The News September 25-30: A debate to hate

Stories of the Week

The end of an era. After decades upon decades of warfare, the FARC and the Colombian government have finally signed an agreement signaling an end to their bloody rivalry. The outcome of the deal is essentially that the FARC will stop waging war, and its members will rejoin society -- some of them as cheesemakers.

Clinton trumps Trump. The first presidential debate saw a woman with decades of experience face off against a businessman with tremendous popularity -- a fight that culminated in a beating for Trump, though he seemed undeterred. Clinton hit Trump on taxes, and birtherism, and on his questionable business dealings. But Clinton slipped herself -- on Iran, and on an issue both she and Trump failed to navigate well: the terror watch list, which disproportionately targets Muslims. Neither candidate has expressed discomfort with the list's existence, and both feel the list's members should be banned from purchasing arms -- a ban that singles them out from the rest of the country, who really also should not be able to purchase arms. 

Ultimately, though? The sexism is the thing we're going to remember.

The veto. In the whole of Barack Obama's presidency, congress has never overrode one of his vetoes. That changed this week, when congress decided to override a veto on a bill allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The bill is questionable, and many of its backers seem motivated more by anti-Saudi and anti-Arab sentiment than genuine concern for the affected families. However, the White House's veto had little to do with taking a stand against racism -- as the president himself noted, the bill will open up the US to suits from other countries...such as those being targeted by American drone strikes, which have left many families grieving in countries across MENA and South Asia.

Flickr - Can Pac Swire

Flickr - Can Pac Swire


Blues Buzz

Are you a victim of a changing zodiac sign? Bye five. Petrov day! Eileen Myles in NYC. Let us now praise the lioness, a pioneer of gender fluidity. A brief marriage. Smile more, smile less.  Organizing a pride march in Uganda. Elon Musk wants you to be ready to die for life on Mars. 3 parents, 1 baby. A nine year old testifies on racism. Fighting climate change in small spaces. Pockets are political. When your Twitter feed is a work of art. Reading other women. How Curious George escaped the Nazis (this story involves bicycles.) Protecting pangolins. 


Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:



Quote of the Week:

"If you vote for Trump, because you’re angry about politicians who never get anything done, or you don’t trust Hillary, or you think it’s time for a change in Washington, think about this: do you want to spend the next four or eight years knowing that you voted against virtually every black person who you will know or meet during that time?" -- Not-too-racist-Whites of America, do you want to be that person?

Blue Out: Abandoned in the High Arctic.