Stories of the Week
RIP Prince. 2016 is terrible. But here's a look at how Prince gave people, most importantly Black kids, the space to be weird when they needed and wanted to. He was not uncomplicated, but still, his loss is being felt all over.
Ecuador emergency. The country was forced to call a national emergency following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that initially killed around 300 people. By mid-week, however, the death toll had topped 500, with more than 200 others still missing. Ecuador will reportedly hike taxes and issue new bonds on the international market to pay for the enormous cost of rebuilding following the damage.
Woman on the $20? Harriet Tubman, legendary African American freer of slaves, will replace Andrew Jackson, notorious racist, slave owner, and destroyer of Native American lives, on the US$20 bill. This is really big news (and also means Alexander Hamilton, of the US$10 bill, is saved, due in no small part to the musical Hamilton.) However, there's a catch: Jackson will still appear on the back of the bill. Also, it's questionable as to whether Tubman would have even wanted to be on the bill.
Blast in Kabul. An attack claimed by the Taliban left over 60 dead and more than 300 injured in Afghanistan's capital on Tuesday. The blast came during rush hour, which maximized its impact, and the death count rose in the days following. Despite minimal coverage from Western media outlets following initial bomb coverage, however, residents of the city remained resilient -- many Afghans lined up to donate blood and offer assistance to those affected.
A win for transgender rights. In the US, which is notoriously poor with regards to its treatment of transgender individuals, there were signs of hope this week. A federal appeals court sided with a transgender teen who argued that his high school discriminated against him when it barred him from using a men's restroom. The case will now move forward, in what could be a very good sign for the larger transgender community.
- The 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners.
- A UC Berkeley student was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight after speaking Arabic.
- Germany, Turkey, and free speech.
- Time's 100.
- Barack Obama's immigration order on trial.
- Awhile ago, a "mom" posted on Craigslist asking for a tutor on feminism for her son. A Slate reporter went to track her down and this is the absolutely terrifying story she uncovered.
- Everyone in DC is over PJ Harvey right now.
- In Attawapiskat.
- Yes, it is true. Hillary Clinton's love of hot sauce came before 'Formation.'
- Scandalous women.
- Who will be the next UN Secretary General?
- A flash flood killed 38 people in northern Afghanistan.
- Dipa Karmakar will become the first Indian woman to compete in Olympic gymnastics.
- The Indian government has now said that the Kohinoor (a priceless diamond many believe to have been stolen by the British) was a "gift."
- Around 330 million people have been affected by a drought in India, leading to school closures and clashes over water resources.
- Seven people were killed during a polio campaign in Karachi.
- One man in Nepal is not letting anything, including a devastating earthquake, stop his milk delivery routine.
Southeast & East Asia:
- South Korean officials reportedly covered up the torture, rape, and murder of individuals at a home for children, the disabled, and vagrants.
- A Philippine presidential frontrunner has made some pro-gang rape comments.
- Burma's first Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is a woman from the Associated Press.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Pope Francis made an emotional visit to refugees on Lesbos, calling for universal assistance for those affected by the crisis.
- In Britain, a drone hit a commercial airplane.
- The UK is cautioning its LGBTQ citizens to be careful when they visit Mississippi and North Carolina, American states that recently passed queerphobic legislation.
- Also in British news -- Queen Elizabeth II is now 90. Felicitations.
- A Norwegian court ruled that mass-murderer and white supremacist Anders Breivik's prison conditions were inhumane, though the country has among the best prison conditions in the world.
- The Arctic suicides - Greenland's dark problem.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will never return the Golan Heights to Syria.
- Jerusalem was rocked by a bus bomb on Monday, which targeted two different buses.
- The Syrian Opposition suspended its role in peace talks following renewed fighting with the government.
- A delay in Yemen's peace talks was also announced. Houthi rebels, however, reversed course mid-week following criticism, and said they would attend the talks.
- Iraq has suspended its parliament until future notice.
- Barack Obama had a deeply awkward trip to Saudi Arabia.
- A riot broke out over the price of tea in Egypt early in the week.
- Up to 500 refugees are likely dead after their ship sunk off the coast of Libya.
- South Sudan's opposition leader was set to return to Juba in mid-April. However, he had not arrived as of April 18, the date initially set for his return. Concerns are rising about the violence likely to be sparked due to his absence.
- The Ethiopian military is looking to carry out raids in South Sudan following a spate of kidnappings and attacks.
- A boy in Cameroon was killed by a vehicle in the convoy of UN ambassador from the US Samantha Power. He had been running to see the convoy when he was struck.
- Police in Zambia arrested more than 200 people following attacks on Rwandan nationals.
- Brazil's lower house of parliament voted to impeach Dilma Rousseff over the weekend.
- Should Georgetown University make amends to the descendants of slaves?
- Recreational marijuana in Uruguay.
- In Colombia, FARC rebels have demanded that Pope Francis help to mediate talks.
- Flash floods in southeast Texas killed several people and forced several counties into a state of emergency.
- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are inching closer and closer to their parties' respective nominations after New York's vote on Tuesday night.
- Criminal charges have finally been handed down in Flint's water crisis.
- ESPN fired Curt Schilling after he posted an anti-transgender meme on Facebook.
- Former New Orleans police officers responsible for the infamous Danziger Bridge incident have plead guilty.
- China and New Zealand are growing increasingly cozy with one another.
Quote of the Week:
I was on the next Volvo out of Vermont, and the truth is, I never looked back. Okay, I looked back once, when the guy behind me started furiously blowing his horn at my Reelect Franklin Delano Roosevelt bumper sticker. People love that thing, but all the honking can be dangerous on the interstate highway system. I’ve been meaning to take it off, but Jane and I have been a little bit busy lately.
I can still remember pulling into New York City. I remember the first moment the Brooklyn Bridge came into view and I thought to myself, “So, they finally finished it.” Truth is, I had been to New York before — as a child, when I played punchball in the streets of Brooklyn. (Punchball is a sport very much like baseball, except instead of swinging a bat, you punch someone’s balls and then run into a corner and eat a pickle.)
I’m not going to lie: Things were hard when I first came to New York, as they often are for those tired, those poor, those huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I believe they’re called mole people. -- "Bernie Sanders on Why I'm Leaving New York." Daniel Maurer, McSweeney's