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Blues Buzz

What it's like to be a Muslim in Birmingham right now. White dude drama and the March for Science. Trump is scaring Indian Americans into finding their political voice. Life advice from Adrienne Rich. Attn nerds: Doctor Who is getting a queer companion who is a lesbian woman of color to boot. The true meaning of nostalgia. Having a trans child changed this Texas conservative's life. Bangladesh's tragedy at the hands of Pakistan. The abortion pill was supposed to revolutionize abortion access, so what happened? RuPaul has some real talk for cis straight women in gay bars. Melissa Febos is finally getting her due, thank heaven. The everyday experience of antisemitism in America. Avoiding the occupation at a shiva. The Holocaust survivor denouncing ICE. The dangers of associating queerphobia with closet queerness. Escaping is not a form of understanding. China's hottest new boy band is a group of androgynous females. Sixteen lesbian power couples from history. Where are you really from?

Edinburgh, Scotland, currently still in the U.K. © E.A. Crunden

Edinburgh, Scotland, currently still in the U.K. © E.A. Crunden


 

Around the Globe

Africa. Struggling with a drought, Somalia is also battling hunger and cholera. War continues in DRC, where the bodies of two U.N. workers were found in a shallow grave. As Africa faces one of the worst hunger crises numerous countries have seen in 70 years, the Trump administration is cutting aid -- something the continent really can't afford. A meningitis outbreak has killed well over a hundred people in Nigeria. RIP Ahmed Kathrada, South African anti-apartheid hero. People in certain parts of Cameroon have had no internet access for two months -- and they're predominantly English and French speakers. Ethiopia extended its state of emergency, which was imposed in response to anti-government protests. What it's like to be poor, gifted, and Black in South Africa.

Americas. Panic is spreading in Venezuela after the Supreme Court stripped the national legislature of power, edging the country closer to one-man rule. Paraguay is becoming increasingly anxious as its president moves to extend his presidency. Colombia is seeing casualties in its war between guerrilla fighters and paramilitary forces. The Mexican Catholic Church has some words for anyone helping with Trump's wall. El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals. United Airlines barred several girls wearing leggings from traveling. A mosque was vandalized in Colorado. A shooting in Cincinnati left one dead and more than a dozen injured. This week in Trump: one hell of a nightmarish climate order; everyone meet Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who is a good study in how to completely fail at not looking suspicious; goodbye internet privacy rules; a halt on the Muslim ban 2.0 has been extended; Michael Flynn wants immunity in exchange for testifying on Russia; LGBTQ people will not be tallied in the 2020 census because once again, Trump does not care about queer people. Sean Spicer v. April Ryan. Fifteen felonies for the anti-abortion activists who filmed Planned Parenthood. (Related: Helpful Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie vote to defund Planned Parenthood because of course.) North Carolina claimed to have repealed HB2, the state's transphobic bathroom bill, but in reality LGBTQ people are as marginalized as ever.

Asia & Australia. Raqqa could flood. The U.S. is weighing greater involvement in Yemen's ongoing war. Cyclone Debbie hit Australia. The U.S. has caused an overwhelming number of casualties in the Middle East. African students were hospitalized after mob attacks in India. Hong Kong's democracy has suffered numerous setbacks and blows recently. LGBTQ activists in Indonesia are struggling to move forward. Israel has approved its first West Bank settlement in 20 years. Removing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from power will no longer be an American priority. Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was arrested on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

Europe. Brexit has begun: British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, making it official -- the U.K. and the E.U. are getting a divorce. E.U. nationals might be really screwed, and the Scots might want out. Aleksei Nalvany, a leading Putin critic, was arrested after anti-Putin protests exploded last Sunday. (In nearby Belarus, brutal crackdown measures were taken against protesters also voicing dissent against their government.) Bulgaria ex-premier is nearing a return to power -- a good sign for the E.U. An Italian court dropped a rape case because a woman "did not scream." The Polish consulate in Ukraine was attacked with a grenade launcher


 

Recs

To watchGrace and Frankie, the absolutely delightful Netflix show (now in it's third season) that my main human pestered me for eons to watch and that has, in all honesty, taken a starring role in my evenings. Older women! Vibrators! Queer late-in-life love! Interracial couples! The absolutely delightful duos of Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, and Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen! The absolutely delightful glee of not feeling miserable about something in the year 2017! You too can say the words 'absolutely delightful' multiple times and check it out -- and in the meantime here's Autostraddle's review (warning: spoilers.)

To make: I deeply hesitate to label what Americans call Italian food "Italian food", as I have friends who are Italian and I know they would not appreciate the connection. It also needs to be noted that what Americans call Italian food is a genre of cuisine I really am not partial to and actively avoid. However. The other occupant of my home adores it and I've had a few positive interactions with the food recently. So. I'm pretty much exclusively interested in handmade pasta (the store-bought stuff gives me a stomach ache and looks like plastic), and we have yet to invest in a pasta-maker, but even I'm eyeing this spaghetti with lemon and olive oil idea for when we do. Until then, spinach and egg pizzette it is! (Routine reminder that non-egg eaters should 100% feel empowered to swap that ingredient out for any other preferences they may have.)


 

Quote of the Week

“That was some weird shit.” -- Former American President George W. Bush, allegedly, on President Donald Trump's inauguration

 

Fun Fact

Britain's forty-plus-year relationship with the E.U. has always been a complex one -- the nation has been trying to leave almost as long as it's been in, though never enough to actually go before now. Euroskeptics have slowly gained power over the course of the past few decades, however, and, voila, Brexit. The Telegraph has a decent breakdown of the rocky relationship, which is now culminating in a divorce.