The News May 8-13: Sorry About Your Week, Dilma

Stories of the Week

The saga of Dilma Rousseff. Brazil's embattled leader hasn't had the best year. Brazil's lower house voted to impeach her, essentially sealing her fate. However, the impeachment vote was annulled briefly this week, somewhat abruptly. Just as abruptly, the annulment was, err, annulled, and the impeachment was back on track, culminating in Rousseff's suspension late Wednesday night. For her part, Rousseff has called the impeachment process a coup, and it's not too hard to see why, as her vice president has been gunning for her job (despite potentially facing impeachment himself), and virtually everyone trying to impeach her may have committed crimes far out-stepping those Rousseff is accused of. Also of note: those in support of Rousseff are disproportionately poor and less white than those pushing for her removal, something that stems in no small part from the role Rousseff's party has played in trying to empower the lower class. Vox has a good explainer of the issue.

Displacement in Kenya. Kenya is getting set to close all of its refugee camps -- a move that would displace approximately 600,000 people. Among these camps will be the Dadaab refugee camp, which is the largest in the world. Many of the occupants may be forced to return to warzones, something that undoubtedly constitutes a human rights violation. Above all, the situation is a cautionary tale regarding the precarious nature of refugee camps in general.

A bloody week in Iraq. After a tumultuous protest that saw Iraqis storming the Green Zone recently, tensions this week have hardly calmed in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad where political turmoil has spilled over. The Islamic State also targeted various areas this week, often with deadly results. Most notably, a car bombing in a Shiite neighborhood (Sadr City) in Baghdad killed over 60 people, further inflaming sectarian tensions. 

Dilma Rousseff,  Flickr

Dilma Rousseff, Flickr


Blues Buzz


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • Khurram Zaki, a human rights activist in Pakistan, was shot and killed in Karachi over the weekend. He is believed to have been killed for his activism against cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, the leader of Islamabad's Lal Masjid, and a controversial figure notorious for his Taliban sympathies. 
  • There has been outcry over the rape and murder of an 8 year-old Pakistani Hindu girl, whose story strikes at the heart of the marginalization many religious minorities experience throughout the country.
  • The kidnapped son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has been returned home. He was rescued by a joint US-Afghan raid in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. 
  • A bus wreck on the Kandahar-Kabul highway killed over 70 people.
  • Bangladesh's ongoing executions of 1970s-era leaders continues: Motiur Rahman was executed this week for war crimes.

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:



Quote of the Week:

"Yes, you've worked hard, but you've also been lucky. That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did." - American President Barack Obama, giving the commencement speech at Howard University

Blue Out: Some Eileen Myles for you.