Top Stories of the Week
European political drama. On Sunday, Italians shot down a series of proposed constitutional reforms, which Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had staked his career on. Renzi resigned, as expected, shortly after the results came in. His departure leaves the struggling country in flux, and may well have opened Italy up to its own potential departure from the EU, following in Britain's footsteps. In Austria, meanwhile, things went a different direction, when a far-right candidate was rejected, seemingly shutting down (for now) the possibility of a truly unified far-right force across the continent.
Trump and Taiwan. In an unprecedented move, Donald Trump had a call with Taiwan's leader, sparking a furious reaction from China, which has also requested that Taiwan's leader not be welcomed into the country when she travels next month. Whether or not Trump has any interest in doing China's bidding is unclear; what is clear is that foreign diplomacy norms will probably not be followed by the incoming administration.
Native victory in North Dakota. After protesting for months over the building of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, Native tribes finally saw a win. While this is certainly a net positive for the environment, the credit really goes to the indigenous activists who fought back -- and to the good name of resistance and social action in general, which take a beating all too often.
Of course, stopping the pipeline for now doesn't mean it's stopped for always.
Cinema and the new reality of LGBTQ Cubans. A climbing festival for women (by women.) Finding Hillary in the woods. Any one of us. Four new poems. Mistrial. The menstrual cup review we need and deserve. On colonialism and literature. Poetry in a time of crisis. 2016: The year America finally saw the South. The Somali-American lawmaker who made history is now dealing with some seriously racist crap. Filters included: The best books of 2016, maybe. Stanford has a serious problem. Related: Rape is a shitty plot device. Joking about fake news can get you in serious trouble. One Muslim reporter's experience covering the 2016 election. NOT THE GIRAFFES. RIP John Glenn.
South, Southeast, & East Asia:
- As expected, Shavkat Mirziyoyev will succeed Islam Karimov as leader of Uzbekistan. He is expected to continue Karimov's repressive style of ruling.
- Japanese premier Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month.
- South Korea's escalating presidential scandal could see the country's leader exiting office.
- Tamil Nadu's leader, who has amassed a cult-like following, died following a heart attack.
- A Pakistani passenger plane crashed in the mountains killing numerous people, including a famed singer turned religious figure.
- An earthquake struck Aceh, Indonesia, killing more than 100 people.
- The South China Sea dispute is far from over.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Russia has said that Syrian rebels who refuse to leave Aleppo will be 'destroyed.'
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports a partial ban on the burqa.
- The EU has unblocked visa-free travel in Ukraine and Georgia.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Nigeria and Morocco have agreed to the construction of a new gas pipeline.
- Egypt is cracking down on organ trading.
- With a Trump presidency looming, Iran is working to ensure the Iran Deal does not fall apart on a global scale.
- Iraq's parliament speaker has said he will hold the government accountable for a strike that killed around 60 civilians.
- Inside Kakuma, Kenya's 25 year-old refugee camp.
- Dozens of inmates broke out of a prison in central Mali.
- Ghana's election commission website has been hit with a cyber attack.
- DRC may not have enough money to hold its 2018 elections.
- South Sudan seems well on its way to a genocide -- much like the one Rwanda dealt with in the not-so-distant past.
- Cuba is planning to push through as many deals as possible with the US before Obama leaves office.
- The KKK held a parade in North Carolina to celebrate Trump's victory.
- More than 35 people died in a warehouse fire in Oakland, California.
- Australia is sailing through its carbon budget.
- New Zealand's popular prime minister, John Key, resigned this week due to what Key called family-related obligations.
Quote of the Week:
“Members of the Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains.” -- The Satanic Temple in Texas has no time for fetal burial laws
Blue Out: Pizzagate.