Stories of the Week
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.
Also in the US this week? Xi Jinping, China’s leader.
- The battle royale over adblockers.
- The most crucial item for refugees? Their smartphones.
- Richard Dawkins is still a jerk.
- American Presidency 2k15 updates: Republican candidate Ben Carson believes that Muslims should not be able to attain the presidency. Additionally, Black Lives Matter, a movement which has gained significant power this year, will not be endorsing a presidential candidate. Scott Walker, once a Republican with a strong shot at the nomination, has become the second candidate to drop out.
- Volkswagon is in trouble.
- David Cameron and #piggate.
- DC welcomed both Pope Francis and the president of China this week, two very different leaders.
- 1 in 5 American undergraduate women have experienced sexual assault.
- Controversy over increased prices for life-sustaining drugs spiked this week, after a malaria drug was repriced and got a 5000% increase.
- RIP Yogi Berra.
- A stinging report from the New York Times claims American military officers worked over time to keep sex abuses against Afghan ‘tea boys’ under wraps.
- Following a deadly attack on a military base in Peshawar, the Pakistani military have been increasingly targeting the Taliban with a series of strategic attacks.
- Pakistan has not-so-subtly implied there was Afghan involvement in the initial attack. However, the Pakistani government has reportedly agreed to be ‘soft’ in its approach to dealing with the dispute.
- Nepal has formalized a new constitution. Al Jazeera takes an in-depth look at the document.
- Ongoing protests from India’s Patel community are heating up. The Patels have been lobbying to be classified as OBC (Other Backward Classes), because, they claim, individuals from lower castes are taking their jobs.
- A plan to snoop on mobile messages via Whatsapp in India met with outrage — it now appears to be unraveling.
- Bangladesh‘s prime minister has rejected allegations that she is turning the country into an authoritarian one-party state.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Is Japan dumbing down its universities?
- In one of the greatest upsets ever to occur in the sports world, the Japanese rugby team beat South Africa.
- Apple suffered a cyberattack in China.
- Thailand’s pro-democracy movement is rising up despite push-back.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The border crisis in Eastern Europe began anew at the beginning of the week. Croatia, filled to the brim with refugees, drove many to the Hungarian border. The latter country has been going to extreme measures to keep refugees out. Eastern European leaders convened Monday in an effort to sort out the situation. An agreement was reached — with pushback from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
- Northern Ireland is in talks to save its power-sharing government with collapse nearing.
- Greece’s Syriza party has a new mandate, after being resoundingly re-elected.
- Marine Le Pen, head of France’s right wing National Front party, must appear in court on charges that she incited racial hatred.
Middle East & North Africa:
- The appointment of Saudi Arabia to lead a UN human rights panel has critics up in arms.
- A recent Saudi airstrike in Yemen killed around two dozen people, almost all of whom were civilians.
- Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds more injured during a Hajj stampede.
- Russia has begun drone flights in Syria, a source of some consternation. Israel has also been cosying up to Moscow in a move that some view as a direct strike at the US.
- After a new group of Syrian rebels were trained by the US and sent back to Syria, many reportedly defected and gave their weapons to Jabhat al Nusra.
- Egypt reportedly pardoned 100 prisoners this week. including two Al Jazeera journalists.
- Mediators in Burkina Faso are working out a plan for peace following last week’s coup.
- However, African leaders and various factions within the country are in no mood to tolerate the coup, and the situation isn’t going well.
- Pope Francis visited Cuba and met with Fidel Castro, a move that earned him both praise and censure. The pope called on Cuba to open itself to the world, as well as for greater religious freedom.
- Venezuela and Colombia have restored their respective ambassadors after some international friction.
- Colombia‘s government has made a breakthrough in talks with FARC rebels.
- President Obama made history by appointing the first openly gay Secretary of the Army in the US.
- Decades after the publication of Damned Whores and God’s Police, Australian feminists are seeking redefinition.
- The UN is concerned about human rights violations in the Northern Territory.