Stories of the Week
Earthquake. A devastating earthquake ripped through South Asia early Monday, originating in Afghanistan but causing multiple casualties in Pakistan. It was also felt in India. The final casualty count is unknown at present, but it isn’t looking good, and even the Taliban have promised they won’t target aid groups headed into the mountains to search for people.
Don’t ever body-slam a high school student, please. A police officer in a high school took it upon himself to personally tackle and seriously attack a young female student after she reportedly mouthed off to him. Though accounts of the incident differ, the physical footage of the encounter was filmed (and is linked lower down). It is pretty horrifying. That the student was African-American adds an additional layer of “oh no” to this.
Paul Ryan ascends the throne. Conservative (though apparently not-conservative-enough for many rank-and-file Republicans) Paul Ryan will be the next Speaker of the House, in all likelihood. This means no immigration bill, probably.
- Omg what have we done to Greenland.
- Pope Francis has signaled the Catholic Church will be working to ease its opposition to divorce, despite some rancor from elements within the Church. This may be easier said than done, however, and the pontiff faces serious backlash.
- Driving while black.
- This absolutely horrifying and trigger-warning equipped video features a male police officer body-slamming a young (black) female student to the ground.
- Former Speaker of the House (US) Dennis Hastert has plead guilty to a participation in a hush money case.
- Consensus indicates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz did well in Wednesday night’s Republican (US) primary debate.
- SXSW has had some drama this week, stemming from good ‘ol Gamergate.
- A massive earthquake on Monday ripped through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India. Afghanistan suffered the worst damages but casualties were seen throughout the region.
- A suicide attack targeting Shias observing the commemoration of Ashura killed over two dozen people in southern Pakistan.
- It’s looking more and more like the MSF hospital bombed in Kunduz was hit knowingly by the US, which would make the attack a war crime.
- Geeta, the mystery woman.
- Daesh/ISIS have claimed responsibility for bombings in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- The vice president of the Maldives has been arrested on charges that he plotted the assassination of the president.
- Nepal’s parliament has elected its first female president.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, visited the US as deadly fires raged across his nation. Neighboring Malaysia and Singapore have also been affected.
- The US and China are going head to head over the South China Sea.
- China has reportedly abandoned its one-child policy. Couples will now be able to have two children.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Poland‘s recent elections signal a shift to the right. This is unsurprising given reactions to contemporary issues, like the refugee crisis, to which Poles have reacted negatively.
- A man with “racist motives” killed two in a terrifying attack in Sweden late last week.
- Turkey’s raids on the rival Gulenist movement have increased in recent weeks.
- A boat carrying nearly 300 refugees capsized off the coast of Greece.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Morocco is poised to become a solar superpower.
- Jordan has been working to broker peace between Israel and Palestine regarding a dispute over the Temple Mount. Israel has agreed to allow cameras inside the area as a means of curbing tensions, but many are skeptical the arrangement will do any good.
- An MSF hospital in Yemen has been hit by bombs.
- The US may put real manpower on the ground to fight Daesh/ISIS.
- Iran was invited to Syria talks in a surprising move.
- The Ivory Coast voted in its first post-war presidential poll.
- Tanzania experienced the tightest presidential race in its history.
- South Africa‘s protests over the cost of universities have continued despite promises from the government.
- The current president of the Republic of Congo has seen overwhelming support for a third-term bid for re-election.
- Another 22 elephants were found poisoned with cyanide in Zimbabwe.
- Argentina’s elections are ushering in the end of the Kirchner reign, but Cristina Kirchner’s hand-picked successor will replace her.
- A former television comedian with no presidential experience has been elected president of Guatemala.
- Several people died when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.
- Paul Ryan has been elected Speaker of the House in the US.
- Climate change denial remains an issue in Australia despite the ousting of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Blue Out: Giant military blimp gone rogue.