A busy and hectic week here on your blog’s end. The news are pretty bluesy — an ancient city in Syria has fallen to Daesh/ISIS (UNESCO is having a panic attack), sexual assault survivors are being forced to carry their dorm mattresses to graduation to hold Ivy League universities accountable, thousands of Rohingya migrants have nowhere to go, and former Egyptian president Morsi has been sentenced to death. Hardly chipper news to what is, for Americans, the start of Memorial Day weekend. However, six police officers have been sentenced in the murder of Freddie Gray, so all is not lost.
- Using Pakistan as an example, several writers are arguing that introducing student governments in schools will promote democracy.
- Six police officers have been indicted in the murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
- Science asks — why do men even exist?
- Takata has issued the largest recall of a consumer product in American history.
- Los Angeles has raised its minimum wage to $15/hr.
- Columbia senior Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress to graduation.
- Here’s some light Osama bin Laden reading for you.
- The president of the Boy Scouts, Robert Gates, has called for the organization to remove its ban on gay leaders. Somewhat begrudgingly.
- A slew of the world’s biggest banks are in serious trouble.
- Working moms rule the world. Or, rather, they should.
- Hacking the brain. Brain hacking?
- A suicide bomber in Afghanistan targeted an EU convoy, injuring multiple people.
- Afghanistan’s unity government is split on an intelligence-sharing deal with Pakistan.
- A fatwa has been issued by Pakistani religious leaders saying suicide attacks are un-Islamic. The fatwa also noted that protecting non-Muslims is crucial for a Muslim state.
- A Pakistani company is raking in millions off the sale of falsified documents and accreditations, according to an NYT study.
- Journalist Raza Rumi was threatened by the company after an organization he is connected to compiled comments mocking it.
- Pakistan is charging 106 people in the lynching of a Christian couple last year.
- India is launching an “Act East” plan that will engage it further with East Asian nations.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Stranded Rohingya migrants, expelled from Burma and rejected by Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, are dying en masse as their ship is pushed further out to sea.
- The Philippines have said it may accept the migrants. Late in the week Malaysia and Indonesia recanted and agreed to accept 7,000.
- China is officially really territorial over a few islands.
- Hong Kong is publicly shaming people who litter by lifting DNA from their trash.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The EU has approved a plan set to target militant smugglers.
- The Ukraine claims it has captured two Russian soldiers, who it will put on trial.
- Queer Ireland is finding its voice on the eve of a massive referendum on same-sex marriage.
Middle East & North Africa:
- The Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to Daesh/ISIS, killing hundreds in the process. The takeover signals a stunning blow for the Iraqi government, as well as Iranian and American forces who have been assisting.
- A trial date has been set for Jason Rezaian, the WaPo reporter accused of espionage by Iran.
- Hundreds of people died defending the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra from encroaching militants. Mid-week, they seized it regardless, and UNESCO is understandably concerned. Daesh/ISIS now controls 50% of Syria.
- Syrian forces reportedly prevented civilians from leaving Palmyra before it fell.
- The US has admitted two Syrian children died in an airstrike it carried out.
- Former Egyptian president Morsi has been sentenced to death, to the alarm of many.
- Pope Francis has canonized two Palestinian nuns.
- The Gaza Strip now has the highest unemployment rate in the world.
- An Israeli plan to segregate Israelis and Palestinians on buses has been halted.
- Saudi-led strikes resumed this week in Yemen following a brief ceasefire.
- A suicide attack on a mosque targeted Saudi Shias late in the week.
- The UN will sponsor peace talks on the Yemeni conflict in Geneva.
- Human rights violations in Kuwait are going widely unnoticed.
- FIFA and World Cup sponsors are taking a tough line with Qatar.
- Tunisia has been upgraded as an American ally. Presidents Obama and Essebsi ran an op-ed in WaPo to discuss the progression.
- South Africa deported hundreds of undocumented migrants to Mozambique following a string of xenophobic attacks.
- Sierra Leone and Guinea have reported new Ebola cases.
- A militant group in Mali who recently pledged fealty to Daesh/ISIS reportedly has a Romanian hostage.
- The world’s oldest-known stone tools have been discovered on a shore in Kenya.
- Two students were killed in protests in Chile.
- Scores of people are missing following landslides in Colombia.
- Mexico is investigating the disappearances of 15 people in the town of Chilapa.
- An American trade proposal that is opposed by most labor unions and progressive movements has cleared several congressional hurdles.
- Nine people were killed in a shoot-out between Texan biker gangs near Waco last weekend.
- An emergency has been declared in California following an oil spill endangering delicate coastal life.
- Australians who defect from militant groups elsewhere and try to go home won’t get any love from the country’s current government.