The News April 3-April 8: Panama Papers

Stories of the Week

Panama Panama Panama. Over the weekend, a blockbuster of a story hit the headlines: via a secret source and German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was able to unload a ton of information regarding secret money in Panama. More specifically, the work that law firm Mossack Fonseca has done to cover its clients' business dealings and finances in the country. The fallout in various countries is noted throughout the Regions section below.

Armenia v. Azerbaijan. Ever heard of Nagorno-Karabakh? The breakaway region is ethnically Armenian but in Azerbaijani territory, and has been the subject of recent severe outbursts between the two nations. Around 30 people were killed in clashes over the course of a few days, and the violence escalated severely. On April 5, both nations declared a ceasefire of sorts, but tensions are still running high.

One person, one vote. In an 8-0 decision (which is HIGHLY unusual), the US Supreme Court ruled that states do not have to allocate legislative districts by the number of voters, as opposed to the number of people, living in them. This is a win for minority communities and the legally disenfranchised, who would have been very affected by a different ruling. Of course, it's not entirely clear that this has completely put the matter to rest, or that it won't come back to the Court in another shape or form.  

Boats in Panama (Chumlee10 - Flickr)

Boats in Panama (Chumlee10 - Flickr)

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Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi replaced his vice president, Khaled Bahah, with Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. Al-Ahmar is the country's most powerful military officer.
  • The Syrian government has been making strides against both the Islamic State and Syrian rebels.
  • Between "dozens" and 250 factory workers have likely been kidnapped by the Islamic State from a cement factory 25 miles east of Damascus. Numbers have varied by source.
  • One of Libya's competing governments has ceded power to the UN-backed unity government. Update: Or not.
  • A far-right member of the Israeli government earned condemnation from virtually all sides after saying that Jewish and non-Jewish women should be segregated in maternity wards.

Sub-Saharan Africa:



  • Australia's Queensland state government has cleared the way for a large coal mine that could greatly damage the Great Barrier Reef.

Quote of the Week:

“Although [Luke’s] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, [her claims] do no allege that [Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha.”
The judge ended with this ... “Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.” - Judge tosses Kesha's Sony appeal.

Blue Out: Retweets=Endorsements.