The News February 7-12: Live Free Or Die

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. 

Bangalore Palace (Asif Musthafa - Flickr)

Bangalore Palace (Asif Musthafa - Flickr)

Blues Buzz


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • 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, 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:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:


  • 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.



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)

Blue Out: Crashing your own funeral after your husband tries to kill you.