Egypt News | Mexicans & Journalists

Egypt muzzles journalists during investigation of killing of Mexican tourists
  • Eight Mexican tourists and their Egyptian guides were killed by Egyptian security forces after allegedly being mistaken for insurgents.
  • International and domestic journalists have been banned from covering the investigation into the incident, leading to criticisms of a lack of transparency.
  • Human rights organizations have condemned Egypt’s military operations in the Western Sahara and Sinai Peninsula, arguing that civilian deaths have been endemic.

“Usually when there is such a ban on publication it has do with very tough cases where one could find evidence or embarrassing information about the involvement of some government high officials or military strongmen.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

South Africa Feature | Black

South African Higher Ed’s Race Problem

Image Credit: Joao Silva/The New York Times
Image Credit: Joao Silva/The New York Times

Black students at South Africa’s preeminent universities have taken to protesting the slow pace of diversification in the institutions. Gaining momentum at schools like the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, the movement has taken up issues ranging from affirmative action to faculty hiring, with students engaging in sit-ins, readings, and demonstrations to draw attention to the overwhelmingly disproportionate racial demographics and culture of South African universities. The New York Times profiles students leading the way for change and the challenges facing the movement.

Read the full feature at the New York Times.

Egypt News | Women

Egyptian student pursues legal action after alleging her exam results were falsified
  • Mariam Malak, a high-achieving student, took action and demanded an independent inquiry after seeing that the handwriting on the test did not match her own.
  • Malak, who scored 97% on the test in the previous two years, has aspirations of becoming a doctor.
  • With suspicions that Malak’s results may have been switched with another student’s, the case has become a symbol of corruption in the Egyptian education system.

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

Spain & Netherlands News | Black

Spain and the Netherlands look to phase out blackface Christmas traditions
  • Madrid authorities announced that they will cast an actual black person in the role of Balthazar this year rather than continue the tradition of blackening the face of a white person.
  • In The Hague, education officials announced that elementary schools will no longer engage in the “Black Pete” tradition, which paints Santa’s helpers in blackface.
  • While cities across Spain are increasingly abolishing holiday blackface, the Netherlands has seen staunch resistance, with a majority of its citizens rejecting the idea that Black Pete is a racist practice.

“This change is much more than just anecdotal. … Given the increasingly large community of colour in our city, it seems absurd that this role continues to be represented by a person with their face blackened.”

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: Peter Dejong/AP, via The Guardian)

China News | Children

Abducted or abandoned children in China see greater adoption opportunity under new rules
  • Authorities have capped the search for abandoned and trafficked children’s biological families at a year, allowing for them to be adopted from orphanages after that period.
  • Previously, children were left in indefinite limbo as long as their cases were active with search authorities.
  • More than 13,000 children were abducted last year alone according to the government, with the U.S. State Department estimating as many as 20,000 a year falling prey to traffickers and other kidnappers.

Read the full story at Reuters.

Finland News | Refugees

Finland sees hundreds of refugees entering across Swedish border as it prepares to accept thousands more
  • More than 500 crossed the border in a day as the country has already seen the arrival of 11,000 asylum seekers.
  • Finland has agreed to take in thousands more in agreement with a proposed European refugee distribution plan, with most refugees making it to Finland having arrived from Iraq.
  • The government has reduced refugees’ cash stipend to €316 for a single adult (without meals) and is preparing to cut social integration benefits.

“I think our economic situation has become a smaller problem than the challenge from the refugees… We are monitoring the situation hour by hour.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

(Image Credit: Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/Reuters)

Malaysia News | Chinese & Indian

Pro-Malay, pro-government rally targets ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians
  • Thousands of Malays took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur, drawing fire from police water cannons after voicing anti-Chinese and anti-Indian sentiment and trying to break through barricades to the city’s Chinatown.
  • The demonstration took place in support of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has lost support from most of the ethnic minority communities after coming under fire for allegedly embezzling $700 million.
  • Malays make up 60% of Malaysian society, with ethnic Chinese comprising 25% and ethnic Indians 10%.

“I am here to defend Malay dignity and dominance. … We must not let others take over our country.”

Read the full AP story at Yahoo! News.

(Image Credit: AP Photo, via Yahoo! News)