This week in the news. We wrote a piece like this a few years ago. We’re going to try it out.
This past year is an extraordinary year, not necessarily in a positive way. We’ve already discussed certain events. These past few weeks though have been charged with tension, emotions, and craziness.
1. Turkey’s Erdogan transformed Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Not the first time, this happens, it is a political move heavy with belligerent intent. The Turkish regime becomes more and more authoritarian each year, more so since the 2015 coup d’État, which oversaw mass incarceration of different personalities. Knowing that Turkey is still leading a military intervention and destruction in northern Syria, it is worrying to see a country throwing away its history and its secularism in favor of dictatorship.
2. Azerbaijan is trying to invade Armenia via Tavush province (northern Armenia), targeting villages (schools, a PPE factory, streets, properties) as the pandemic rages on. It is now threatening to hit the nuclear plant in Armenia. The ceasefire in place since April 2016 is broken. Clearly, a violation of the Geneva Convention, the act has been addressed once in the UN this month. If this decades-old conflict is to be resolved, the international community has to 1. stop looking the other way and 2. selling weapons and defense equipment to Azerbaijan. Though no one is innocent, Armenia is not the instigator in this present conflict. Both states are recognized sovereign states, UN member states. A war during a pandemic is the ultimate violation of international law: no one is in a state of strength. This is no time for Darwin’s survival of the “fittest”.
3. Lebanon is about to disappear. Negotiations between the government and international organizations faltered. Reform is a simple word but the act is long from materializing in Lebanese policy. 30+years of elite corruption, 1 massive Ponzi scheme by the central banks, sectarianism giving way to clientelism, and a crumbling infrastructure. Enter – a movement to cancel a Lebanese rock – Mashrou’ Leila – concert. Enter – new tax proposal. Enter – 110 fires in the mountains. Enter – revolution. Enter – pandemic. A lethal combination over the years reached the ultimate limit. The mentality is not shifting while citizens have almost no electricity, no money for food and necessities, and dwindling salaries or pensions. Hope is still here. If the political class and elites ever realize the consequences. (This sounded quite brash. We apologize.)
4. John Lewis, US Representative and civil Rights activist, died on 17 July. As the US continues to revolt in the streets while the pandemic rages on, it is advised to do good trouble, as he, Mr. Lewis, recommended. The same day, another civil rights activist, the reverend CT Vivian, died too. An era gone, seasoned mentors gone. As the police militarized violence escalates in many parts of the country, the fight for equality must charge and pound on. The Supreme Court, in diverse and ground breaking judgments, put itself against the conservative tide. However, even it was contradictory in a few cases, leaning more towards the alt-conservative wing. Remember Lewis and Vivian. The fight goes on, loud and louder.
5. Israel is annexing the last territory of Palestine, PLO-Gaza. The country’s politics are not stable, with 3 elections gone awry. The vote results were not clear, the politics seem to be in shambles and the leadership’s way to win was to annex what was left to salvage. It is a violation of international law and a poor manner to govern a country. Peace, coexistence, demilitarization, and another type of governance are necessary.
6. An ongoing genocide continues in Western China – Xinjiang autonomous region – intricately linked to big business, economic regional ambitions, and human rights violations. The deeper scope of the situation in concentration camps is still an investigation of its own. However, forced labor, torture, deprivation of electricity and internet, separation of children from their families are all a few indicators of what is going on.
7. The same situation, except the camps, is going on in Kashmir – annexation of a region and possible genocide against a religious minority.
8 We are still in the midst of a worldwide destructive pandemic everyone. Be careful out in the streets. Many of our countries are going “back to normal”. There is no normal anymore. Keep that in mind.
Hope you enjoyed this news week clippings! We understand a lot of trouble is going on right now. Let us know what you think about it all.