I was out of town for the past few days, taking a break from a hectic newsroom and the media cycle to take some time for myself and family. Mea culpa for the late newsletter, which was delayed as a result -- I hope that you all will find comfort and rejuvenation in spaces that nurture you at some point in the near future.
Writers who are women of color: this LOOKS AWESOME. Everyone stop giving Hollywood credit for its pitiful nods to queer existence and acting like a joke character in Beauty and the Beast is the equivalent of Moonlight. Queer YouTubers claim the site is blocking their videos (and it appears they are correct.) From an Austin resident: How my red state sees me despite my blue city. Sesame Street has been trolling Trump for years. A space for queers. Arizona abolished parole for murderers -- so what happens to murderers sentenced with a chance of parole? Immigration poetry. George W. Bush is apparently actually good at painting. Jenny Slate just sounds like a really cool human. Art Spiegelman, creator of MAUS, has some piercing words for Trump. From a friend: Get Out, Claudia Rankine, and the horror of Black hypervisibility. Iraq's prime minister wants more help for his country from the U.S. Six writers on life behind bars in Turkey. What it's like to be queer and undocumented. Rediscovering Jewish identity in the age of Trump.
Around the Globe
Africa. Algeria's president is indeed alive. Somalia's new leader named a cabinet, consisting of 26 members. Ghana has shut down the tourist site where 20 people died in an accident. Ten mass graves were uncovered by UN investigators in DRC. More than 200 people are feared dead off the coast of Libya. Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is free. Roadside bombs killed 10 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai. Gambia will set up a truth commission now that its dictator is gone.
Americas. Latin America is swinging to the right. Another Mexican journalist has been assassinated. Argentina is welcoming refugees. Several Peruvian cities were buried by water this week. After bringing cholera to Haiti, the UN is having trouble raising money to fight it. A Jewish teenager was arrested in Israel in connection with over a hundred threats made against Jewish spaces in the U.S. It is that time of year again: Texas is being terrible about abortion. (But Texas women and gender minorities are amazing, and creative.) Related: An ICE raid in Austin may have been revenge for its status as a sanctuary city. Big changes are coming in the American egg industry. A white man traveled to New York with the intent of killing Black people, and murdered an older man at random. This week in Trump news: the FBI is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as any contact the nation may have had with the Trump campaign; the FBI and the NSA dismissed Trump's wiretapping claims; something about Russia, intelligence, meetings, and sketchy business. And, something great to end your week with: Trump's effort to overhaul Obamacare and replace it with an incredibly poor alternative, went down in flames.
Asia. The bombing of a Syrian mosque that left dozens dead is being investigated by the Pentagon. Burma's Muslims are being targeted by internet trolls. Meet Uttar Pradesh's super controversial new leader. Airports across the Muslim world (mostly in the Middle East and North Africa) are facing crackdowns on U.S. flights -- passengers must check their laptops and most electronics rather than carrying them onboard; those affected are: Cairo, Egypt; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, all of which are U.S. allies. Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte is backtracking on his support for same-sex marriage. The Taliban captured the Afghan city of Sangin after years of struggle. Chinese, Saudi, and Turkish troops joined the annual Pakistan Day parade. Hong Kong selected a new leader.
Europe. A British national drove a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, before being confronted by police -- he ultimately killed three people and injured numerous others (he was killed as well.) That time Trump didn't shake Angela Merkel's hand. All eyes on the Balkans. Late-March Brexit. Navalny in green -- the Putin foe made the most of an attack designed to cover him in hard-to-remove coloring. Martin McGuinness, a key and controversial Northern Irish figure, has died. Europe's neo-fascist revival. The U.K. followed the U.S.' controversial laptop ban for flights, though it impacts fewer countries and adds Lebanon and Tunisia to the list, in addition to covering ALL flights from the countries impacted. A Russian MP who had fled to Ukraine was assassinated in Kyiv. A man attempted to drive a car into a crowd in Antwerp, Belgium.
Take a vacation (or take care of yourself in a way that involves a break): It is entirely possible that you can't, and up until very recently in my life I could not either, so I am here for you regardless of your life situation. Ideally you are not working seven days a week (as was my reality four years ago), but even if you are you can make this work -- taking even an afternoon or a few hours away from work or stress, letting the people around you briefly take the load, and just breathing for a bit while doing something enjoyable can go a long way. If you do have the luxury of vacation days (and they are a luxury foreign to many), then take them. Go some place nice, stay home, do whatever suits your pace and preference and budget. No regrets.
Quote of the Week
""Word up!" It is I, the Gray Lady, with a "shoutout" to all my hip young friends. Just wanted you to know I've added new specialized feeds". -- I SHIT YOU NOT THIS IS A THING THE NEW YORK TIMES TWEETED IN 2007 (h/t Vox)
Savannah, Georgia has an incredibly old and historic Jewish population. Congregation Mickve Israel was established centuries ago, after a small group of mostly Sephardic Jews arrived in Georgia (they were permitted to stay because, coincidentally, yellow fever was raging and one of the newcomers was a doctor.) Ashkenazim have slowly taken over in the time since, but descendants of the original group can still be found around the wider area, and there are three different congregations in the city (the aforementioned reform Mickve Israel, and both a conservative and an orthodox congregation to even out the spectrum.) A tour through Mickve Israel itself yields two truly special gems: centuries-old torahs, one of which is believed to have been written during the 1400s, in the Sephardic style.