh.
  • Hindu fervor is threatening India’s beef boom.
  • An Indian doctor has designed a self-defense weapon for women.
  • Prime Minister Modi has been making the rounds in countries surrounded by the Indian Ocean, strengthening ties with Seychelles specifically.
  • Sri Lanka will investigate war crimes and abuses that many allege took place during the country’s 26-year civil war.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • A recent raiding and detention of several women’s rights activists in China casts a shadow over the country’s growing giant.
  • The foreign ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea are set to meet to discuss an East Asian summit.
  • Police in Burma attacked student protesters who were acting out against a law they claim stifles academic freedom.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • The president of the European commission thinks the EU needs its own army, as Russia looms large.
  • Detentions and charges are being made in the murder of Putin foe Boris Nemtsov; they hail from the troubled Caucuses region, more specifically Chechnya. Reports indicate confessions from the suspects may have been obtained through torture, a claim which has been backed up by human rights advocates. Russia has a history of blaming Muslims for crimes.
  • France’s far-right National Front party has been referred to the EU anti-fraud body regarding charges it mishandled funds.
  • Two Swiss citizens have launched an ambitious project to pilot a solar-powered plane around the globe.
  • Greece has threatened new elections if the Eurozone rejects its fiscal measures. The government has also threatened to seize German property as payment for war crimes abuses.
  • Silvio Berlusconi, everyone’s favorite Italian politician, is planning to make a comeback following his acquittal over charges that he engaged the services of an underage prostitute.
  • Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are reportedly seeing inroads from Daesh/ISIS.
  • An escalating feud between Sweden and Saudi Arabia has the latter recalling diplomats from the former.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • As Daesh/ISIS continues to destroy art, Iraqis are rushing to save it. The ancient city of Hatra was reportedly destroyed earlier in past weeks, capping off a long list of historical destructions wrought by the organization. A US general said the country will ‘consider‘ stepping in to stop the destruction.
  • The terrorist group is fraying from within. One of the many reasons? They prioritize foreign fighters.
  • The Kurdish peshmerga are moving to retake Tikrit from the militants and seemed to have succeeded by mid-week to an extent and as of this morning the battle was ongoing.
  • Syria’s AIDS patients are suffering in silence.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has once again drawn doubts that he actually believes in a viable Palestinian state.
  • Palestinian forces arrested a sizable number of Hamas members in a West Bank raid this week.
  • Israel’s Arab List: A surprise and a potential game-changer. | But only if it plays ball. | Will Netanyahu’s biggest competitor be willing to sacrifice his values for the halls of power? Al-Monitor ponders this.
  • A Palestinian Israeli man was killed by a young boy in one of Daesh/ISIS more shocking murders to date.
  • Egypt has carried out its first execution of a Muslim Brotherhood supporter.
  • Opinion: The West needs to stop picking sides in Libya.
  • Daesh/ISIS kidnapped around ten foreign oil workers in the war-torn country early on in the week.
  • Carnegie Europe has a close monitoring of Tunisia’s small democracy and its steps towards progress.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Boko Haram have pledged their allegiance to Daesh/ISIS.
  • Chad and Niger have launched a joint offensive against Boko Haram in Nigeria following cross-border attacks. Boko Haram is targeting Arabs in response to Chad’s involvement.
  • A female teenage suicide bomber killed nearly 35 people at a market place in northeastern Nigeria.
  • A reporter in South Africa was mugged on live TV seconds before delivering his piece.
  • Morocco has recalled its ambassador to Nigeria following a claim by its president that he had spoken with Morocco’s king.
  • An American aid worker with Ebola is being flown from Sierra Leone to Maryland for treatment.
  • In East Africa, albinos are murdered without ease.

Americas:

  • The small Caribbean country of St. Lucia reportedly has been keeping death lists.
  • Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff is calling on her countrymen to support her austerity measures, despite near-global proof that austerity doesn’t work.
  • Brazil has also introduced a powerful new femicide law.
  • A Mexican mayoral candidate was found decapitated in the country’s northern Guerrero state.
  • The US has declared Venezuela a top security threat.
  • Cuba and the US have reestablished phone contact for the first time in fifteen years.
  • Colombian FARC rebels have come to an agreement with the government in order to clear the country’s landmines.
  • A New Jersey senator is preparing to face corruption charges.
  • Republicans have decided to go over the president’s head and address a letter to Iran, would likely appreciate the same happening when there is next a Republican president in office.
  • An Oklahoma fraternity has been banned following a racist chant that went viral.
  • Scott Walker hates unions, the working class, human dignity, puppies, etc.
  • The Ferguson City Manager cited in a Justice Department report has resigned. Meanwhile two police officers were shot in Ferguson near an on-going protest, though reports indicate the two incidents were not connected.

Oceania:

  • Australia is probing reports that a teenage suicide bomber in Iraq may have been an Australian citizen.

Weekly Wow: Out of Selma. | Indian widows celebrate Holi. | Unwelcome images of life in Iran. | The parkour guide to the Strip.

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