Weekly News Round-Up 4/6/15-4/10/15: If You See Something, Film Something

Chag sameach to all the Jews out there and a happy belated Easter to any and all Christian followers! This week has Rand Paul joining local celebrity Ted Cruz in the running for the American presidency, so there’s that… Additionally Yemen is descending into chaos, the Tsarnaev trial’s drama continues, an Iran nuclear deal is still being hashed out, and Turkey is taking its aggression out on social media again. Elsewhere, the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice: a white police officer who murdered a black man was filmed by a man passing by, and stands accused of murder. April, come she will.

 

Magnolia blossoms blow in the breeze on the South Lawn of the White House on April 8, 2015, as Marine One carries President Barack Obama to Andrews Air Force Base for the start of a trip to Jamaica and Panama.
Magnolia blossoms blow in the breeze on the South Lawn of the White House on April 8, 2015, as Marine One carries President Barack Obama to Andrews Air Force Base for the start of a trip to Jamaica and Panama.
A young Israeli settler snorkels as sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd drink water from a spring near the near the West Bank town of Jericho on April 8. Many Israeli families taking advantage of the Passover holiday were having fun in the water.
A young Israeli settler snorkels as sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd drink water from a spring near the near the West Bank town of Jericho on April 8. Many Israeli families taking advantage of the Passover holiday were having fun in the water.
Indians watch a lunar eclipse from the banks of River Kuakhai on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, India, on April 4.  During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the sun and the moon. But even during the total phase of a lunar eclipse, Earth's atmosphere refracts enough sunlight to throw a reddish glow onto the full moon's surface.
Indians watch a lunar eclipse from the banks of River Kuakhai on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, India, on April 4.
During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the sun and the moon. But even during the total phase of a lunar eclipse, Earth’s atmosphere refracts enough sunlight to throw a reddish glow onto the full moon’s surface.
Walter Scott runs from North Charleston police officer Michael Slager on April 4 in a video shot by a bystander. Slager was fired and charged with murder after the video showed the officer shooting Scott in the back.
Walter Scott runs from North Charleston police officer Michael Slager on April 4 in a video shot by a bystander. Slager was fired and charged with murder after the video showed the officer shooting Scott in the back.
A Serbian Christian Orthodox priest baptizes a pilgrim in the water of the Jordan River on April 7 at the baptismal site of Kasser el-Yahud. Hundreds of pilgrims took a ritual dip in the river, near the West Bank city of Jericho, as part of their Easter pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
A Serbian Christian Orthodox priest baptizes a pilgrim in the water of the Jordan River on April 7 at the baptismal site of Kasser el-Yahud. Hundreds of pilgrims took a ritual dip in the river, near the West Bank city of Jericho, as part of their Easter pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Family members wait to view the bodies of their loved ones killed in an attack on Garissa University College at a mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 8. Islamist extremists killed 148 people in the attack.
Family members wait to view the bodies of their loved ones killed in an attack on Garissa University College at a mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 8. Islamist extremists killed 148 people in the attack.
A hand is uncovered as Iraqi forensic teams recovered bodies from a mass grave in the presidential compound of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Tikrit on April 6. Iraqi forensic teams began excavating 12 suspected mass grave sites thought to hold the corpses of as many as 1,700 soldiers massacred last summer by Islamic State militants as they swept across northern Iraq.
A hand is uncovered as Iraqi forensic teams recovered bodies from a mass grave in the presidential compound of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Tikrit on April 6. Iraqi forensic teams began excavating 12 suspected mass grave sites thought to hold the corpses of as many as 1,700 soldiers massacred last summer by Islamic State militants as they swept across northern Iraq.
A boy flies a kite during the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, an annual public picnic day on the 13th day of the Iranian new year, at the Pardisan Park in Tehran on April 2. Iranians flocked to parks to mark the ancient festival, a legacy from the pre-Islamic era. It is believed to be unlucky to stay indoors on Sizdeh Bedar. Unlike other countries in the Middle East, Iranians follow the Persian solar year, which begins on the first day spring. On March 21 this year, Iran began the year 1394.
A boy flies a kite during the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, an annual public picnic day on the 13th day of the Iranian new year, at the Pardisan Park in Tehran on April 2. Iranians flocked to parks to mark the ancient festival, a legacy from the pre-Islamic era. It is believed to be unlucky to stay indoors on Sizdeh Bedar. Unlike other countries in the Middle East, Iranians follow the Persian solar year, which begins on the first day spring. On March 21 this year, Iran began the year 1394.
A woman enjoys the sun on the banks of the Yenisei River as the temperature reached about 55 degrees Fahrenheit outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on April 6.
A woman enjoys the sun on the banks of the Yenisei River as the temperature reached about 55 degrees Fahrenheit outside Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on April 6.

images / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs

  • In pictures: India has pulled out Indian, Pakistani, and American nationals from Yemen.
  • One man’s video managed to prove the guilt of a white police officer who brutally murdered a black man.
  • Autocratic elections have surprising benefits.
  • Social media helps dictators as well as protesters.
  • Rolling Stone has retracted its December 2014 UVA story regarding the rape of a female student on the campus grounds. All you really need to know is 1) this is on the magazine, not their source, and 2) rape allegations are almost NEVER false.
  • One of the most famous art forgers of all time will face no prison time — he technically committed no crime, as he donated all his forgeries.
  • It would appear Rand Paul is running for the American presidency.
  • An in-depth look at the Houthi insurgency in Yemen is at your fingertips. Bonus: Your blogger wrote on why Pakistan should probably avoid Yemen.
  • The decline of affirmative action is wrecking black enrollment in Florida.
  • The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is wrapping up.

South Asia:

  • India has pledged to begin measuring air quality in the world’s most polluted capital.
  • India’s first indigenously-built submarine has been launched.
  • Pakistan and Sri Lanka have signed a nuclear agreement.
  • Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, says Iran should be involved in the final Yemeni deal. UPDATE: Pakistan’s parliament voted unanimously today to avoid the conflict. It remains to be seen what this will ultimately mean.
  • The female rickshaw driver of Lahore is phenomenal.
  • Mumbai bombing mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi has been released on bail from jail by Islamabad.
  • Eight Iranian border guards were killed in Pakistan early on in the week.
  • A Pakistani court has ordered ex-CIA officials to stand trial over a 2009 drone strike.
  • The IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) reportedly released a video showing the beheading of an Afghan hostage. The movement kidnapped 31 men from two buses recently.
  • Amnesty International says Afghanistan’s government has abandoned women’s rights activists.
  • Taliban fighting season is approaching.
  • An Afghan solider opened fire, killing one American troop and wounding two others, mid-week.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Riot police in China have crushed a three week long protest over chemical pollution in the country.
  • A Chinese TV host was taken off the air following a viral rant against Mao Zedong.
  • Malaysia is bringing back detention without trial, only a few years after the country abandoned the practice.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • Greece has pledged to meet all its creditors’ demands.
  • In the Ukraine, 30-somethings are working to strengthen a “creaky” public sector.
  • France’s TV5Monde suffered a hacking attack by supporters of Daesh/ISIS late in the week.
  • Russia has voted to strip a dissident member of the Duma of his impunity, which could lead to the opening of a criminal investigation.
  • Turkey’s ailing economy seems to be attracting little attention from its leaders.
  • Turkey briefly blocked Twitter, YouTube, and threatened Google earlier this week — uhm.
  • A man accused in a bankruptcy case opened fire in Milan, Italy mid-week, killing several people.
  • In his Easter message, the Pope accused the world of “looking the other way” while Christians die — in Africa, South Asia, and the world over.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • The beginning of this week found American President Obama making the case for the Iran nuclear deal to the public.
  • Obama has also said he will prioritize the deal over Iranian acknowledgement of Israel.
  • Back home, the Iran deal is receiving tentative support from virtually all sides. The Supreme Leader is not abiding, though.
  • Houthi rebels say they are open to talks if Saudi Arabia ceases its airstrikes in Yemen.
  • 1/3 of the fighters in Yemen are children.
  • Saudi Arabia has also tentatively okay’d the Iran deal. This is crucial as Iran and the Saudis are far from allies.
  • AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) are taking control of vast swaths of Yemen.
  • The US is still not evacuating its citizens from Yemen. #StuckInYemen, a trending hashtag, is trying to solve that.
  • Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected Israel‘s release of tax revenues.
  • Many are arguing that the Obama administration’s embrace of Egypt’s al-Sisi is pretty dangerous.
  • An NGO accused of promoting safe sex in Egypt (as well as providing care for LGBTQ persons) has caught the government’s eye.
  • ISIS/Daesh has invaded large portions of the Yarmouk refugee camp, which is home to thousands of Syrian Palestinians. UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon says the camp is coming to resemble “a death camp.”
  • Iraqis are exhuming a mass grave in Tikrit, believed to be the work of ISIS/Daesh.
  • Foreign Policy offers an inside look at Derna, the stronghold for ISIS/Daesh in Libya.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Recent reports say American diplomats knew exactly was what happening during the Rwandan genocide.
  • Nigeria’s election seems to have been fair — a welcome change in a country where corruption has long been a serious problem.
  • In Tanzania, some teachers just simply don’t show up to school.
  • Cape Town in South Africa will remove a controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes, noted racist.

Americas:

  • Canada declined to join an announcement on carbon emissions reduction given by the US and Mexico.
  • Canada could lose 70% of its glaciers by the end of this century.
  • Uruguay’s former president has one chief complaint about Syrian refugees: they can’t farm.
  • A Salvadorian leader accused of war crimes has been deported home.
  • Cuba and the US are testing out their new rapport in Panama.
  • In a rare victory for justice, a South Carolina police officer was charged with murder for shooting an unarmed African-American man.
  • A court has found Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of the incident. The real question is whether he will face the death penalty or life in prison.
  • President Obama has called for a ban on “conversion” therapy for LGBTQ youth.

Oceania:

  • 24,000 people have been evacuated from the Philippines due to a typhoon.

Weekly Wow: One of the more memorable memos of our time. | Pakistan’s supermodel prisoner. | The day the music died: Don McLean sells ‘American Pie’ lyrics.

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