Weekly News Round-Up 3/30/15-4/3/15: Let’s Make A Deal

Millennials of the District, there is hope for us. Moreover there may be hope for mankind, as the Iran talks seem to have finally reached a breakthrough. This will do worlds to ease the economic burden many Iranians have faced under crushing sanctions, while also going a long way towards improving Iranian-American relations. In more depressing news, a university in Kenya saw a tragic assault by militant group al-Shabab late this week, leaving around 150 people dead. Meanwhile in Yemen….the entire Middle East and a contingent from South Asia and Africa have arrived. It’s getting packed in the Peninsula.

 

Girls take part in a Palm Sunday procession during Mass at the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Laguna in Tenerife, Canary Islands, on March 29. Palm Sunday is celebrated the week before Easter and commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Girls take part in a Palm Sunday procession during Mass at the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Laguna in Tenerife, Canary Islands, on March 29. Palm Sunday is celebrated the week before Easter and commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Kurdish fighters rest in a house on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, on March 30. Kurdish and allied forces drove out ISIS fighters on Jan. 26.
Kurdish fighters rest in a house on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, on March 30. Kurdish and allied forces drove out ISIS fighters on Jan. 26.
Search and rescue workers collect debris at the crash site of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in the French Alps on March 31. The flight carrying 144 passengers and six crew members from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, crashed on March 24.
Search and rescue workers collect debris at the crash site of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in the French Alps on March 31. The flight carrying 144 passengers and six crew members from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, crashed on March 24.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured images of Super Typhoon Maysak 200 miles above Earth from the International Space Station on March 31.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured images of Super Typhoon Maysak 200 miles above Earth from the International Space Station on March 31.
A Syrian boy carries his belongings through a neighborhood in Aleppo that anti-government activists say was hit by a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on April 2.
A Syrian boy carries his belongings through a neighborhood in Aleppo that anti-government activists say was hit by a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on April 2.
Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari celebrate his anticipated victory in Kano, Nigeria, on March 31. President Goodluck Jonathan soon conceded defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa's richest and most populous nation.
Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari celebrate his anticipated victory in Kano, Nigeria, on March 31. President Goodluck Jonathan soon conceded defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s richest and most populous nation.
Two girls write in a notebook scavenged from a garbage dump in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 1. Thousands of children pick recyclable items from waste dumping points to earn living for their poor families.
Two girls write in a notebook scavenged from a garbage dump in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 1. Thousands of children pick recyclable items from waste dumping points to earn living for their poor families.

images / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

  • Joy in Tehran dominated headlines on Thursday.
  • How English ruined Indian literature.
  • Trevor Noah will replace Jon Stewart leading the Daily Show. This is cool because Noah is a person of color, international, and has a fascinating background. This is less cool because he’s made some sexist and anti-Semitic remarks.
  • In overdue news, the American FBI will now be monitoring hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus, and Arabs within the country.
  • Ben Bernanke, blogger.
  • Fair trade is just as important as organic, if not more so.
  • A minimum wage worker was fired from her job after speaking to the Washington Post about the minimum wage.
  • Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran reads less forcefully in Farsi.
  • AirBnB: Cuba.
  • A woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for feticide could be the beginning of a terrible trajectory for women.
  • Everyone is really obsessed with Andreas Lubitz, the German co-pilot who may have intentionally drove a plan into the Alps, thereby killing everyone on board. Of note: If this man were not white, we would be calling him a terrorist, as opposed to mentally ill. Also of note: Mental illness needs to be de-stigmatized and depression does not make you a mass-murderer.
  • Ellen Pao appears to have lost a landmark sexual discrimination suit against her former employers. This is probably not good as it appears they were definitely sexist.

South Asia:

  • The Afghan man accused of murdering an AP journalist has had his sentence reduced to 20 years. AP’s president says the killing of journalists should be a war crime.
  • A fact-finding committee has determined that Farkhunda, an Afghan woman lynched by a mob, did not in fact burn a copy of the Qur’an.
  • Pakistan has evacuated hundreds of citizens stranded in Yemen. A delegation from the country headed to talks early in the week. Prime Minister Sharif has also sought a joint session to discuss involvement in the Yemeni crisis. He arrived in Turkey on Friday to further talks.
  • NYT: A new language for Pakistan’s deaf.
  • Deported from Pakistan, an American suspect linked to Al Qaeda is set to face terrorism charges.
  • A female Pakistani rickshaw driver is making some news in a country where it’s highly unusual to be a female rickshaw driver.
  • Another blogger has been murdered in Bangladesh.
  • India‘s hardline BJP party wants a national ban on cow slaughter.
  • The country will also be repackaging state-supplied condoms to make them more appealing to customers.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Southeast Asia is seeing a democratic decline not unlike the Middle East following 2011’s Arab Spring uprisings.
  • Land-grabbing in Burma is feeding its democratic spiral.
  • The Burmese army and 16 rebel groups have signed a ceasefire agreement, an historic move in the country.
  • The Thai military government has been lifted — which doesn’t necessarily bode well for democracy.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • Turkey and the US may need couple’s therapy if their relationship continues on its current trajectory.
  • Uzbekistan’s election saw 91% voter turnout and the re-election of its authoritarian leader.
  • IMU, an Uzbek group, has pledged its allegiance to Daesh/ISIS.
  • Russia and its favorite frenemy the US will be partnering to build another international space station.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Entrenched despotism spells out many of the Middle East’s problems according to Fareed Zakaria.
  • Arab League leaders have joined together backing a virtually region-wide war in Yemen between Shia-backed Houthis and Sunni-backed supporters of Yemen’s overthrown president. Oman is virtually the only country with no real presence in the coalition.
  • The Houthis conquered Aden late in the week.
  • Dozens of refugees were killed when Saudi-led strikes hit a camp in the country.
  • At the beginning of the week Iran backed away from a key component of its nuclear deal talks in Lausanne. Talks later resumed and dragged on several additional days. On Thursday it was announced that a deal had been struck — this is huge news.
  • Israel is set to release withheld Palestinian tax revenue. It was being held in retaliation for the efforts of the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court. The Palestinians have now joined the ICC.
  • Witnesses who saw Egyptian forces kill a famed poet and activist are now being detained and charged. Shaimaa el-Sabbagh’s death was captured on camera as she died in the arms of a friend following what was intended to be a peaceful protest. Azza Soliman, a human rights lawyer who heads a prominent women’s legal center, is a key witness.
  • Morocco is set to review its restrictive abortion laws.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • A lack of farmland in Burundi could drive one of Africa’s most densely-populated countries into civil war.
  • Earlier in the week Guinea declared an Ebola-linked health emergency.
  • A siege at a hotel in Mogadishu by al-Shabab left many dead in Somalia.
  • A senior Ugandan prosecutor, currently looking into the 2010 Kampala bombings, was shot and killed in what looks to be a targeted assassination.
  • Nigeria‘s president has been ousted in favor of a former military dictator, a sound referendum on his policies.
  • Gunmen stormed a university in Kenya on Thursday, killing numerous people and taking many hostages.

Americas:

  • Mexico plans to cap its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026.
  • Peru has fired its prime minister over spying allegations.
  • An Argentine appeals court has upheld a decision to dismiss a case against President Kirchner, who stands accused of covering up the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center and the subsequent murder of a Jewish-Argentine prosecutor.
  • Foreign Policy has a piece charting the strange relationship between Cuba and Iran.
  • Very few people are fans of Indiana’s incredibly homophobic and definitely illegal Religious Freedom bill.
  • Ditto Arkansas’.
  • Chuck Schumer will likely be the next Harry Reid.
  • The US‘ two polar icebreakers will be a problem if the Arctic keeps melting.
  • California is water-rationing for the first time in history.
  • Goodbye Bob Menendez.
  • A gate-ramming incident at the NSA led to one man’s death and severe injuries for other parties.

 

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