A bill to kill

Blues Buzz

Ellen DeGeneres came out on television 20 years ago -- saving lives in the process. Inequality shortens lifespans. Hassan Minhaj reigns supreme. Beetle poop dye! Airbrushing Shittown. Scaachiiiii. The Chinese factory workers who write poems on their phones. A weird story about a lawyer, Trump, and an anonymous threat. Trapped in a skirt. If abortion becomes illegal in the U.S., here's how the government will persecute the people who have them. The Great British Bake-Off remains a perfect thing. After 30 years in prison, Ashley Ford's father is out -- and technology has a strange role in their relationship. CATS DO IN FACT LIKE PEOPLE. Heartlessness as style. The physics of forbidden love. The many ways we are wrong about Jane Austen. Believe. When a fat person sees a doctor. Anxiety, hope, and miscarriage. How Sweden became the most "alt-Right" country in Europe. An apology. Bangladesh: a case study in censorship

As seen in Savannah, Georgia. © E.A. Crunden

As seen in Savannah, Georgia. © E.A. Crunden

Around the Globe

Africa. Clashes in CAR have left dozens dead. Nigerians are encouraging their ailing president to take medical leave. Algerians are watching the French election raptly, despite a local boycott; the governing coalition retained parliamentary power this week. Zimbabwe's dictator is denying that his country is in turmoil. Friendly fire killed a Somali government minister considered to be a rising star. A campaign for the return of an exiled opposition leader is gaining steam in the DRC.

Americas. Canada's seniors outnumber children. Eight Islamic State sympathizers were sentenced in Brazil for plotting an attack during the Olympics. Electrical shortages prompted explosions in Toronto's underground. Venezuela's president is calling for a new constitution as protests continue to rage. Mexico is being slammed for its inability to protect the press. Puerto Rico, severely in debt, turns to protest. Severe weather did extreme damage in the Southern and Midwestern U.S. Around 100,000 people attended the Climate March in D.C. A Stabbing attack at the University of Texas at Austin left one dead and four injured. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson has said U.S. security comes before U.S. values. Hillary Clinton stands by her claims that a combination of FBI Director James Comey, Russian interference, and sexism cost her the 2016 U.S. election; for his part, Comey feels "mildly nauseous" at the thought of election-swaying but no real guilt. Trumpcare 2.0 rose from the dead and narrowly passed the House of Representatives -- it now goes to the Senate.

Asia & Australia. Chinese Wikipedia. The North Korea saga, condensed: the country has been increasingly aggressive, has fired two failed missile attempts, the U.S. president reacted first with threats, then with offers of friendship, and now we are here. As part of this grand saga, we have: Duterte and Trump, sitting in a tree (but also, Duterte is maybe too busy for Trump.) Afghan interpreters will be provided with 2500 more visas from the U.S. Congress in a move that could save lives. Two Muslims were beaten to death amid religious tensions in India. A suicide attack on a NATO convoy killed eight people and injured at least 25 more in Kabul. Judges in India are questioning each others' sanity -- literally. At least 21 miners died and many more remained trapped after an accident in Iran. Australia offers universal health care -- apparently the U.S. president is a fan.

Europe. Young Slovaks are leading anti-corruption protests. Thousands of Russians gathered to present letters of protest to the government. Since 2014, there have been 38 unsolved deaths of Russian President Vladimir Putin's rivals. Greek bailout coming. Marine Le Pen seems to have plagiarized a François Fillon speech. Brexit and the $100 billion euro exit drama. The U.K.'s Prince Philip is stepping down from royal duties. Romania dropped efforts to pardon corrupt officials. Germany will not allow Turks living in Germany to vote in a death penalty referendum. 



Following the news cycle this week, which meant covering the death of Jordan Edwards, a Black Texas ninth grader killed by police. Officers initially claimed the car Edwards was in drove aggressively -- before walking those comments back. I also wrote about HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who doesn't want affordable housing to be "too comfortable" and who doesn't seem to understand just how important affordable housing is. Going back to my one true love, world news, I wrote about Venezuela's crisis, and, of course, how Marine Le Pen could destroy the European Union



To do: Embassy Week is coming up in D.C., and its imminent arrival is reminding me of how many annual events I routinely anticipate with glee only to promptly drop the ball at the last minute. Interesting things happen everywhere, and it's a shame to miss them -- find something in your area, and commit to going. Positive results not guaranteed, but likely. 

To listen: When I sent around "Moondust," a song by artist Jaymes Young, one of my coworkers helpfully responded with, "That's not how you spell James." My offering went otherwise unacknowledged. I am undaunted. Whether to your liking or not, his name is indeed Jaymes, and I'm enjoying "Moondust" on repeat.


Spoken & Written

"It's going to be fantastic health care. I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do." -- President Donald Trump, whose health care plan is a far cry from universal, to Malcolm Turnbull, prime minister of a country where health care is in fact universal. 



Donald Trump's praise for Australian health care may be causing you to wonder -- what's health care like in Australia? (Unless it has not and/or you are already very familiar, in which case, it's been fun and adieu!) For those wondering: Australia has a universal health care system called Medicare, which is publicly funded. Under Medicare, introduced in 1975, Australians can obtain free treatment at public hospitals, and are entitled to subsidized treatment from a range of medical practitioners. Australia also has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with a number of nations, entitling visitors from those countries to limited Medicare access while in Australia, and entitling Australians to similar benefits when they visit those countries. The nations in question are the U.K., Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Malta, Italy, Ireland, and New Zealand.