Happy belated Mother’s Day to all those who serve in a maternal capacity for the beings in their lives! This week has been a bit rough in the US, where liberals have risen up en masse against various policies forwarded by President Obama. Elsewhere, Burundi is experiencing upheaval over its president’s attempted third term in office, a horrific terror attack in Pakistan killed nearly fifty people, Macedonia is seeing renewed clashes from its Albanian-speaking minority, and another Bangladeshi secular blogger has been murdered. Also, Seymour Hersh has started quite the controversy.
- Transgender at the CIA.
- Jeffrey Sterling, who leaked classified information to reporter James Risen, will go to prison for 3+ years. While the bulk of the trial’s publicity centered on Risen, it is Sterling who blew the whistle and Sterling who will do jail time.
- Tom Brady has been suspended from playing for the Patriots for four games over #Deflategate. That’s more than Ray Rice, because the NFL cares more about deflating balls than beating your spouse.
- SAVE THE BEES.
- The Obama administration will allow drilling in the Arctic, which is not popular with environmentalists or people who care about the planet. See #ShellNo for more details.
- Columbia University students think the classics need trigger warnings.
- Scientists have discovered the first warm-blooded fish.
- Meet the Israeli professor now known as the “baby whisperer.”
- Personal plug: Your blogger wrote about Tunisia’s LGBTQ community, and the slow uphill struggle it faces.
- Kidnapped Afghan Hazara passengers were released this weekend.
- 14 people, including 9 foreigners, were killed in an attack on a hotel in Kabul early this week.
- Seymour Hersh says Pakistan not only knew where Osama Bin Laden was hiding, the country led American intelligence services to him.
- A bus carrying minority Ismailis was attacked by gunmen in Karachi, killing around 50 people.
- A giant cross being built in Karachi may wind up being the tallest in Asia.
- Another major quake hit Nepal early this week, killing dozens and injuring over a thousand people.
- Yet another Bangladeshi secular blogger has been hacked to death.
- India’s lion population has jumped in the state of Gujarat.
- India and Bangladesh are back to disputing their border.
- Indian Prime Minister Modi is set to become the first Indian premier to visit Mongolia.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Nearly 600 people, the bulk of them Burmese Rohingya Muslims, were rescued from a ship off the coast of Indonesia.
- Indonesia’s virginity tests for female military recruits are attracting outrage.
- Thousands more are still trapped at sea, having failed in their efforts to reach Malaysia.
- North Korea‘s defense minister has been executed for disloyalty.
- A fire at a slipper factory killed dozens of people in the Philippines.
- Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis.
- China plans for video surveillance to cover all public spaces by 2020.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Clashes in Macedonia between security forces and rebel Kosovars left several people dead.
- An EU proposal to establish refugee resettlement quotas has met with resistance from several nations, including Estonia and Slovakia.
- The Nemtsov war report’s key allegations are quite interesting regarding Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
- The Duma is set to pass a bill targeting “undesirable” foreign organizations.
- The Vatican is set to recognize Palestine.
- Finland has officially entered a recession.
- 10 members of the US Congress took a trip secretly funded by Azerbaijan.
- The divided Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus are opening up talks.
- The British election has led to some panic in Northern Ireland.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Saudi Arabia will not attend a series of key meetings at Camp David in the US.
- Yemen’s Houthi rebels accepted a five-day ceasefire proposal earlier this week. Aid efforts began in earnest mid-week, as workers rushed frantically to assist Yemenis who have been cut off from humanitarian aid by Saudi strikes.
- A new law in Tunisia restricting freedom of speech towards the military has some people concerned.
- A reporter for Al Jazeera who was imprisoned in Egypt following accusations of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood is suing his former employer.
- Daesh/ISIS has reached the gates of an ancient Syrian city and UNESCO is rightfully having a panic attack.
- A new report says human rights under Palestinian rule in the Occupied Territories have significantly worsened.
- An appeals court upheld charges against Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab, who criticized the government on social media.
- Ten militias in the CAR have agreed to disarm.
- Liberia has been declared Ebola free.
- South Africa‘s leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has elected a black leader for the first time in its history.
- Riots continue in Burundi over the president’s decision to seek a third term. An attempt to overthrow him via coup by the military failed.
- A Ugandan Islamist group in the Congo may have committed war crimes.
- Fighting in Mali between Tuareg rebels and government troops is threatening peace efforts.
- A child rape in Paraguay has resulted in a denied abortion request and surrounded the nation in controversy.
- Colombia is set to ban an herbicide used to spray cocoa plants.
- Guyana’s opposition will take power for the first time in 23 years.
- A case against Argentina’s president alleging her involvement in a bombing cover-up has been closed.
- Peru’s attorney general has been dismissed over corruption charges.
- In the US, Senate Democrats turned on President Obama regarding a trade deal that virtually all progressive groups agree is a terrible idea.
- …then they capitulated.
- An Amtrak train derailed en route from DC to NYC in Philadelphia. Eight people were killed. The train was reportedly going way, way too fast.
- The VA improperly spent $6 billion annually in violation of federal rules.
- A top member of the Secret Service will announce retirement early just prior to the dropping of a pretty damning report, according to sources.
- Australia is threatening to kill actor Johnny Depp’s dogs, claiming he didn’t properly vaccinate them before entering the country.