Stories of the Week
The Green Zone. Last weekend, Iraqi protesters and supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad's Green Zone. The event followed weeks of unrest, namely because the Iraqi government has failed to produce a cabinet. While in the Zone, protesters stopped to take selfies and look around. Why? Because despite the Green Zone being on Iraqi soil and therefore belonging to Iraqis, it is dominated by Americans, who want distance from civilians. This means most Iraqis have never seen the Zone, even though it houses the Iraqi parliament. The protesters have since withdrawn, but they have promised to return.
Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. Thanks, Indiana. On Tuesday night, Ted Cruz conceded and abandoned his bid to become president of the US, leaving only John Kasich to challenge Trump for the nomination. Kasich conceded the next day. What does this mean? It means Donald Trump is one Democrat away from the presidency, that's what it means. Very few people have reacted to this well - including Paul Ryan, who apparently isn't ready to back Trump.
On fire. In Canada, an oil sands town's fire forced 80,000 people to evacuate. Fort McMurray, located in the province of Alberta, has been consumed by a massive blaze the likes of which have made international headlines. In what could be the worst fire in Alberta's history, the Canadian military has been called in, and the entire town has been displaced.
Erdogan consolidates power. A growing rift between Turkey's president and its prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, finally led the latter to resign his position. This will allow Recep Tayyip Erdogan to expand his hold over the country, as he has for the past few years. For his part, Davutoglu has promised no criticism of Erdogan.
- Live-tweeting Osama bin Laden - worst idea ever.
- All-male book clubs, because apparently every step of your education regardless of which country or city you come from was not sufficient in that department.
- RIP Bookslut, long live Jessa Crispin.
- Life on planets far away?
- Head transplant.
- Where did Radiohead go?
- There was an epic fistfight on the floor of Turkey's parliament for surprisingly legitimate reasons.
- Examining why the majority of bisexual individuals tend to wind up in heterosexual relationships.
- Three men were detained following the killing of a Hindu tailor in Bangladesh.
- The doctor who helped the CIA track down Bin Laden has been wasting away in a prison for five years.
- A 16 year-old girl was set on fire by a jirga in Abbottabad -- she was reportedly being "punished."
- A Dalit law student was raped and murdered in Kerala, in a horrifying news story that has been compared to the infamous Delhi rape case that consumed India in 2012.
- A robust media is transforming Afghanistan.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China wants help from other nations in tracking down its graft suspects.
- Domestic abuse isn't helped by Chinese cultural norms of silence.
- Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines will patrol their waters following a series of kidnappings by religious militants.
Europe & Eurasia:
- A far-right German party has called for a ban on minarets and burqas, claiming the country's constitution is not compatible with Islam.
- The EU is getting set to grant Turks visa-free travel, a benefit of the country's assistance in the ongoing refugee crisis facing the continent.
- Italy's highest court of appeal has ruled that stealing food when in dire need is not a crime.
- Sadiq Khan leads in London's mayoral elections. If he wins, he would be the city's first Muslim mayor.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Around 90 people are believed to have died last weekend after attempting the dangerous sea crossing from Libya to Europe.
- Iran's new parliament has more women than clerics.
- Egyptian police blocked labor day assemblies.
- A Palestinian journalist is being held by Israel for four months without charge under suspicion that he is working with the PLO.
- Saudi Arabia will now give women the right to a copy of their marriage contract.
- After horrifying bloodshed, 48 hours of calm in Aleppo.
- Albinos in Malawi are at risk of extinction, according to a UN official. The country's albino populace is frequently the victim of discrimination and attacks.
- Zimbabwe is selling off wildlife in an effort to save its animals from drought.
- Two men in Kenya are challenging the constitutionality of anal exams, which are meant to weed out homosexual individuals.
- Puerto Rico defaulted on its debt payment after debt talks failed.
- Brazil suspended and then restored WhatsApp.
- The first American cruise ship post-thawing of relations sailed from Miami to Havana.
- Resettling the first American climate change refugees.
- Detroit's underpaid and exhausted teachers have had enough. 94 of the city's 97 schools were closed at points throughout the week as teacher's "called in sick" -- their method of striking in a place where striking is illegal.
- The US is cracking down hard on e-cigarettes.
- An Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright says he is the founder of Bitcoin.
- Two refugees on the island of Nauru set themselves on fire in protest of their conditions and treatment.
Quote of the Week:
"I was dating this guy and he had a blog and his blog was boring and I thought I could do better than that." - Jessa Crispin to Vulture, on why she started a blog
Blue Out: Notes on California.