Turkmenistan News | Male Youth

Turkmenistan cuts study abroad for boys to expand military conscription
  • As conflict in Afghanistan threatens to spill into Turkmenistan, the Turkmen government has ended sponsorship for its male students to study abroad for college in order to broaden the conscription pool.
  • The majority of Turkmen youth get their university degrees abroad in countries like Ukraine and Belarus, with only a little more than 7,000 of its 100,000 annual high school graduates choosing to remain in the country for study.
  • Turkmenistan’s isolationist policies have severely crippled its education system, with ailments like rife corruption, poor financial planning, and the implementation of a compulsory 12-year education system only in 2013.

Read the full story at The Diplomat.

India News | LGBTQ

Inaugural flashmob draws crowds and attention to LGBTQ issues in New Delhi
  • Led by the queer collective Harmless Hugs, around two dozen youth created a flashmob performance in a major New Delhi commercial district in support of sexual and gender minorities.
  • Spending hours over weekends learning choreography, the group focused on using dance and other messaging to communicate acceptance and support of same-sex love and queer identities.
  • The event followed up on similar annual flashmobs organized in Mumbai.

“Through this dance, I hope the message reaches the government that if loving someone is a crime, then the whole world is a criminal.”

Read the full story at the Hindustan Times.

(Image Credit: Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times)

China News | Immigrants

Shanghai debuts new work permit relaxing experience requirements for international students
  • The chuangye is one of a series of visa reforms recently rolled out to attract and retain foreign talent in Shanghai.
  • The residence permit waives the two-year experience requirement for international students graduating from a Shanghai university, allowing students to pursue internships or start-up work for two years after graduation while living in the city.
  • The first permit was issued to an Indonesian student, who reported that visa restrictions had proven a significant barrier to fellow classmates looking to remain in the city post-graduation.

Read the full story at Shanghaiist.

(Image Credit: The People’s Daily, via Shanghaiist)

Interregional Feature | Kazakhstani & Indonesian Jews

Asian Jews from Steppe to Sea

One the “bridge between Islamic and Jewish countries” and the other the largest Muslim nation in the world, Kazakhstan and Indonesia have strikingly different attitudes towards their Jewish communities.  While the former hosts the largest synagogue in Central Asia despite being a Muslim-majority country, the latter pushes Jewish religious expression to the margins and sees rampant, politically opportunistic anti-Semitism.  The Jakarta Post takes a comparative look at the conditions faced by Kazakhstani and Indonesian Jews.

Read the full feature at the Jakarta Post.

U.S. News | Child Immigrants

Audit finds U.S. border patrol violated rules in vast majority of deportations of children over five-year period
  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that from 2009 to 2014, 93% of unaccompanied Mexican and Canadian children under 14 were deported without documentation of the safety assurance process.
  • Unaccompanied Mexican and Canadian children undergo interviews with border patrol authorities to determine if they have been or will be trafficked, persecuted, or otherwise endangered in their home country.
  • Immigration lawyers and rights monitors have questioned the effectiveness and legality of having border patrol oversee the interviews, arguing their officers are not the appropriate figures to make such determinations.

“CBP just does not have the training, the understanding of humanitarian protection, to make the assessment of these children from Mexico before sending them back to their home countries.”

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: John Moore/Getty Images, via the Guardian)