The News 10/16-10/21: 'Nasty woman'

Stories of the Week

Retaking Mosul. Often down but never fully out, the Iraqi army launched a major mission this week to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State. The mission may well take two months -- and it's unclear if it will actually be successful. Still, time is not on the side of the Islamic State, which has been shedding resources and support for months. 

Rigged election. Despite years of the US *actually* rigging elections in other countries, despite years of white Americans rigging elections to hurt Americans of color, and despite Russia actually probably playing a role in trying to sway this particular election in favor of Donald Trump, Trump himself is convinced that the election is being rigged for Hillary Clinton, his opponent. This is a deeply damaging and potentially very dangerous accusation, one that the Trump campaign in general isn't doing a very good job of containing. Neither is the candidate himself -- at the third presidential debate, he essentially said he would keep Americans "in suspense" about the course of action he would take.

Ethiopia's nightmare. Ethiopia's crisis is only worsening. The nation, which has long suffered under a repressive government and brutal crackdowns, is now seeing some of the worst violence its endured in years. Over 1000 protesters have been arrested for protesting governmental practices, and the country is in a state of emergency (imposed on October 8.) Previously, Western governments, like the US, have tolerated Ethiopia's repression because of its strong economy -- so it remains to be seen how this crisis might be approached by the international community. 

Mosul, Iraq. (The US Army - Flickr)

Mosul, Iraq. (The US Army - Flickr)


Blues Buzz

An Indian actor who won't fake her accent to please the West. Queerness and Afro-modernity. Eileen Myles on "locker room talk." Fan fiction with Margaret Atwood. Death threats for endorsing Hillary Clinton. Kristen Stewart, queer symbol. Cellulite used to be in, y'all. Everyone loves Michelle. And Chimamanda. D.C.'s metro and racism. Same-sex marriage bans on Native reservations. Must-read: The white flight of Derek Black. This is technically just about Renzi but mostly we're here for Renzi and Trudeau. Past racism. Endangered bees. Inside a Hindus for Trump rally. Lahore's booze scene. Being queer is still rough. The US Green Party vs. the German Green Party. Lost contact. Italian women on having a sexist run your country. Marlon James is done talking about diversity. Related: studying whiteness. The complexities of Jewish marriage.


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • Helmand, Afghanistan continues to be the site of warfare and destruction. 
  • Officials from Afghanistan and the Taliban, meanwhile, have restarted talks. 
  • A Pakistani chaiwalla became an overnight internet sensation when his picture went viral. The young man has now scored a modeling contract. 

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • A 72-hour ceasefire took place in Yemen in order to allow for a reprieve. Begun Wednesday night,  the ceasefire briefly brought mass-fighting in the country to a halt.
  • Saudi Arabia executed a member of the royal family; he was accused of shooting and killing another man.
  • Turkish jets battled US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria this week, heightening animosity between the two countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa:



  • Abuses in Australia's Northern Territory are being detailed for a royal commission. The latest: an officer at a juvenile detention center allegedly urinated in a toilet and told a boy to drink it. 
  • Australia's first openly gay Aboriginal politician is making a plea for same-sex marriage.   

Quote of the Week:

Perhaps for obvious reasons, at the last minute, Lochte’s publicist decides to come along. “Work is slow,” she says. “It’s Yom Kippur.”
“What’s that?” Lochte asks curiously.
“It’s the Jewish Day of Atonement.”
“Wasn’t it their Thanksgiving two days ago?”
“That was Canadian Thanksgiving.”
“Oh,” says Lochte, shifting his hands in his pocket and pulling out his phone, which, as it turns out, has been butt-dialing people. “Ha!” he says. “My friend was just on the phone for like five minutes! Ha-ha-ha!” -- Ryan Lochte, everyone

Blue Out: Bob Dylan isn't taking the Nobel's calls.