Weekly News Round-Up 11/9/15-11/13/15: Black Students Matter

Stories of the Week

Mizzou, Yale, and the year it boiled over. If this has been the year we ‘obsessed over identity’ (per a recent article), it has also been the year race issues, and, more specifically, race issues in academia, finally exploded. At the University of Missouri, one student’s hunger strike was soon echoed by the school’s football team, a move that led to an immediate series of high-profile resignations. Students are now mounting similar protests around the country. At Yale University, which has a minuscule percentage of black students, a debate over tone policing and cultural sensitivity has exploded, with the university now the center of a debate on whether students are asking to be ‘coddled’ or merely demanding a measure of respect in an environment that at times threatens them in numerous ways. (A notable example: one of Yale’s residential houses is Calhoun, named for notorious racist John C. Calhoun. This means that more than a few black Yalies live in a location named for a man who supported the enslavement of their ancestors.)

Still worried about that plane. Despite nothing officially conclusive, most governments analyzing the case of a Russian plane’s crash in Egypt’s Sinai desert say the plane was downed by terrorism. An airport insider is suspected, and as Daesh/ISIS has claimed responsibility, the group could well be the mastermind. Russia has canceled its flights to Egypt, and Britain is also taking action. For the precarious Sisi regime, this could be a severe blow; Egypt depends on tourism, and the country is in the throes of a deep recession.

Burundi spirals. Burundi hasn’t been in good shape for awhile now, ever since its president announced he would be running for a third term (which isn’t legal.) Tensions between the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, and the opposition have spiraled to such an extent that crisis groups are comparing the potential outcome to the Rwandan genocide. That’s really, really not good.

Lebanon bombings. Yesterday the Beirut area was knocked by the worst bombings Lebanon has seen in 25 years. Dozens of people have been killed (last count was near 50) with more than 200 people wounded. Daesh/ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in a Hezbollah stronghold. Hezbollah is a Shia organization, and many fear the attack will inflame Sunni-Shia tensions.

(Stephen Melkisethian | Flickr)
(Stephen Melkisethian | Flickr)

Blues Buzz

Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Burma held historic elections this week. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition, is constitutionally  barred from assuming the presidency, she has claimed victory regardless.
  • Of note: the marginalized Muslim Rohingya minority were barred from voting. Aung San has evaded questions about the Rohingya when asked.

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:



  • Australia‘s immigration minister opened the week by arguing that the country could feasibly take in more refugees from Iraq and Syria.
  • Unrest exploded on Christmas Island after the death of a Kurdish-Iranian refugee detained there.
  • Female MPs were thrown out of New Zealand‘s parliament after disclosing their sexual assaults.

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