Ben Carson doesn’t think a Muslim should lead the US. One of the leading Republican candidates for president has stated that he doesn’t think a Muslim should be the country’s leader. This is problematic on numerous grounds, in addition to the fact that it has questionable legality. There is no religious litmus test to be president, and, moreover, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and protects against harassment on the basis of religion.
The American military may have been covering up Afghan sex abuse. An NYT report indicates that American military personnel worked overtime to keep their subordinates from blowing the whistle on the abuse of young Afghan boys who service members of the Afghan military. The allegations have sent shockwaves through the military, and appear to be valid.
The Pope comes to Washington. Pope Francis, the “people’s pope,” arrived this week in DC. (For those living here, public transportation was a special joy.) He then went on to New York. The list of people receiving him garnered some uproar from conservatives, and his chief topics of conversation with the president were climate change, immigration, and the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. (He also canonized a colonizer.) The highlight of his DC visit, however, was when a five year old girl broke through barricades to give him a letter asking for protection for her undocumented parents.
EU at any cost. Desperate refugees, the bulk of them from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, have been pouring into Europe for weeks. But countries like Hungary do not want them, and have put in place a number of measures (including razor wire and police squads) to deter them. Of course, there’s no stopping desperate people, so the refugees are merely re-routing themselves through Croatia and even eyeing Schengen member Slovenia as they head to their ultimate destination, generally Germany or Scandinavia.
Worst PR move ever in Egypt. The Egyptian government screwed up epically when it fired on (and killed) numerous Mexican tourists. AND THEN they tried to say it was all the tourists’ fault for being where they weren’t supposed to be without permits. AND THEN information came to light indicating they did have permits, and also had a guide. AND THEN the casualty rate was higher than first reported. Mexican officials and grieving family members have gone to Egypt to sort the mess out.
Republicans debate, all ten thousand of them. The GOP’s potential contenders all warred it out this Wednesday to see who would become the part nominee. Carly Fiorina by all accounts won the night (albeit while delivering some extreme misinformation on Planned Parenthood.) Frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson fared more poorly, while Marco Rubio saw a bit of a rise. The main takeaway? It is very unclear who will be the Republican nominee.
#IStandWithAhmed: A 14 year-old boy was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school in Texas, where it was presumed to be a bomb. As the boy was Muslim, this has raised understandable concerns about Islamophobia.
Refugees in need. Running from violence and unthinkable horrors at home, refugees from countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, many of them Syrian and Afghan, have reached Europe and are heading further into the continent. Western nations oceans away, like the US and Australia, have been of little assistance — the US will take 10,000 refugees next year, and Australia will take 12,000. Meanwhile Eastern and Western European countries alike are overwhelmed. A plan has been put forward for Europe to take up to 160,000 refugees, which will hardly solve the problem. Certain countries, like Hungary, have shown extreme hostility to the point of abuse towards the refugees, many of whom have endured horrific events and are only seeking aid. (Reminder that the crisis is everywhere, people only care about Europe now because Western nations are involved.)
Iran deal, done deal? American President Obama reached the needed number of Democratic supporters for the Iran deal to filibuster this week. On Thursday Democrats overturned Republicans in order to pass the deal. Of course, Republicans have threatened to do whatever they can to stop the deal, including sue. As of Friday morning, that remains a possibility. (The NYT also made a point of profiling Jewish lawmakers who voted for and against the deal, which is questionable.)
Everybody is Running for the American Presidency 2k15: Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina are trading barbs over Fiorina’s looks. Meanwhile, Sanders and Clinton are duking it out over Iowa and New Hampshire, two primary states.
Refugees in Europe. With few options available, refugees from the MENA region and South Asia are flooding Europe’s shores and pushing onwards to Western Europe. Countries like Germany have agreed to take in refugees (in the hopes of spurring other EU members to do the same), but the UK has only taken a handful. Meanwhile both Hungary and Bulgaria have erected walls to keep asylum-seekers out, and Hungary in particular has been vicious towards the desperate masses filling its train stations.
Iran deal is a deal. Maryland’s Mikulski became the 34th vote required for President Obama to have a veto-proof majority for the Iran deal. While a filibuster-empowered majority may not be in the cards, Obama now has the full number needed to ensure that the deal passes smoothly.
That one clerk in Kentucky. Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, is refusing to issue marriage licenses in the state of Kentucky despite an American Supreme Court ruling that she is required to. As of Thursday, Davis was arrested and held in contempt of court. This has less to do with Davis’ religious beliefs (which she clams prevent her from issuing marriage licenses) and more to do with the fact that her job requires her to issue the licenses.