Top Stories of the Week
Aleppo. The Syrian civil war has been raging for years at this point, but what happened this week in Aleppo marks one of its darkest chapters. Backed by Russian support, the Syrian regime re-took Aleppo this week, isolating and destroying the rebel stronghold -- and committing a massacre. A brief ceasefire was put in place to allow rebels to leave, but it quickly unraveled. This was and is, to put it bluntly, a "complete meltdown of humanity."
Cabinet chaos. This week in Trumpland, Rick Perry was picked to head the Department of Energy -- a department he once advocated to get rid of, and then promptly forgot. This continues an interesting trend in Trump's cabinet: people being chosen to run departments that they hate.
Guilty. Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine African American churchgoers last year in Charleston, was found guilty this week. What his sentencing will be remains to be seen, but the verdict is, if nothing else, a grim victory for Black Americans, who have watched their country's justice system fail them repeatedly in recent trials. That having been said, with a Trump presidency on the horizon and the memory of what happened in Charleston still burning anew regularly, it's hard to say just how comforting any of this can really be.
Authors on Obama. Manthreading. Mexican women playing soccer/football, as they should. Forgiveness, women, and the FARC. New in town etc. In praise of Zadie Smith's London. Bye Kanye, bye Bill Gates. (Also bidding goodbye to Wonder Woman.) My president was Black. How journalists of color plan to survive in Trump's America. Female writers on their literary inspirations. Ruth Negga reads Zadie Smith. The Root reminds us that Wikileaks is garbage.
South, Southeast, & East Asia:
- South Koreans are celebrating the impeachment of their president.
- In Rakhine State, home to Burma's minority Rohingya population, homes are being burned and ransacked.
- In Indonesia, blasphemy laws are finally seeing their day in court.
- China issued 2016's first 'red alert' over smog and pollution in the air.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Thirty-eight people were killed and more were injured after a blast (claimed by Kurdish militants) occurred outside of a soccer stadium in Istanbul.
- On that note, a longer piece on the conflict ripping Turkey apart.
- After the resignation of Matteo Renzi, Italy's foreign minister will try to form a government.
- Serbia has accused Croatia of blocking its path to EU membership.
- Rats are overrunning even the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Middle East & North Africa:
- An attack on a Coptic church in Egypt killed more than 20 people, and led to wide-spread anger. Copts are religious minorities in Egypt and are often targeted on the basis of their faith.
- The Islamic State re-entered the Syrian city of Palmyra, which it had previously exited after being driven out.
- Iran will host Taliban leaders at a large Islamic conference, a move that has been soundly criticized.
- After saying he would honor the results of the election that ousted him, Gambia's dictator is now having second thoughts.
- Liberia's president led a delegation to Gambia to mediate the election fallout.
- A bombing in Mogadishu killed around 30 people when a truck targeted the city's port.
- Faster internet is coming to Cuba.
- Protests erupted in Brazil following the passage of an austerity bill.
- Haiti might be facing a food crisis, the last thing the impoverished nation needs.
- Venezuela's currency is in a state of hyperinflation.
- Terrible abortion bills were the thing of the week in the US.
- Australia's anti-Islam party is getting push-back from Australian Jews, among others.
Quote of the Week:
"We have no formal chain of command around here." -- Donald Trump