The News September 4-9: Bye headphones

Stories of the Week

Kabul's nightmare. Three separate bombings hit the Afghan capital on Sunday, all of which have been claimed by the Taliban. The attacks targeted various areas -- near the Defense Ministry, and then in a business and residential district. The attack left dozens dead and many more injured, stunning an already-teetering Kabul. Last week, the American University in Kabul was targeted by militants who ultimately killed 13 people.

iPhone: Still for rich people. As most affluent people who follow technology are now aware, the latest iPhone has been unveiled by Apple. While there are a few appealing components (water proofing is something few people will object to), it is attracting attention mostly for what it lacks: a headphone jack. The alternative?  Expensive headphones that will connect to the phones without a jack. (Although adapters are a thing.) This is bad news for many people, namely those without a surplus of cash and women, who frequently rely on headphones to avoid their greatest enemy, men. Also for Earth, the planet containing the toxic waste lake in Mongolia where Apple products send their waste.

Rapinoe revolt. Megan Rapinoe, a big name in the world of women's soccer, recently added her name in solidarity with football player Colin Kaepernick, who chose not to stand for the national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter. Rapinoe kneeled during the anthem at a game, and later told the press that, as a gay American, she empathized with the struggles of other marginalized communities and wanted to express solidarity.  She also emphasized that she planned to carry her protest throughout the season. This was quickly thwarted by the owner of the Washington Spirit, the team that Rapinoe's Seattle Reign played on Wednesday. Bill Lynch, who also appears to be a noted homophobe, released a statement prior to the game accusing Rapinoe of 'hijacking' the anthem. In response, Lynch had the anthem played without the players on the field, in order to avoid Rapinoe's kneel. This has, of course, backfired. Severely

Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ninara - Flickr)

Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ninara - Flickr)

Blues Buzz

How one woman's white mother helped her find her Blackness. Oh, Lena Dunham. A plant-based burger. Queer death and The Price of Salt. The South is organizing but no one is covering it. Female ejaculation. Elephants trekking for their lives. Biracial Miss Japan. Why don't Black women on TV get to be mentally ill? The queer fairytale we all needed. Jill Stein, felon. 228 years for a Muslim-American judge. Making the outdoors less white. DC's sex barbershop. Misandrist back-to-school gear. White men telling female presidential candidates to smile. Hasidic hackers. What is Aleppo? Mexico in color.


Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

  • A stir was caused when China seemed to intentionally snub US President Barack Obama as he arrived for the G20 summit.
  • China is warning pro-democracy Hong Kong residents to check themselves. 
  • Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Laos this week. The ASEAN summit was being hosted by the southeast Asian country. He also apologized for the US' bombing of the country during its war with Vietnam -- a bombing so heinous it is still killing Laotian citizens who encounter unexploded bombs.
  • Not on Obama's agenda, however? A meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, the notorious president of the Philippines. Duterte called Obama the "son of a whore", a bit of name-calling that unsurprisingly prompted his American counterpart to cancel. 
  • Indonesia's narcotics chief called for a Philippine-style crackdown on drugs.
  • After running a deeply racist article warning travelers to avoid parts of London dominated by minorities (including members of the African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian diasporas), Air China has pulled the issue of its in-flight magazine. 

Europe & Eurasia:

  • No "points system" post-Brexit.
  • French residents of Calais want "the Jungle", a large refugee camp, disassembled permanently. 
  • Vladimir Putin has indicated a hope for the continuation of the policies enforced under Uzbekistan's late leader, Islam Karimov, who was by all accounts an authoritarian dictator. 
  • Isabelle Dinoire, the recipient of the world's first face transplant, died after a long illness. 
  • The camerawoman who tripped a refugee in Hungary last year will face disorderly conduct charges.

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Iran has called for a relaxation in Saudi Arabia's hold over the annual Hajj pilgrimage that millions of Muslims make every year. 
  • Three people died and many more were injured in a building collapse in Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • For the first time in two years, food aid has reached more than 30,000 Iraqis.
  • The Syrian government reportedly dropped chlorine gas on a rebel-held area in Aleppo.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Riots in Gabon over the dubious re-election of the country's president are ongoing.
  • Three cases of polio have been identified in an area of Nigeria recently liberated from Boko Haram.
  • The US State Department is downplaying the near-murder of several US diplomats who were fired upon by South Sudanese troops, coming very close to killing them.
  • There seems to be no end in sight for South Africa's historic and miserable drought.



Quote of the Week:

I hope your girlfriend breaks up with you as soon as possible. I hope she invents time travel so that she can break up with you before you tried to fob her off with “It’s not about the money, it’s the principle of the thing, and the principle of the thing is that I don’t think I should be held responsible when my actions have consequences I don’t like,” then travels further back in time to convince your ex-wife to leave you sooner. You’re a jerk. -- Dear Prudie

Blue Out: Playing the Komuz.