Questions to ask if you have more privilege than your partner. Billions star Asia Kate Dillon is being nominated for acting awards, which are gendered -- something the non-binary Dillon is challenging. Meet the queer Black woman changing journalism (spoiler alert, she's Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post.) Maxine Waters, long may she reign. RIP Yevgeny Yevtushenko. A really depressing story about two of the living members of one of the first famous surviving groups of quintuplets. The incredible Maggie Nelson. Want queer content featuring femmes of color? Head to a web series near you (and see more below.) Is your name your destiny? Apparently queer people should give the rainbow back to G-d? Outsider Blackness. An epic tale involving two NYT reporters tracking down a pro-Trump mayor running from them. The U.S. House really wants you to be able to kill animals in their sleep. Traveling while trans. The map to resistance. "Why I'm an abortion doctor in the Deep South." Why is ICE arresting so many people in 'weird', liberal Austin? Mongolia: a good place to die. Let us now celebrate Kristen Gillibrand, the hero we never expected. Ellen Page and Janet Mock, just hanging out, casually. Tearing down powerful women for millennia. Eat, pray, hate: Living and loathing in Northern Ireland. The ungrateful refugee. The youth will lead us. Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Jewish life means paying a high price.
Around the Globe
Africa. South African leader Jacob Zuma may have finally landed himself in unfixably hot water (or not.) Either way, South Africans are taking to the streets to protest their leader. A large earthquake rocked Botswana. Benin's parliament rejected one-term limits for future presidencies. Somalia's president has declared war on militant group al-Shabab. Mortar shells also struck homes in Mogadishu, killing three people and wounding several more. South Sudan has denied U.N. peacekeepers access to a site that reportedly saw a massacre.
Americas. New Brunswick became the first Canadian province to distribute abortion pills. Brazil delayed a ruling that could unseat its president. Colombia was hit by a devastating flood -- at last look the death roll was around 300. Ecuador's tense political showdown. Venezuela reversed parts of a ruling that would have stripped the national legislature of its power. This week in Trump: Trump and Blackwater; no more funding for the U.N. family planning agency; Susan Rice has become a pawn in efforts to argue that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump; Steve Bannon is out at the National Security Council; the administration did an about-face on Syria and sent 59 missiles in a strike that has drawn praise and outcry in equal measure; numerous women have come forward to accuse Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment but the president doesn't care; Republicans used the 'nuclear option' to essentially guarantee the anti-choice Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice.
Asia. Prior to the strike on Mosul, the U.S. estimates it killed over 200 Iraqis by accident. Iraq's parliament has banned the Kurdish flag in Kirkuk. A gas attack in Idlib, Syria killed around 80 people in an attack, one of the worst in recent memory. Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Trump this week; they got along famously. North Korea fired a ballistic missile test right before a meeting between the leaders of America and China. Israel appointed its first female Muslim diplomat. Floods hit Indian-administered Kashmir, resulting in several deaths.
Europe. A bomb hit the St. Petersburg metro on Monday, resulting in nine deaths and at least 20 injures. Chechen authorities have been arresting and killing queer men. Anti-corruption protests continued in Moscow. Gibraltar and Brexit, or, rather, Spain v. Britain. Serbia's prime minister is ascending to the presidency, eroding checks on his power. Thousands are marching in Hungary to defend a Soros-backed university threatened with closure.
Dipping back into my one true loves, South Asia and Eastern Europe, this week. I wrote about how anti-Muslim hate crimes are disproportionately targeting South Asians -- and how neither Trump nor India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, are doing much about it. I also wrote about the horrifying bombing in St. Petersburg, and how Russia's extremism issue is arguably an internal one. Shifting gears a bit, I wrote about Chinese leader Xi Jinping hanging out with Trump, and the many things their conversations could cover (or not cover -- see: climate change.)
To watch: The web series is a deeply under-appreciated medium that has long been far more diverse and inclusive than more widely-watched equivalents. Brown Girls is one popular example, but alums of my undergraduate home are involved in Afternoon Snatch, which I've been enjoying, and that's not even counting everything on this list -- which I'm planning to dive into when my semester ends and the teetering balance of school and work is less painfully present in my life.
To make: Pesach (Passover for the goyim) is rapidly approaching, which means bread products are fading quickly from my life. While a week of matzo pizza is probably going to be as much my fate as it has been in years prior to this, diversifying my food intake in this constricted time is still a goal. To that end, flourless dessert ideas are looking great, but let's be honest: my Pesachs live and die on the hill that is the macaroon.
Spoken & Written
“Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of [G-d] should ever suffer such horror.” -- President Donald Trump on the recent chemical weapons assault on Syrians + notably the same man who has worked to ban all Syrian refugees, including "beautiful babies," from entering the U.S.
Thought & Fact(s)
This is not the first time in the Syrian Civil War that the U.S. has used military force (though it is the first time that the Assad regime has been directly targeted.) The U.S. has long worked to supply arms and support to the rebels fighting the regime, an effort that has also seen American strikes on the Islamic State. Both strong opponents and supporters of intervention in Syria have had a lot to say along partisan lines, but the reality is murkier than many might like. President Barack Obama oversaw a not insignificant amount of American action in Syria -- and many argue that the situation was inflamed by Obama's actions (and inactions) when dealing with the conflict.
However, it is still important to make a distinction between the efforts of the Obama administration and those of its successor. Here is a very basic intro to the differences between their approaches and actions.