Stories of the Week
Islamophobia gets even scarier. Donald Trump, an American Republican candidate for president, suggested this week that Muslims be banned from entering the US. The legality of this is being contested but more importantly, Trump’s statement terrifyingly echoed dark chapters in global history when religious minorities have been singled out. Worse yet: none of the other Republican candidates for president have really disagreed with him.
Elections, elections. In France, the far right-wing National Front party is slowly rising, having scored big in regional elections. In Venezuela, President Maduro’s party were recently crushed, a sign that the country has tired of his administration. Brazil, meanwhile, may be heading for elections: the country might be impeaching its president (though, as of Wednesday, impeachment proceedings were suspended.) Rwanda’s Paul Kegame is also clearing the way for his third term, while a similar move in Burundi (where the situation is more extreme) has sparked riots so violent people are worried about what would essentially be genocide on the basis of political affiliation.
Affirmative action in the US may be on the chopping block. A white woman named Abigail Fisher is fighting a war against affirmative action, claiming it cost her a spot at the University of Texas at Austin. (However, it is highly unlikely that she would have gotten in even if she were a person of color.) Regardless, her case, which has previously gone to the Supreme Court, been kicked back, and is now being taken up again, may determine the future of affirmative action. A lot of people are worried, which seems valid.
- Angela Merkel is Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
- It’s Chanukah this week! Personal plug.
- Former US President Jimmy Carter is officially cancer-free.
- RIP Scott Weiland.
- Greenhouse gases may have dropped globally.
- Penis transplants.
- Millennial takeover.
- The drama behind Bitcoin is something you may or may not know about.
- Serial fans, your fave is back.
- Despite the links accused militants may have to the country, Pakistan is proving difficult for terrorists to infiltrate. This is in no small part due to last year’s horrifying attack on a school in Peshawar, which saw over a hundred children killed. Pakistanis, it would seem, are growing weary of new militant groups.
- Chennai, India, is slowly recovering from a series of devastating floods.
- India is working with the Japanese to build a ‘bullet train.’
- India-Pakistan talks are back on.
- Around 40 people were killed in an attack on an airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan is set to join the WTO.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China has created a World Bank of its own.
- Beijing issued a red alert for smog this past week.
- The US has imposed more sanctions on North Korea.
Europe & Eurasia:
- There was a terrorist incident in the London subway last weekend.
- Every 16 year-old in Sweden will receive a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.
- France’s far-right National Front party has made big gains in regional elections.
- Russian–Turkish tensions are still rising.
- After an Azerbaijani oil rig fire, dozens are missing.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Forgotten by the world, the conflict in Yemen is still raging on.
- Iraqi forces have recaptured large swathes of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.
- Rebels in the Syrian city of Homs have handed it over to government forces.
- Saudi Arabia isn’t doing much for the Paris climate talks.
- Chad was hit with triple suicide bombings.
- Ethiopia is headed for a food crisis.
- Rwandans will be voting next week to decide if their president, Paul Kegame, will be allowed to run for a third term in office.
- Brazil‘s president, Dilma Rousseff, is fighting impeachment charges.
- In Venezuela, the party of the late Hugo Chavez was trounced in recent elections.
- American President Obama addressed the US last Sunday to update the country on his administration’s fight against terrorism, with emphasis on Daesh/ISIS, which he vowed to defeat.
- Presidential candidate Donald Trump called for barring Muslim immigration to the US. That is illegal, in case you are curious.
- The Department of Justice is getting involved in the Chicago Police Department’s pattern of killing black men.
- The case of Sayed Abdellatif continues to rile Australians.
- Australia may consider troops on the ground in the war against Daesh/ISIS.