The News December 13-18: APS Anniversary & a Climate Deal

Stories of the Week

A deal reached in Paris. More than 200 nations came together in Paris this month to negotiate a climate deal that would, ideally, curb fossil fuels and aid the dozens of countries eyeing severe damage at the hands of climate change. Last weekend, they reached a deal. Does it do enough? Yes and no. The deal largely relies on countries doing the right thing, which is dubious. But, the deal might also have saved the world. Opinions range, but the deal is still important regardless, and we'll get some idea of how it's working pretty soon -- 2020 is the next check-in.

APS anniversary. A year after more than a hundred and forty people, the vast majority of them children, were brutally murdered in a Taliban-led attack on an army public school in Peshawar, Pakistan, the country is still in deep mourning. Numerous publications accused the government and army of silencing the families of the victims, and many survivors shared stories of anguish and trauma. In the year since the attack, Pakistan has revived its death penalty policy for terror-related cases, and the army (likely the most powerful institution in the country) has been more at odds with the Taliban than perhaps ever in its history (prior to the attack, there was some debate regarding relations between the two.) Link under Regional Updates.

Mistrial. The first officer to stand trial in the killing of Freddie Gray, a black man from Baltimore, saw the entire incident end in a mistrial over a hung jury. The officer in question, William Porter, may be an anomaly, as some believe the case against him isn't as strong as the cases to be presented against the other officers. Regardless, Baltimore immediately anticipated riots, though as of yet demonstrations have been peaceful.


Vigil in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Neon Tommy - Flickr)

Vigil in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Neon Tommy - Flickr)

Blues Buzz

Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • In a horrifying blockbuster of a report from the NYT, American Navy SEALs appear to have abused and tortured Afghans circa 2012 while stationed in the country.
  • India and Japan are furthering their ties. The two countries signed a deal that would help India's efforts to build a 'bullet train,' which Japan already has.
  • Pakistan marked one year since the attack on an army public school that killed over a hundred children and several teachers. 
  • The Islamic State (IS) are hindering polio vaccine efforts in Pakistan.
  • Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned Sunni militant group, claimed a bombing in the northwestern tribal area of Pakistan that targeted a Shiite marketplace.

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:



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