Stories of the Week
Affirmative/rejected. In an ongoing American race case, Abigail Fisher, a woman who claims she was rejected from the University of Texas at Austin because of her race (Fisher is white), is once again out of luck. In a major victory for affirmative action proponents, the Supreme Court ruled that the university's decision to prioritize students of color in their acceptance process was valid. Other major SCOTUS decisions: a 4-4 split on immigration, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's efforts to use executive action as a means of hastening immigration reform. This decision will have devastating consequences.
Sit-in. America has a gun control problem, and a polarized politics problem. That was on full-display this week when Democrats in the US House of Representatives decided to stage a sit-in to force votes that would restrict the purchase of weapons by certain people (read: people on terrorist watch lists.) There are a number of things to analyze about the sit-in, many of them complicated. First, the US DOES need gun control, and the sit-in was a start. It was also led by civil rights champion John Lewis, as well as other politicians of color. However, as many people have argued, it also serves to demonize people of color (the majority of those on terrorist watch lists), and is also, well, a tiny and flawed solution to a deep and convoluted problem. The sit-in also capitalized on the Orlando shooting last week as rationale for its occurrence, something that, whether purposefully or inadvertently, meant that the lives of LGBTQ+ people were used to justify it, without their consent. And it's not like those against the bill were against it for those reasons; Republicans, for their part, proved of little assistance, and one even shouted something about "radical Islam" being the culprit behind the Orlando shooting.
Brexit. Ah, the conclusion of the Remain or Go wars for Britain. The brutal and tragic murder of MP Jo Cox, who was in favor of remaining and who championed refugees, put a dark spin on a heated vote that has filled headlines for months, and voters went to the polls with the shadow of a shooting in Germany hanging over the day.
- The UNHCR says there are more people displaced now than after WWII.
- The Arab women writers who should be translated.
- Indie presses are opening bookstores.
- Going out in Orlando after a massacre.
- What does it mean to be a person of color as someone from a place where there are almost exclusively people of color?
- Mother Jones has one incredible investigation of private prisons.
- A suicide attack on a minibus in Kabul killed 14 Nepalis.
- The Taliban attacked buses in southern Afghanistan, abducting 60 people.
- Transgender activism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continues to be an uphill battle.
- Sufi singer Amjad Sabri is being mourned across Pakistan after he was killed in Karachi.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Landslides and flooding have killed almost 40 people in Indonesia.
- Gender in Indonesia.
- North Korea went a bit trigger happy this week.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Rome's first female mayor.
- A Turkish border guard killed eight Syrian refugees trying to cross the border on Saturday night.
- Despite a Turkish ban on queer Pride in Istanbul, transgender activists rallied anyways, and were teargassed.
- Russia is beefing up its NATO-linked aggression.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Egypt has sentenced six people, including two Al Jazeera journalists, to death for spying.
- An Egyptian court has squashed the country's efforts to give two islands to Saudi Arabia. And the Egyptian government has squashed that right back.
- Iraqi forces are continuing to make inroads into the city of Fallujah, and have retaken the vast majority of the city from the Islamic State.
- Algeria blocked access to various social media sites in order to prevent exam fraud.
- Bahrain has stripped a top Shia cleric of his citizenship.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is returning to Yemeni towns.
- In South Africa a member of the ruling ANC party was shot and killed during a meeting to decide mayoral candidates.
- A Congolese warlord has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for sexual violence and war crimes.
- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for more racial profiling in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
- Gun control is still going nowhere in the US.
- Tesla and SolarCity.
- The Oakland Police Department is really, truly, spectacularly terrible.
- Clashes in Oaxaca between teachers and the police are turning more and more deadly.
- Canada wants assurances from Mexico before it lifts visa restrictions.
- A deeply historic moment between Colombia and its FARC rebels just occurred.
- The Australian election cometh.
- Abuse on Nauru and Manus, refugee detention islands, runs rampant. They're all part of Australia's detention regime.
Quote of the Week:
"This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged." - Sonia Sotomayor, Utah v. Streiff
Blue Out: Becky with the bad grades.