Stories of the Week
Afghan Taliban chief killed. Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in an American strike over the weekend, one that Pakistani and Afghan officials don't appear to have been super in the loop on. The Taliban met to choose a successor, and selected Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, who will now lead a group in deep disarray. Meanwhile, the strike has exposed divisions between the Pakistani government and the US; the former is clearly displeased by the actions of the latter. Though arguably both governments have colluded in the past over drone strikes, Pakistan may have had a number of reasons for not wanting Mansour killed. Pakistanis themselves also have some feelings, because, well, they have a right to not want their sovereignty violated and their lives in danger.
A week of releases. Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko has been released by Russia after two years in detention. Returning a lionlike figure to her home, Savchenko's imprisonment (and hunger strike while in prison) have done little to sway her politics, and the pilot remained defiant up until her release, something Russia is trying to sell as a mere prisoner exchange. Savchenko's release wasn't the only one in the Eastern Europe/Central Asian bloc; Journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been freed by Azerbaijan after a lengthy detention.
Donald Trump cinches the Republican nomination. This has been inevitable for quite some time now, but it is now official: the Republican candidate for president of the US will be Trump. And Republicans are rallying behind him.
- When my authentic is your exotic.
- Reviving Joan Didion's disdain for Woody Allen.
- TWITTER MELTDOWN. (There are many good things about this. MINUS. The fact that you can now tag many more users, meaning people, namely women, will face even more harassment.)
- White people just learned about turmeric lattes.
- Bill Cosby. Oy vey.
- Millennials in the Western world have joined many of their Eastern counterparts in that they are now more likely to live with their parents than with a romantic partner.
- Killing Dylann Roof -- Mr. Coates strikes again.
- There are many horrifying articles on Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women. This piece, from The Walrus, is as beautiful as it is tragic.
- Peter Thiel is suing Gawker into oblivion. This is very bad for journalism, but also Gawker isn't great.
- A year after Nepal's horrifying quake, Tamangs are still struggling on the margins.
- Sri Lanka's flood death toll continues to rise.
- Speaking of Sri Lanka, the country's cabinet has approved an office that will work to learn the fate of missing citizens who disappeared during the nation's brutal civil war.
- Why are more Indian girls dying than boys?
- India is using Iran as a means of sidestepping Pakistan, something that will have interesting economic and diplomatic implications for all three countries.
Southeast & East Asia:
- The US has lifted its 50-year ban on the sale of arms to Vietnam.
- Speaking in Japan, Barack Obama sounded the alarm on Donald Trump, a figure who has numerous world leaders concerned.
Europe & Eurasia:
- In a fiery weekend piece for NYT, Carlotta Gall argues that Kosovo has become fertile ground for the Islamic State.
- Russia has suspended its strikes against Syrian rebel groups.
- Austria's Green Party emerged victorious on Monday. But a neo-Nazi party also nearly won.
- Binali Yildirim, an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been selected as prime minister of Turkey.
- Europe and the IMF are back to fighting over Greece.
- A new Georgian party is looking to shake up its elections.
- France is going through some very heated labor strikes, and this is by French standards.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Syria's coast, which is loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, was hit by a wave of bombings at the beginning of the week, killing around 80 people.
- Iraqi troops began an offensive to retake the city of Fallujah this week.
- Israel lifted a ban on the import of cement to Gaza.
- The UN has expressed alarm at the expansion of executions in Gaza.
- Avigdor Lieberman is now the Israeli defense minister -- and a very far-right defense minister, at that.
- The EgyptAir flight that crashed last week could very well have been brought down by an explosion.
- Syrian Kurds are increasingly going global, opening an office in Paris this week.
- The Nigerian Labor Congress suspended its fuel strike.
- Tomato crops in Nigeria's Kaduna state are being killed off by a moth species.
- Protests against Kenya's election oversight committee are turning deadly.
- Malawi is in the midst of a severe drought, one that is impacting food access.
- Mexico granted the extradition of "El Chapo" to the US.
- The latest to go in the Brazilian government is its planning minister, who stepped down after a video leaked implying his support for the ousting of Dilma Rousseff.
- Meanwhile, the debate rages about whether or not Rousseff's ousting was a coup.
- The difficulty of obtaining an abortion in Colombia.
- Venezuelans are not receiving adequate protein due to food shortages.
- The head of security for the TSA has been removed -- but it's unlikely to create shorter lines.
- This story, about the rape of a disabled student of color, comes with a massive trigger warning.
- An Australian law firm has filed the first suit against Russia and Vladimir Putin for their suspected role in downing a Malaysian Airlines plane in July 2014 over contested areas of Ukraine.
Quote of the Week:
I have looked into the question of lies and rapes, and you know who lies about rape incessantly? Rapists. Which is an insanely obvious a thing to say, except that no one ever says it. It’s an unbroken story. They lie about it routinely, constantly, reliably, with rare exceptions. There’s a journalistic aphorism that man bites dog is news, while dog bites man is not, but what if we never ever reported on dog bites, what if people denied that dogs bite or even have teeth or were dogs at all? - "To break the story, you must break the status quo", Rebecca Solnit, LitHub