Stories of the Week
Taiwan quake. An earthquake in Taiwan last weekend killed numerous people. Survivors were being pulled from the wreckage caused by the event as the week began, and one apartment complex that had raised suspicion before the quake even occurred was the site of a massive amount of carnage. Its builder is now in police custody.
New Hampshire and its dissidents. The American presidential race is more than a year in, but we have almost a year left, and only one primary and one caucus done. New Hampshire, a quirky state that is 98.8% white in racial demographics and quite small, handed two candidates viewed as being outside the establishment, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, hefty wins. The postmortems: Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, Republicans, have dropped out.
Einstein's genius confirmed? Years ago, Albert Einstein put forward the theory of gravitational waves. It remained unproven until Thursday. The scientists who discovered the waves could be up for a Nobel prize, which should speak to the importance of the discovery. We can also now take comfort in the knowledge that Einstein was indeed an Einstein.
- Beyoncé disappointed many of her fans recently with an appearance in a Coldplay video that seemed to play heavily on Orientalism. This weekend she seemed back in good graces - she dropped the music video for "Formation", which incorporated political images and protestation against police brutality with a celebration of African-American Southern culture. (Though it seems some of the video footage may have been take without proper credit to its source.) Full video here.
- Speaking of Bey, here is a fantastic article on the Southern Black experience as told through an homage to food.
- February is Black History Month in the US. Here's a look at some unpublished Black history.
- Let this WWII-era romance's re-ignition warm your heart. And then let Eileen Myles talk to you about love.
- What is criticism?
- Two radio journalists were attacked by gunmen in Afghanistan last week. The incident was the latest in a series of violent spurts against members of the press.
- An Afghan woman whose nose was violently cut off by her husband will receive a new one in Turkey.
- The Indian government is blocking Internet.org, Facebook's attempt at expanding free Web access in areas that have difficulty obtaining it.
- A town in Bangalore is being terrorized by a leopard.
- The incident has seen Facebook embroiled in considerable controversy -- with one member of its board going so far as to say anti-colonialism has historically been bad for India. Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg has shut down those comments.
- The Islamic State is reportedly seeing growth in Pakistan.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China has been slow to respond to North Korea's increasing boldness in the region, but that might not last long. Meanwhile South Korea is treading towards war with its neighbor, and the US has proposed further sanctions against the hermit kingdom.
- North Korea also executed its chief of military staff, reportedly on corruption charges.
- China has reported its first case of Zika virus.
- Riots broke out in Hong Kong in what has been glibly dubbed the "Fishball Revolution." The dispute began over tickets issued to street vendors.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Approximately 27 refugees died when their boat capsized off the island of Lesbos.
- Two commuter trains crashed in Germany, killing multiple people.
- Despite a setback from the UN, Sweden is resolved to have Wikileaks founder Julian Assange returned in order to face rape charges.
Middle East & North Africa:
- A Guantanamo Bay prisoner was sent home to Morocco, but he remains in police custody there.
- Turkey has threatened to bomb US-backed Kurds in Syria.
- Algeria has finally recognized the Berber language as an official dialect of the country.
- Tunisia has built an anti-terror wall on its border with Libya.
- Another Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital was hit by an airstrike in Syria.
- A grenade attack killed four people in Burundi.
- An ethnically-motivated attack on Hutus in the DRC left approximately 21 people dead. Around another 40 people were seriously injured.
- The president of Chad has said he will reintroduce term limits if he wins a fifth term.
- Two suicide bombers killed more than 60 people in an IDP camp in Nigeria.
- Angola has reported several new cases of Yellow Fever.
- Haiti's president stepped down from his post, leaving no clear successor.
- The festival of Carnivale went on in Brazil in defiance of fears surrounding the Zika virus, which has led numerous women to give birth to children with extreme birth defects.
- Canada is ceasing its strikes in Syria. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised to address his country's involvement in the Syrian civil war should he be elected. Canada will continue sending special forces to train troops in Iraq.
- The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl.
- The Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the Obama administration's efforts to stop climate change.
- #LetThemStay: Protesters around Australia are rising up on behalf of refugees, calling on their government to grant them asylum.
Quote of the Week:
“Your entire profession,” he wrote back, “has preferred to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to credit my literary/creative genius and/or the outrageous pedagogical stupidity that you have all implicitly supported. And either way I just want you to know that you need to think about the price of this behavior. That one day people will know that your profession is either incredibly inept and or outrageously dishonest. And either way that likely will translate into a crisis for the humanities that you likely are not nearly prepared for. So just be warned. And understand that I will be continuing to work to bring about this very unpleasant and undesirable scenario.” - When A Self-Declared Genius Asks You to Read His Masterpiece (LitHub)