Stories of the Week
#IranDeal. Between Monday and Tuesday, world powers and Iran reached an historic deal to both curb Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and restore billions to the struggling economy the country has faced. The task now falls to American President Obama to sell the deal. Much of this will rely on Congress.
Pluto flyover. The dwarf planet (to whom so many children of the 90s and earlier are fiercely loyal) got its close-up this week. A nearly decade-long voyage by the New Horizons space craft flew past the distant sphere, taking around 150 high-resolution photographs. Though it will be up to 16 months before NASA receives all of the data (transmission time from Pluto to Earth is QUITE slow), the successful flyover has been heralded as unprecedented. (A sweet aside note: the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto, were aboard the aircraft.)
Planned Parenthood problems. An undercover video recorded by anti-choice activists went viral this week. The video reveals a top Planned Parenthood executive discussing methods of aborting fetuses that enable the organs to remain intact; they can then be sold for scientific research. While the video has led to outcry from conservatives, pro-choice advocates argue that the procedure provides those seeking abortions to channel their choice into a good cause, while also noting that there is nothing illegal regarding the process the executive was referring to.
Get us to the Greek. The IMF has come out demanding that any bailout plan for Greece involve debt relief. This runs directly counter to much of what Germany and other European nations have lobbied for, but speaks to the severity of Greece’s situation. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsipras is struggling to sell the new bailout plan at home, where it is wildly unpopular.
- Everyone is Running for the American Presidency 2k15: Scott Walker, notorious anti-union Republican, is in.
- Reddit CEO Ellen Pao is out, according to a statement released by reddit. Not much is being done to address much of the sexism that Pao has endured in Silicon Valley, however.
- Happy birthday, Malala!
- Serena Williams is amazing.
- Pluto Pluto Pluto!
- The “accountant of Auschwitz” was sentenced to four years in prison for serving as accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews.
- Bill Cosby, still terrible.
- At least 34 people died in a series of anti-Shia car bombings in Bangladesh this week.
- Two explosions in Khost, Afghanistan, killed dozens, the majority of them women and children.
- The leader of the Afghan Taliban has backed peace talks.
- Pakistan says it needs more information to extradite terrorist Lahkvi, who is wanted by India.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Despite being barred from the presidency, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will seek the office.
- China is cracking down on more than 100 human rights lawyers.
- A major typhoon hit China this weekend, forcing a million people to evacuate.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Greece put forward a plan with consent from Eurozone leaders regarding a bailout early this week. The deals involves concessions that are even harsher than those initially proposed. The prime minister, meanwhile, is struggling to keep his job AND save his country.
- The IMF has said that any bailout plan must involve debt relief. The Eurozone approved a bridge loan to help the struggling country.
- Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponza has been charged with fraud and tax evasion.
- Macedonia’s prime minister will step down by next year following a corruption scandal.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Around 60% of Syria’s old city in Aleppo has been destroyed by the country’s civil war.
- Iran and the P5+1 powers: we have a deal. | The deal looks to be a win-win situation for everyone.
- Iraq has begun a new offensive to retake Anbar province.
- A new video counters an Israeli soldier’s claim that he was defending himself when he killed a Palestinian.
- Yemeni loyalists have captured more ground from rebels in Aden.
- Somalia is taking Kenya to the International Criminal Court over a sea border dispute.
- The Nigerian government is shutting down efforts to reinstate the separatist state of Biafra.
- South Africa’s Desmond Tutu has been in the hospital.
- Mexican drug lord El Chapo has broken out of prison…again.
- In Paraguay, Pope Francis visited a slum, to thunderous applause.
- OPM director Katherine Archuleta has resigned, following a massive cyber breach that saw over a million Americans hacked.
- Iran Deal Congress Count.
- 54 stingrays died at a Chicago zoo after their habitat levels became warped.
- President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent offenders in prison.
- The Pentagon may soon overturn its ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.
- The murder of Eric Garner has been settled for millions.
- In Chattanooga, Tennessee, four people and the shooter were killed following an attack near a military base.