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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”