Weekly News Round-Up 5/4/15-5/8/15: Depraved-Heart Murder

Tuesday was World Press Freedom Day! Free the press, love on the press, respect the press, hold the press accountable! In other news everyone and their pet monkey is running for the Republican nomination for president in the US, and Britain had quite the election roller coaster this week. Israel’s Netanyahu narrowly scraped a (likely doomed) coalition government together, while the US Holocaust Museum issued a dire warning regarding the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Burma. Nepal continues to struggle in the wake of a tragic earthquake, and Saudi Arabia is essentially murdering Yemeni civilians unable to access aid. Back to the US for a moment — District residents, we will be able to fly round-trip to Cuba for under a thousand dollars come December. With that, a good weekend to all!

 

Ballerinas take a break during a dress rehearsal before the first official show of "Giselle" on May 6, 2015 in Johannesburg, as the St. Petersburg Ballet Theater kicks off the South African leg of the global season.
Ballerinas take a break during a dress rehearsal before the first official show of “Giselle” on May 6, 2015 in Johannesburg, as the St. Petersburg Ballet Theater kicks off the South African leg of the global season.

 

Assorted Stand-Outs:

A man tries to help Syrian refugees who were adrift on a dinghy off the coast of the Greek island of Kos on May 6. Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union for tens of thousands of Asian and African migrants fleeing war and poverty every year. According to the Greek coast guard, the number of undocumented migrants entering Greece by sea reached 10,445 in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2,863 people for the same period last year. The influx is testing the social and economic limits of a country already crippled by financial crisis.  • Gallery: Migrants at Greek Port Desperate to Board Ferries to Italy
A man tries to help Syrian refugees who were adrift on a dinghy off the coast of the Greek island of Kos on May 6. Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union for tens of thousands of Asian and African migrants fleeing war and poverty every year. According to the Greek coast guard, the number of undocumented migrants entering Greece by sea reached 10,445 in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2,863 people for the same period last year. The influx is testing the social and economic limits of a country already crippled by financial crisis.

South Asia:

  • Recent reports charge that freedom of the press in Afghanistan is under siege.
  • A talk with the Taliban appears to have ushered in a shift on women’s rights.
  • Four men have been sentenced to death in the lynching of Farkhunda, a woman falsely accused of burning the Qur’an.
  • Anti-American sentiment is finally easing in Pakistan.
  • Numerous foreign envoys died in a helicopter crash in Pakistan this morning.
  • Pakistan has inaugurated its first solar park.
  • Pakistan’s supreme court has been hearing cases challenging the 18th and 19th amendments of the constitution, calling into question whether Pakistan can be declared a secular state.
  • Nepalis on Twitter weren’t too pleased with the abundant media coverage in India of the Nepal earthquake.
  • The US has criticized India’s recent crackdown on NGOs and charity organizations.
  • Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been sentenced to five years in jail for culpable homicide. His sentence was suspended later in the week and he is due to appear in court in July.
A riot police officer beats a demonstrator at a rally celebrating May Day in Bogota, Colombia on May 1.
A riot police officer beats a demonstrator at a rally celebrating May Day in Bogota, Colombia on May 1.

Southeast, Central, & East Asia:

  • The discovery of a mass grave in Thailand (likely of Rohingya Muslims) has led to the arrest of two Thais and a Burmese national.
  • China is ordering Muslims to sell alcohol and tobacco in an attempt to “weaken” Islam.
  • Self-promotion: Your blogger wrote on the jailing of Khadija Ismayilova, an Azerbaijani journalist imprisoned on trumped up charges following her reporting on governmental abuses.
A child rescued from Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest is treated at a clinic at camp for the displaced in Yola, Nigeria on May 3. Hundreds of traumatized Nigerian women and children rescued from Boko Haram Islamists have been released into the care of authorities at a refugee camp in the eastern town of Yola.
A child rescued from Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest is treated at a clinic at camp for the displaced in Yola, Nigeria on May 3. Hundreds of traumatized Nigerian women and children rescued from Boko Haram Islamists have been released into the care of authorities at a refugee camp in the eastern town of Yola.

Eurasia & Europe:

  • Thousands of Moldovans protested this week, calling for reforms in support of the EU.
  • Qatar has claimed it is not violating workers’ rights in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup, despite arresting German journalists reporting on working conditions in the area.
  • Following controversy, Germany has ceased its alliance with the NSA, with whom it was collaborating on Internet surveillance.
  • France‘s far right leader Jean Mairie Le Pen has been suspended from his own party for comments made about Nazi gas chambers.
  • Lawmakers in France have widely expanded spying powers in a move that has drawn concern and skepticism.
  • Britain had a too-close-to-call election mid-week, pitting Prime Minister David Cameron against more leftist leader Ed Milliband.
  • …Which then turned into a decisive victory for the Conservatives, and Milliband’s resignation.
Jean Claude Niyonzima, a suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth militia, pleads with soldiers to protect him from a mob of demonstrators in the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, Burundi, on May 7. Niyonzima fled from his house into the sewer under a hail of stones thrown by a mob protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office.
Jean Claude Niyonzima, a suspected member of the ruling party’s Imbonerakure youth militia, pleads with soldiers to protect him from a mob of demonstrators in the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, Burundi, on May 7. Niyonzima fled from his house into the sewer under a hail of stones thrown by a mob protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in office.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Dozens have been injured this week during police clashes in Israel involving Ethiopian Jews, revolting over racism.
  • Israeli veterans say overly permissive rules led to mass casualties in Gaza last summer.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was narrowly able to form a government despite a last-minute exodus from Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party. The government is shaky, however, and could collapse.
  • Palestinian students have reportedly faced detention and threats from Fatah over their connections to Hamas.
  • Tunisia’s LGBTQ community has gained a considerable amount–and drawn the ire of conservatives in the process.
  • Oman has launched an amnesty program to return undocumented workers home without legal repercussions.
  • Reports indicate Saudi Arabia beheaded five foreigners and hung their bodies from helicopters as a warning sign.
  • Prominent human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been arrested by the Iranian government.
 A field of dead almond trees is seen next to a field of growing almond trees in Coalinga in California's Central Valley on May 6. Almonds, a major component of farming in California, use up some 10 percent of the state's water reserves according to some estimates. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted.

A field of dead almond trees is seen next to a field of growing almond trees in Coalinga in California’s Central Valley on May 6. Almonds, a major component of farming in California, use up some 10 percent of the state’s water reserves according to some estimates. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state’s first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region’s catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state’s massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise stop in Somalia this week — but he was unable to leave the airport due to security concerns.
  • Despite rioting, a Burundi court has backed the president’s efforts to seek a third presidential term.
  • A UN whistleblower who revealed the sex abuse of CAR residents at the hands of French peacekeepers has been found to have had an unlawful termination by a UN tribunal.
  • The Ivory Coast has banned skin-whitening cream amidst health concerns.
A woman uses a selfie stick to take a photo of herself next to a bride and groom posing against the replica of Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle at the World Park in Beijing, China, on May 2. Millions of Chinese took advantage of the May Day holidays to visit popular tourist sites.
A woman uses a selfie stick to take a photo of herself next to a bride and groom posing against the replica of Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle at the World Park in Beijing, China, on May 2. Millions of Chinese took advantage of the May Day holidays to visit popular tourist sites.

Americas:

  • A former Colombian spy chief has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
  • Costa Rica issued an alert following the sinking of a cargo ship carrying deadly material.
  • Cuba and Florida are about to have a direct ferry line.
  • Chile’s leader, Michelle Bachelet, has demanded the resignation of her entire cabinet.
  • Canada’s conservatives have been toppled for the first time in 43 years, a decision which may affect the country’s tar sands regulation.
  • Gunmen were shot dead in Texas after opening fire on an event where participants were awarded for drawing the prophet Muhammed. In Islam, drawing the prophet is akin to blasphemy. Pamela Gellar, the leader of the event, is widely believed to head a hate group.
  • The NSA phone tapping program is illegal. Shocking.
  • Surveillance planes were apparently flown over Baltimore to monitor rioters.
Nepalese couple Anita Thapa, 22, and Sagar KC, 24, are carried by their respective brothers towards their bus during their wedding in Mahadevisthan temple in Kathmandu on May 3. The wedding had been postponed after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan nation.
Nepalese couple Anita Thapa, 22, and Sagar KC, 24, are carried by their respective brothers towards their bus during their wedding in Mahadevisthan temple in Kathmandu on May 3. The wedding had been postponed after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan nation.
 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a selfie with a baby elephant while touring the Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage at Kenya's Nairobi National Park on May 3. The center hand rears elephant and rhino orphans in a rehabilitation program to help protect Kenya's threatened animal populations struggling against poaching and loss of habitat.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a selfie with a baby elephant while touring the Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage at Kenya’s Nairobi National Park on May 3. The center hand rears elephant and rhino orphans in a rehabilitation program to help protect Kenya’s threatened animal populations struggling against poaching and loss of habitat.

images / nbcnews

Weekly Wow: Jade Helm 15. Have fun. 

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