Weekly News Round-Up 12/6/15-12/11/15: Light and Darkness

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.

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The Jewish festival of Chanukah is underway around the world (Flickr – slgckgc)

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Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • 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:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:

Americas:

Oceania:

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