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.
images / nbcnews Assorted Stand-Outs:
- Read of the week: Antisemitism and Islamophobia go hand in hand.
- Florida, a state suffering greatly from climate change, is banning the words “climate change.”
- The amazing solar planed has landed in India, and will fly next to the holy city of Varanasi.
- Bergdahl drama.
- An Indian bride who is a model for all womankind walked out on a man because he failed a math test.
- The murder of an Iraqi refugee has Texas Muslims on edge.
- These Secret Service agents had a little bit too much fun.
- The NSA is being sued over rights violations.
- In the US, studies find that pre-K works especially well for the children of immigrants.
- Southern Poverty Law Center brings you The State of Hate in America, which has found new life on the internet.
- Shameless self-promotion: your blogger has a piece up on the pending Bosnian war criminal trials over at Muftah.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Australia is probing reports that a teenage suicide bomber in Iraq may have been an Australian citizen.