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.
- The NYT ran a special feature on Kricket Nimmons, a transgender woman undergoing transitional surgery.
- The man on the operating table: Foreign Policy's look at the American bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital and the lives it took is excellent reporting.
- One of the big mysteries of the end of 2015 was, who bought the Las Vegas Review Journal? Drum roll: Sheldon Adelson.
- If you missed this in-depth and personal look at anorexia, definitely give it a read.
- Painful but beautiful: Muslim parents on how they talk to their children about hatred and extremism.
- A terrifying (and warning: graphic) but brilliant bit of journalism tracking down a rapist, even after one of his victims was falsely accused of lying.
- Unsurprisingly, research indicates women are also sexist towards women, so women just can't get a break.
- America's favorite troll has been arrested.
- 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:
- China is looking to strengthen its ties with Eurasian nations (namely the Central Asian block.)
- A prominent civil rights lawyer has gone on trial in China. He is charged with "inciting ethnic hatred" -- something his supporters (and most evidence) strongly counters.
- Over a dozen coal miners trapped in northeast China are feared dead. They were caught in a tunnel following a fire and explosion.
- Around 750,000 people were evacuated in the Philippines over an approaching typhoon.
- Japan has upheld an old law requiring married couples to have the same last name.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Despite doing well in the first round of regional elections last week, France's far-right National Front party failed to win any region in the final voting round. "Tactical voting" on the part of more left-leaning parties opposing the National Front is credited with staving off the party.
- Russian-Turkish tensions are escalating even more - in the latest jab since Turkey downed a Russian plane in violation of its airspace, Russia fired at a Turkish fishing boat in the Aegean Sea.
- Reports indicate Turkey has mistreated scores of refugees,.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the war in Syria, with emphasis on the role Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would play in peace negotiations.
- Poland's move to the political right has many onlookers concerned.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Saudi Arabia held its first elections offering women the right to both vote and run as candidates. (Women still had to be escorted to the polls by male chaperons.) At least nineteen women have been elected to office based on the results.
- Saudi Arabia has also created an "international counter-terrorism force" with the goal of uniting Muslim nations in the fight against terrorism. Thirty-four nations are members; Iran, Iraq, and Syria have been notably left off the list.
- In an effort to deter the IS, numerous world powers have backed an agreement signed by rival governments in Libya on Wednesday.
- Recent reports indicate that Palestinian journalists are being targeted from all sides. Around a hundred journalists have been injured in some way during the past two months, with Israeli and Palestinian factions alike responsible for the attacks.
- Israel and Turkey are getting set to normalize relations.
- Yemen is in the midst of a seven-day ceasefire, which comes at a critical time. Houthi rebels and government supporters have been warring for months, and there have been numerous casualties on both sides. Both sides have begun prisoner exchanges and hopes are high for a resolution to the conflict. But, as of Thursday morning, the ceasefire looked to be on the verge of collapse.
- At least 26 Qatari hunters are believed to have been kidnapped from an area in Iraq near the Saudi border. Nine were released to the Qatari ambassador near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border.
- Eighty-seven people were killed in Burundi in the worst attacks the nation has seen since its coup, which occurred last April. Burundi's ethnic violence has continued to spiral out of control over the course of past weeks.
- South Africa is seeing mass protests aimed at overthrowing its president, Jacob Zuma.
- The Nigerian Shia community claims the government has killed over a thousand Nigerian Shias.
- Fearful of deportation, Haitians are fleeing the Dominican Republic and camping along its border.
- Colombia has signed a deal with FARC rebels granting many amnesty.
- A federal prosecutor in Argentina is trying to revive a case against ex-President Kirchner that links her to the death of Alberto Nisman.
- Brazil tried to ban Whatsapp. They were highly unsuccessful.
- Bowe Bergdahl, a famed American POW, will face charges of desertion and will go before a court martial. Bergdahl wandered off his base in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban in 2009.
- A terror hoax shut down school districts in Los Angeles and New York on Wednesday.
- There was a Republican (GOP) presidential debate on Tuesday evening. The main takeaway? There is a great deal of anger in the party, something that frontrunner Donald Trump has tapped into. It's the same anger that has led to heightened Islamophobia over the course of this year -- and to an incident that saw a Christian professor fighting for her job after wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslims.
- Enrique Marquez, a man who was reportedly friends with the couple behind the recent shootings in San Bernardino, has been arrested on charges relating to his role in the attack.
- The Federal Reserve hiked rates for the first time since 2006.
- Congress' $1.1 trillion spending bill is set to keep the government open and funded.
- New Zealand is challenging its current flag (which bears the Union Jack.)