Stories of the Week
Super duper Tuesday. Numerous states in the US held primaries and caucuses last Tuesday, marking a turning point in the presidential race. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won a handful of key states, including the enormous Texas, which brings her much-needed delegates (who will, in turn, be used to ascend to the nomination for the Democratic party.) Bernie Sanders took Vermont, his home state, as well as Oklahoma, Colorado, and Minnesota, thanks to the white voting demographic in those states, who have favored Sanders this election cycle. On the Republican side, Donald Trump had a near sweep but ceded Oklahoma, Alaska, and Texas to Ted Cruz, who is from the latter state. Marco Rubio won his only election of primary season so far, taking Minnesota. Update: Ben Carson dropped out of the race (or appeared to) on Wednesday, and on Thursday Mitt Romney gave an anti-Trump speech.
Abortion hearings. The US Supreme Court heard its biggest abortion case in many, many years this week. The argument hinges on a Texas case, Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, which argues that a state law, HB2 (famously filibustered by Texas State Representative Wendy Davis in 2013), places an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions. The Court's four liberal justices and three of its conservative justices took their typical stances. This means Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who is still something of a swing vote, will be the decider. The liberal justices made the case to Kennedy that HB2 appeared to be unconstitutional.
Mumtaz Qadri dies in Pakistan. Pakistan has hung Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who spoke out against the country's blasphemy laws. Qadri was Taseer's bodyguard, and his actions were lauded by hardliners and blasphemy law proponents. While mourners and protesters have filled the street since his death, much of the Pakistani media has been silent in an effort to prevent his martyrdom.
- The Oscars happened, they were white and male.
- 25 years after the beating of Rodney King.
- Rebecca Traister on female friendship.
- What Umberto Eco, who passed away recently, might have had to say about Donald Trump.
- What Americans think about abortion.
- Apple: 1, Government: 0. But, the fight continues.
- Wise men v. Old women.
- An American astronaut came home, but his beautiful photos from space will continue to inspire people around the globe (see Blue Out for more.) His companions, Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, were also greeted like kings.
- Read women writers as International Women's Day approaches.
- Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won her second Oscar for A Girl In the River: The Price of Forgiveness. The film focuses on the issue of honor killings in Pakistan, and has led Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to promise a concerted effort in parliament to end the practice.
- Two Pakistani employees of the US consulate in Peshawar were killed mid-week by an IED.
- The Pope has accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan this year.
- Uber launched in Lahore later in the week.
- A Taliban suicide bomber killed over a dozen people in Kabul last Saturday.
- Afghan girls and women are being subjected to invasive virginity tests, according to reports.
- An Indian man killed 14 members of his own family early in the week, with only one daughter emerging as the sole survivor.
- A JNU student arrested on charges of sedition was granted bail.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Burma pushed the date of the vote to elect a new president.
- The UN voted on Wednesday on whether to sanction North Korea.
- South Korean lawmakers ended the longest filibuster ever recorded. It dragged on for 192 hours.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The Swiss rejected a plan that would have discriminated against immigrants.
- Refugees were tear-gassed at the Greek-Macedonian border. The crisis has become one that humanitarian groups are aghast at.
- French demolition workers took down the homes of refugees in the infamous Calais encampment referred to as 'The Jungle.' The refugees are protesting the move.
- In Crimea, newborn baby boys were served draft notices.
- An Uzbek nanny beheaded a small child in her care before walking with the head through the streets of Moscow.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Iran's elections saw a big win for reformist candidates, who belong to the part of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
- The Islamic State hit Baghdad with a twin suicide bombing last weekend, killing scores.
- Iraq's Mosul dam is at risk of bursting.
- The body of an Italian student killed in Egypt revealed a week's worth of torture.
- Despite an internationally-brokered ceasefire in Syria that seems to be working, fighting continued between rebels and government forces throughout the week.
- Somalia is turning into a cash-free society.
- South Africa has a solar-powered airport.
- Zimbabwe's former vice president has formed a separate party to challenge the country's hard-line leader, Robert Mugabe.
- Half of the population of the CAR is currently going hungry, according to the UN.
- A bloc of East African countries are working on an e-passport that would ease travel between nations.
- Argentina has settled the 14-year battle over its debt.
- Facebook's highest-ranking executive in Brazil was arrested following a dispute between the Brazilian government and the company.
- The Zika virus could be causing paralysis.
- Famed kingpin El Chapo wants to be extradited to the US from Mexico so he can have better prison conditions.
- Tesla workers in Nevada are protesting over their pay.
- Texas isn't prepared for hurricanes, and that is a huge problem.
- New Zealand is voting in a referendum on whether or not to keep its flag, which currently includes the Union Jack.
Quote of the Week:
Twenty-four years later, there are three women on the court. And if you count Justice Stephen Breyer as one of history’s great feminists—and I do—then you can view the arguments in this term’s landmark abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, as creating a neat 4–4 split. On one side, you have a group of testy male justices needling a female lawyer for Texas clinics about whether it was even appropriate for them to hear this appeal. On the other, you’ve got four absolutely smoking hot feminists pounding on Texas’ solicitor general for passing abortion regulations that have no plausible health purpose and also seem pretty stupid. - "The Women Take Over" (Dahlia Lithwick for Slate)