The News August 21-26: Literally Policing Women's Bodies

Stories of the Week

More tragedy in Turkey. The country's proximity to Syria (and its unending civil war) is continuing to harm its citizens. A suicide bomber struck a wedding last weekend, killing more than 50 people and wounding many more. The government has linked the bombing to the Islamic State. An added element of drama: the Kurdish HDP party has a close tie to one of the wedding party's members, heating up the tension between the Kurds and the Islamic State, which were already pretty terrible. 

Earthquake in Italy. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy mid-week, with tremors felt as far as Rome. As many as 240 people have died, with many people still missing. An entire town has been decimated, and much of Italy is in mourning. Unfortunately, the tragedy probably could've been prevented -- and Italy's lax regulations and tendency towards poor building policies likely exacerbated the problem. In more heartwarming news, here are the refugees donating everything they have to earthquake relief. 

Burkini bans. France, longtime loather of religions that are not Catholicism, has brought back one of its favorite controversies, the burkini ban. Burkinis, swim attire that allows Muslim women hoping to maintain their preferred displays of modesty, are common on French beaches. The ban has led to some deeply uncomfortable incidents, one of which involved a woman quite literally being forced to undress by police officers -- something that, hopefully, we can all agree is problematic. 

Peace at last? After five bloody decades, Colombia and the country's FARC rebels have reached a historic agreement. The conflict has driven more than five million Colombians from their homes, cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and tormented the country. Now, however, the agreement must be voted on by Colombians -- who may or may not agree to it.

The world's most feared garment. (cabellmon - flickr)

The world's most feared garment. (cabellmon - flickr)

Blues Buzz

Meet the 16 year-old leader of Occupy Rio's greatest stand-off. Every sexist moment from the Olympics (which women won, with no help from sexism.) It's hard to be a lady journo. 10 things Afro-Brazilians want you to know. EpiPen chaos. Australians walk way more than Americans. RIP Gawker. Chestfeeding. 9 hours and 3 emergency rooms. An interracial couple (with a white cop father and a Black mother) discuss raising a Black son in Baltimore. Leave Leslie Jones alone. Another Earth? South Africa's first Black female pilot. The "gully queens" of Jamaica. 


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • The treatment of female Indian athletes has caused a stir around the country.
  • India may be endangering relations with Bhutan, its closest ally in South Asia.
  • Inside Afghanistan's growing rap scene.
  • The American University in Kabul was struck by an attack mid-week that ultimately killed twelve people in addition to the two attackers who were gunned down by police. The incident marks the second time recently that the university has been targeted -- two professors were recently kidnapped and have not been found.
  • Pakistan had its worst Olympics ever. BUT. Pakistan is also #1 in cricket, and has overcome incredible odds to get there.
  • Altaf Hussain: the man running Karachi from London.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Tensions over the South China Sea are growing between China and Singapore.
  • The president of the Philippines is threatening to quit the UN over censuring of his drug war escalation. He quite literally said, "I don't give a shit." 
  • Shinzo Abe. Super Mario. Idk.
  • The Chinese bus-that-goes-over-traffic is probably a scam and we are all sad about it.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • Two Irish women livetweeted their abortion in Britain as a means of defying their government (Ireland, a heavily Catholic country, places severe limitations on reproductive rights.)
  • Europe is moving on from Brexit.
  • Nicolas Sarkozy, one of France's most colorful politicians, is plotting his return.
  • A Black woman ran Ireland's national Twitter account and it resulted in horrendous racism.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • A rocket reportedly hit the Israeli city of Sderot over the weekend, while Palestinians reportedly artillery fire in Gaza.
  • Whitewashing the disappearance of Yemenite Jewish children.
  • Doctors Without Borders is pulling out of northern Yemen, in no small part because Saudi Arabia has made deeply unreliable assurances that its hospitals will not be bombed -- which is a lie.
  • With extreme force Turkey moved into Syria and aggressively forced the Islamic State from the city of Jarablus.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Congo's yellow fever epidemic is exploding, with no vaccine in sight.
  • Nigeria is once again claiming it has killed the head of Boko Haram, the terror group that has plagued the country for years.
  • Meanwhile, violent religious tensions in Nigeria (which is home to a large Muslim population and a large Christian population) are continuing
  • More than 600,000 Ethiopians have been displaced by major flooding.



Quote of the Week:

"The King Cobra in Needville has been located. Residents in Needville may now come down from their roofs." - Oh, Texas.

Blue Out: Jewish TSwift.