Stories of the Week
Terrorism hits Planned Parenthood, again. In the US, abortion clinics are regularly under attack and clinics are the perpetual target of violence. Last Friday, a gunman struck a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, killing one police officer and two civilians. An additional nine people were wounded. In the days since the attack, numerous Republican politicians have refused to fully condemn the murders. Both leading Democratic candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have re-issued their support for Planned Parenthood and abortion providers.
Paris climate talks (#COP21). Many of the world’s nations are in the midst of an intense series of climate negotiations in the French capital. The ideal outcome is an agreement-come-treaty promising to reduce carbon emissions globally. The US, however, has asserted that the final document will not be a treaty…which would essentially render it pointless.
Yet another mass shooting. In California, two (potentially three) shooters opened fire on a facility for individuals with disabilities. The two known shooters were a couple, who left the facility following a Christmas holiday party dispute and returned with weapons. Fourteen people were killed and another twenty-one (by most counts) were injured. This is unlikely to change the country’s gun laws, although the US has seen more deaths via guns in 2015 than it has days in the year.
Stefan Lins (Flickr) – The Marshall Islands
- FP’s 100 Global Thinkers.
- Nefertiti’s tomb and Egypt’s economy?
- Porn actor James Deen has been accused of sexual assault by several former partners, including porn actress Stoya.
- Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan welcomed their daughter, Max, with the announcement that they will be giving away 99% of their fortune in the name of advancing technology for the good of the world. Caveat: he’s putting it into his own organization.
- No more ‘House Masters’ at Harvard.
- Kabul, Afghanistan was on high alert after the State Department (US) issued a warning at the beginning of the week for all of its citizens in the city.
- With the assistance of Pakistan, efforts to revive the Afghan government’s peace talks with the Taliban are underway.
- India and France are set to launch a global solar alliance.
- Chennai, India, is seeing the worst floods it’s had in a century. As of the publication of this round-up, more than 250 people have died in the flooding.
- At the insistence of the opposition, India’s ruling BJP party (which is Hindu nationalist in ideology) has agreed to open a discussion on the issue of intolerance within the country. Recent attacks on minorities, most of them Muslims, have spurred controversy throughout the nation.
- The leader of the Taliban may be injured.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A new Chinese report on climate change paints a pessimistic portrait of the planet’s future.
- China and Taiwan swapped spies this week, a sign of warming ties according to the Taiwanese leadership.
- China’s currency has become a global phenomenon. The IMF approved the renminbi as a world currency.
- Japan has resumed whaling, to the consternation of environmentalists everywhere.
- An American marine was found guilty of killing a transgender woman in a hotel in the Philippines.
Europe & Eurasia:
- As tensions heat upon between the two countries, Turkey is encouraging its citizens not to go to Russia.
- Russia, meanwhile, has slammed Turkey with sanctions.
- Ukraine is having its own tug-of-war with Russia, over the Crimean peninsula per usual.
- Britain‘s parliament ripped itself to shreds this week over whether or not to go to war with Syria. Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn (who is VERY left-wing) reportedly tried to strong-arm his party into voting against the move, and failed. David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, reportedly called Corbyn a terrorist sympathizer, which of course did little to help the issue. The MPs voted to bomb Syria, and strikes began late in the week.
- In Turkey, “Lord of the Rings experts” are being brought in to determine if the “Gollum meme” is offensive.
- NATO is eyeing Montenegro.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Two Jewish teenagers were convicted in an Israeli court of setting a 16 year-old Palestinian on fire, ultimately killing him.
- Saudi women are running for public office for the first time in history.
- Rojava, an autonomous zone in Syria, is building a feminist society that relies on direct democracy.
- Many Iraqis think the US is helping Daesh/ISIS.
- Pope Francis tread into dangerous territory visiting a mosque in a violence-ridden neighborhood in the CAR.
- Burkina Faso‘s election occurred without major fanfare, and ballots are now being counted. ETA: Roch Marc Christian Kabore has been elected leader of the country.
- An Amnesty International report notes that El Salvador‘s abortion ban has had a devastating impact on the country’s female population.
- Brazil’s economy is in serious trouble.
- The country is also beginning impeachment charges against Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s leader.
- The Pentagon has announced that all combat roles will be open to women shortly. You read that correctly: previously, they were not open.
- A terrorist attacked a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, killing three people and wounding nine.
- The first trial for an officer accused in the killing of Freddie Gray has begun in Baltimore.
- Chicago fired its top cop amidst riots over the killing of a young black man.
- The Marshall Islands are disappearing.