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.
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.
- As tensions between Pakistan and India soar, what will happen to the Indus Water Treaty?
- India, for its part, fired "surgical strikes" against Pakistan-based militants in Kashmir. Two Pakistani soldiers also died when Indian soldiers fired over the Line of Control.
- India will ratify the Paris climate treaty.
- Pakistan's police may be illegally killing hundreds of people each year.
- As tensions rise throughout the region, Bangladesh has pulled out of the SAARC summit.
- It seems American drone strikes have resumed in Afghanistan.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China is quietly working to fix its economy.
- At least half of internet startups in China are started by women.
- The Philippines wants China's help in cracking down on its drug trade.
- And in more China news, the country is going to set up "no-coal zones" around major cities like Beijing in an effort to curb pollution.
- Amnesty International called off a torture report briefing in Thailand following threats from Thai police.
Europe & Eurasia:
- France is still trying to dismantle the refugee camp known as "the Jungle."
- Italy is holding a referendum in December, one that could spell an uncomfortable moment for current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
- The leader of Spain's Socialist party is under pressure to quit.
- It is highly unclear just where exactly Russia stands on working with the US to stop the violence in Syria.
Middle East & North Africa:
- American Jews are more pro-choice than pro-Israel, according to a new study.
- Russia has been accused of war crimes in Syria.
- Escalating violence in Aleppo has returned the city to its post-ceasefire state of uncertainty.
- The UK has been accused of blocking an investigation into war crimes in Yemen.
- Shimon Peres, a deeply complicated leader and giant of Israeli politics, passed away mid-week. He was 93.
- Inside Eritrea's exodus.
- A Malian Islamist leader was handed down a nine-year sentence by the ICC for destroying historical sites.
- Somalia's presidential election will take November 30.
- The US killed 22 people in a misdirected airstrike in Somalia.
- The UN says South Sudan has thwarted the country's peace process.
- Amnesty International has released a report accusing Sudan of carrying out at least 30 chemical weapons attacks in Darfur.
- Brazil's Petrobas scandal continues to engulf many of its politicians.
- Mexico returned the remains of ten American soldiers killed in the 1846 Mexican-American War.
- Cuba has rejected Donald Trump's call for negotiations on human rights.
- Nine people were injured when a shooter opened fire in Houston, Texas.
- Meanwhile, five people were killed when a shooter attacked a mall in Washington.
- And, a teenager killed his father and then headed to an elementary school in South Carolina, where he shot a teacher and two students.
- The US is currently experiencing the largest prison strike in its history.
- Residents of South Adelaide are still without power after a massive storm.
- Human rights abuses continue on Manus.
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.