The News 10/2-10/7: Huge-ass hurricane

Hi all! Apologies if you've been receiving the News on Sundays instead of Fridays in your inbox. It's an ongoing war with MailChimp and may or may not be fixed in the coming weeks. In the interim, the posts themselves do always publish on Fridays -- and you can see the latest updates every week here. Thank you for your patience!

Stories of the Week

Shock in Colombia. After finally agreeing to a historic peace deal effectively ending decades of civil war, the FARC rebels and the Colombian government were shocked by a vote from the people -- one that essentially voided the deal. What will happen now? It's unclear. What is clear is that Colombians were not exactly thrilled at the idea of the FARC getting off easy for their crimes, which the agreement would have allowed for. However, as there is no "Plan B", it's unclear where both the FARC and Colombia go from here.

Hurricane. Causing stress from Haiti and the Dominican Republic all the way up the American east coast is Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean in over a decade. Arguably, the US was prepared for the storm, and issued mass-evacuations from Florida to South Carolina. But the US has the infrastructure for such evacuations; Haiti, destroyed and abandoned by much of the world, has very few of these niceties in place.

The next secretary-general.... is a Western European man. In an anticlimactic moment that many hoped would see the first female and potentially the first Eastern European candidate for the job step into the spotlight, António Guterres was chosen as the ninth man to fill the U.N.'s top role. 

Jardin, Colombia. Pedro Szekely - Flickr

Jardin, Colombia. Pedro Szekely - Flickr


Blues Buzz

Guess who's back! Leave Ferrante alone. The Handmaid's Tale and America's future. Happy new year to Jews and Muslims! Desi feminist punk band. Kim Kardashian's robbery is not a joke. We are killing the wild and beautiful things. Literal genius Maggie Nelson gives an interview. Junot Diaz on privilege and writing. Muslim and a ballerina. The Holocaust and Syria. Sophie Cruz is still the best ever. Julia Alvarez on Gloria Naylor. Interracial love emojis. The Atlantic probably should've picked a different title for this. Giving a voice to the women of Syria.


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • Muslims in the Indian meat industry are mulling a strike over severe harassment and abuse.
  • The Afghan city of Kunduz was under assault from the Taliban throughout the week.
  • Journalists are protesting Indian crackdowns on Kashmiri media.
  • The White House in the US shut down a petition trying to push for Pakistan's classification as a state sponsor of terror.
  • Four Hazara women were killed in Quetta during the mourning period of Muharram, observed by Pakistan's minority Shia community.

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

  • Hungary rejected EU refugee quotas in a referendum. However, turnout was so low that the results may be invalid.
  • The US and Russia are so, so done with trying to make a deal in Syria.
  • Thousands of women have gone on strike in Poland over abortion rights. UPDATE: The Polish government has decided not to move forward with a proposed total abortion ban, citing the will of the country's female population (or, rather, noting that officials learned "humility" from the protests.) 
  • Nigel Farage is back with UKIP after its new leader quit, a mere 18 days after she started.
  • Scientists from France, Germany, and Britain earned the Nobel for their tiny machines.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • The NYT scored a pretty epic leak of US Secretary of State John Kerry's commentary on Syria and the use of force.
  • Hijab drama continues over chess in Iran -- numerous players will be boycotting an upcoming world chess match over the country's harsh dress code, but other players are pushing back. 
  • Jason Rezaian is suing Iran following the time he spent in the notorious Evin prison.
  • Iraq called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over Turkey's military deployment on its soil.

Sub-Saharan Africa:


  • Brazilian police arrested two journalists reporting on forced evictions in Rio de Janeiro. 
  • Trump's taxes. (Or lack thereof.) 
  • Virtually everyone agrees that the vice-presidential debate was awful.
  • Snowden 2.0?


Quote of the Week:

Police certainly aren't messing around anymore. In a news release on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Hood County Sheriff's Office offered the following unfriendly reminder: "To all of you knuckleheads planning on dressing up as a 'Scary Clown,' I would reconsider the thought. Because it may be the last thing you ever do in this life." On Monday, two teenage clowns were arrested after threatening a mother and her young child with tree limbs in a Baytown park. According to KPRC, an officer drew a gun on one of the clowns before leading him away in handcuffs. There have been at last seven arrests related to clown activity in Texas this week alone, mostly for hoax threats made toward schools. -- Texas Monthly morning email, regarding the state's ongoing creepy clown situation

Blue Out: Muslims in public spaces, praying.