The News August 14-19: #Lochtegate

Stories of the Week

(Some) American athletes in Rio are embarrassing. So, how to put this. Select members of the American men's swimming team (including big name Ryan Lochte) claimed before leaving Rio de Janeiro that they were robbed at gunpoint. However, their stories weren't really adding up. So, Brazilian authorities seized their passports before they could leave the city. This is partially probably because Brazilians are so over everyone critiquing their city.

Baluchistan (and Kashmir.) In the ongoing saga between India and Pakistan, an old point is being revisited: the Pakistani claim to its separatist-inclined province, Baluchistan. India and Pakistan have recently been at odds (as always) over Kashmir, which both countries lay claim to. Following a massacre in Quetta, Baluchistan's capital, Indian Prime Minister Modi poked at Pakistan's treatment of Baluchistan's residents, calling into question the government's human rights violations. This, an unusually on-the-nose move from Modi, has ignited a fire storm in the Subcontinent. 

Turkey descends into chaos. On Thursday two bombs ripped through police stations in two separate Turkish cities, killing six people and wounding over 200 others. The PKK, a Kurdish militant group, have been blamed for the attacks -- a line of accusation that is tried and true for Turkey's ruling AKP government. 

Rio de Janeiro (Rodrigo Soldon, Flickr)

Rio de Janeiro (Rodrigo Soldon, Flickr)


Blues Buzz

After Sri Lanka's civil war, asking, "What have you done with my husband?" Inside the world's biggest gay rugby tournament. Five months with three generations of Flint women. Hope Solo, anti-hero. Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. Leave Gabby Douglas alone. A new age of misogyny. The Heraean Games. Sarah Robles, a Latinx inspiration to us all. The imperfect rape victim and the need to be believed. Is running the fairest sport? Swimming on your period (boyfriendless), and dancing before you disappear. Amy Schumer, what are you doing? Another viral photo of a child in Syria. Self-driving cars....yeah.


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • In India, Dalits and Muslims (both marginalized populations) are being brought together -- by opposition to the Gujarati government.
  • American rock band Walk the Moon had a surprising crossover with the street kids of Islamabad.
  • The UN's top human rights diplomat is appealing to both India and Pakistan for access to the war-weary region of Kashmir.

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Rebels are believed to have killed almost 40 people in the DRC last weekend.  
  • Additional stalemates in the South Sudanese peace talks are spelling out an increasingly uncertain future for the young country.
  • Also not helping matters is the relocating of Riek Machar, a rebel leader who has left the country.
  • Evening weddings have been banned in Mombasa, Kenya in order to avoid crime.
  • Activists in Sierra Leone want an overhaul of legislation and more reforms following the death of a woman who underwent female genital cutting.



  • A refugee Hazara man on Manus island was badly beaten, to the point where he believed he would die. Australia continues to maintain that its policy of housing refugees on Manus is fine and poses no human rights challenges. 
  • More than 100 staffers on Nauru and Manus signed a letter calling for refugees and migrants to be moved to Australia; the letter underscores that the move is integral to their safety. Mid-week, the detention center on Manus was scheduled for shutdown.
  • A white male Australian senator is alleging racism over an article referring to him as an 'angry white male.'
  • Child poverty in New Zealand is hitting an alarm level.

Quote of the Week: 

“But maybe they talked about it before,” you’re thinking. Well, OK. If they talked about it before and He Zi said something like, “Yes. I’ve spent my whole life training for this moment, pushing my body to its limits, putting my mental strength to the test, diving a lot, whatever, etc., and I’ve decided that, yes, right after I win a medal for the 3 meter springboard event on August 14 at the Olympics, while I’m taking in this glorious moment, I want you to come up, get on your knee, and propose to me, co-opting the glorious moment and reenforcing the idea that a woman’s ultimate success is found in marriage rather than in personal accomplishment. Yes, please. Oh and also I only want you to do it if I get silver or bronze but not if I get gold, but again, yes, please, in that case please propose to me while I’m on the podium.” — THEN you may propose to your girlfriend immediately after she has accepted her silver medal at the Olympics and isn’t even done having her moment yet. -- Please Don't Propose To Your Girlfriend During Her Olympic Medal Ceremony

Blue Out: Armenian food for the first time. | Lady gymnasts, my lord.