Stories of the Week
Olympic fever. They have arrived! Among the inspirations: Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, who once swam for her life and who has performed strongly. Still, being a woman sucks at the Olympics, especially for queer women -- as the members of the US Women's National Team in soccer have learned. Even Olympian cyclists can't get a break from mansplaining. Also, American nationalism is basically ruining the Olympics for viewers.
But, the upsides: a proposal on the pitch! The US women's gymnastics team takes gold! (Holy hell, Simone Biles.) Leslie Jones! Phelps! Retire after you peak! Simone Manuel is better than all of us! Probably the world's best swimmer.
Will Japan's emperor step down? The old and ailing 82 year-old Japanese monarch indicated in a historic and unprecedented speech to the nation that he might consider stepping down from the throne early in the week. The announcement sent shockwaves through the country, and has opened up some interesting discussions -- namely, that a female heir to the throne might be a possibility.
Outrage and solidarity with Pakistan's legal community. A bombing struck the Pakistani city of Quetta early in the week, killing over 60 people -- the vast majority of them lawyers. The attack came shortly after the targeted killing of a lawyer in Quetta, and sparked fears of a link between the two, which was quickly confirmed; the bombing targeted mourners who wanted justice for their colleague. The ramifications of the attack? Quetta has lost almost an entire generation of legal thinkers, and lawyers across Pakistan have been boycotting in protest and solidarity.
Updated news: Thailand was rocked by 11 bombings in one day, resulting in the deaths of four people, with an additional 36 injured. The attacks are believed to be connected to separatist groups within the country.
M.I.A. + Zayn. Women's gymnastics: a complicated sport that says a lot about us. Americans: register to vote. The most vilified job in America. Stop putting shit in your vagina. Hillary Clinton is using conservative rhetoric to lay out a pretty liberal agenda. Don't stay calm? White families can't protect their Black children.
- Professors from the American University of Afghanistan were kidnapped in Kabul at the beginning of the week.
- 70 years after independence and Indian police are still patrolling Manipur.
- On that note, Iron Sharmila is breaking her hunger strike.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Thailand's military leadership has won support for a post-coup constitution.
- A selfie featuring North Korean and South Korean gymnasts has gone viral.
- Vietnam has moved rocket launchers capable of reaching China into the South China Sea.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The entire Russian Paralympic team has been banned over a doping scandal.
- Also in Russian news: the government says they foiled a terror attack in Crimea, which they claim stemmed from Ukraine. Ukraine says they made the whole thing up.
- Return of the death penalty in Turkey?
Middle East & North Africa:
- In a bizarre end to a spy saga, Iran executed a nuclear spy.
- Violence in Yemen is only getting worse, as peace talks falter again.
- Egypt may put an Irish citizen to death for inciting violence (allegedly.)
- Twelve premature babies were killed in a hospital fire in Baghdad.
- Qatar's Olympic team is quite something.
- Voters delivered a sharp rebuke to the ruling ANC party in South Africa.
- The Ethiopian government is staging a brutal crackdown on protesters.
- South Sudan is requesting $1.9 billion in infrastructure aid from China.
- Lawyers were evacuated from Kampala after charging a police chief with brutality; the chief's supporters trapped the lawyers inside the court house.
- Flooding across Mexico has caused serious landslides.
- Belize was once ruled by a "snake dynasty."
- In other Belize news: the country struck down a colonial-era sodomy law.
- The senate in Brasilia has voted to begin Dilma Rousseff's impeachment trial.
- Canada says it thwarted a possible terror attack.
- Donald Trump essentially said gun owners might assassinate Hillary Clinton. He also said Barack Obama created ISIS.
- Interactive: a Black community in Dallas struggles to trust the police.
- The US Department of Justice's report on Baltimore's police problem is pretty bad.
- The Australian government accidentally handed over documents to The Guardian regarding its immigration policies. The results are a bombshell. Abuse of children, including sexual assault and what amounts to torture, are detailed in full. The allegations are linked to the island of Nauru, where Australia keeps most of its refugees prior to processing.
- Australia blocked the sale of a major electricity grid to a Chinese firm.
Quote of the Week:
I've lost a diamond earring, a gold ring, a glove, two hats, a blazer, and one boyfriend (au revoir, Benoit), who said of my schedule: "This is not what we do in France." Friends and family have married, divorced, given birth, and died during this campaign, and I've missed it all. - Katy Tur, our hearts are with you
Blue Out: Ban-Ki Moon's "American Mom."