The News July 17-22: Coups & Qandeel

Stories of the Week

Qandeel Baloch's murder. Pakistan, still reeling from the death of Abdul Sattar Edhi, its greatest humanitarian, now has another death to grapple with, this one far more controversial. Qandeel Baloch, a social media celebrity much-maligned for her sexual openness, was murdered by her brother last weekend in what appears to be an honor killing. Feminists throughout Pakistan have risen up to decry the murder, and vigils took place in both Karachi and Lahore. 

Failed coup. On Friday, a coup unfolded in Turkey. Led by a fringe group of soldiers, the incident spanned many hours and was multi-faceted: Turks rose up to protest the undemocratic nature of the coup (despite the repressive nature of the current Turkish government) and incorporated 21st century media into their actions, including Periscope and Facebook Live. Also relying on social media were leaders like President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was shown on an iPhone communicating with Turkish television. The coup ultimately failed, but the fallout has been horrific, to say the least. Thousands of people have been rounded up in connection with the coup, and Erdogan's authoritarian hold on Turkey has only expanded. Erdogan has also laid the blame for the coup at the feet of Fethullah Gulen, his arch-nemesis. As of the middle of the week, teachers and academics had also become a primary target. Erdogan also declared a 3-month state of emergency.

The convention in Cleveland. The Republican National Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio, was a huge fiasco and the end result was inevitable: Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president of the US. The convention consisted of many memorable things: Melania Trump being accused of plagiarism, Ted Cruz not endorsing Trump, and calls for Hillary Clinton to face a firing squad. It also included an apparent endorsement of white supremacy, and some indicator that Trump does not really care about the constitution or human rights. This is not good.

Istanbul, Turkey. (Prabhu Balakrishnan, Flickr)

Istanbul, Turkey. (Prabhu Balakrishnan, Flickr)


Blues Buzz

  • In praise of Blink-182.
  • Margaret Atwood, long may she reign.
  • Grumpy librarian.
  • This virtual reality tour of Rocky Mountain National Park is amazing.
  • Leslie Jones, a Black woman and also an actress in the new all-female Ghostbusters movie, was so harassed on Twitter that she left the site. After a considerable wait, the main person responsible was banned. But was it enough?
  • Trump Capsules, #44: Melania...borrower of Michelle.
  • Salmonella could be used to kill cancer.
  • Stalin sent two sisters to Kazakhstan. They're finally breaking their silence.


Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • The African Union deployed a regional unit to South Sudan, where tensions have spilled over and are threatening the young nation's peace.
  • Fewer than half of the people who need HIV/AIDS medication in South Africa are receiving it.
  • Mali is in a state of emergency.



  • Australian investigators are trying to determine whether or not a wing flap found in East Africa is from the Malaysian airliner that went missing two years ago.

Quote of the Week:

"I'm worried that I will be the last Republican president." - George W. Bush

Blue Out: Juno! Jupiter!