The Wednesday Rounds

China confiscates citizens’ passports along its Kazakh border, former South Korean comfort women reach out to Nepal, two Canadian girls fight for a gay-straight alliance, France reexamines its secularist policy, and more in today’s news rounds…

Race, Ethnicity & Nationality

  • The Vatican officially recognizes Palestine as a state. (NYT)
  • Pew report finds record share of U.S. Hispanics speaking English proficiently and decrease in Spanish use at home. (Pew Research Center)
  • U.K. university diversity officer sparks outrage in fallout from asking white and male students not to attend event for women of color. (HuffPo UK)
  • China reportedly calls for confiscation of passports in the Yili Autonomous Prefecture near the Kazakhstan border, which some residents and international monitors believe to be related to crackdown on ethnic minorities in the area.  (Guardian)


  • Young Indian woman and her family refuse marriage arranged when she was less than a year old, leading to community sanctions and further evidence of the entrenchment of the illegal child marriage practice in the country. (Reuters)
  • Women-led and -driven films stir up buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in France. (Yahoo! News)
  • Survivors of WWII sexual slavery in South Korea band together to donate relief funds to Nepal’s victims. (Korea JoongAng Daily)
  • After post-revolution study finds 99% of Egyptian women experience sexual harassment, civic organizations and advocates work to make public spaces safer for women. (Egyptian Streets)
  • Advocacy organization takes results of unofficial competition naming Harriet Tubman as desired replacement for U.S. $20 bill icon to the White House. (Guardian)

Migration & Displacement

  • The EU agrees to accept and distribute 20,000 refugees over next two years, while the U.K. opts out. (BBC)
  • Spain and Portugal open up citizenship paths for descendants of Jews expelled more than five centuries ago, but the bureaucratic hoops for  the former are deterring and angering some. (Times of Israel)

Religion & Belief

Sexual & Gender Identity

  • An analysis of Transgender Europe’s recent data report mapping transgender rights across Europe. (BuzzFeed)
  • Two girls’ fight to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance in their Catholic elementary school in Ottawa (Canada). (HuffPo Canada)
  • Speaking of gay men, the Gambian president says he will “slit your throat,” the latest in a string of violent, inflammatory statements he has made while digging in against Western condemnation and sanctions. (VICE)

In Addition

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