After Race Riots, Hundreds of Migrants Arrested in Russia
Ethnic riots broke out in Moscow yesterday after the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian man allegedly by someone of “non-Slavic appearance,” which led nationalists to conclude the killer was a Muslim from Russia’s Caucasus region.
Rioters descended on a vegetable warehouse where they believed the killer to be working, smashing windows, turning over cars and throwing bottles at the police, chanting “Russia for the Russians.” Police detained around 400 people in connection with the riots, then, today, carried out a “preventative” raid at the same warehouse, rounding up over 1,500 migrant workers to check their papers.
The head of the Federation for Migrants has warned that they now face an increased risk of being targeted by nationalists.
India Storm and Stampede
Cyclone Phailin struck India’s eastern coast this weekend, washing away thousands of homes, downing power lines, blocking roads and damaging crops and boats. Thanks to a massive and extremely effective evacuation of over 1 million residents, however, only 25 people have been reported killed. By comparison, a cyclone that struck the same region in 1999 killed around 10,000.
Unfortunately, there was still a disaster this weekend, when a stampede killed at least 115 people, mostly women and children. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had gathered to celebrate at a Hindu temple, when fear spread that the narrow bridge they were crossing was collapsing. Around 25,000 people were on the bridge at the time, and the death toll is expected to rise. This is the second deadly stampede in that exact location.
Brazil, Germany Propose Anti-Spy Plans
Due to the revelations about NSA spying , Brazil and Germany have each proposed the creation of secure e-mail services for their countries’ residents. Brazil has been shaken by revelations that the NSA had hacked the state-run oil company Petrobras, intercepted billions of e-mails and calls, and specifically targeted President Dilma Rousseff.
The heart of both plans is an encrypted national network with servers located inside the country. Critics, however, note that this means the e-mails would only be protected while they were in transit, and will still be decrypted and re-encrypted by providers to check for malware.
Meanwhile, the US government doubled-down on surveillance, funding a giant program to “collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town,” essentially meaning that mass surveillance is no longer only for counter-terrorism, but a quotidian part of law enforcement. New York City and places in Massachusetts and Texas already have similar programs.
In China, Elderly Parents Sue Children for Support
China’s new law not only requires adult children to provide elderly parents with emotional and financial support – but allows parents to sue their children for it, reflecting an urgent global dilemma. Nursing homes are not an option for most Chinese – there are only 22 beds per 1,000 seniors and are too expensive for most families. The world’s population is aging fast – soon, there will be more old people than young for the first time in history, leaving governments to figure out who is responsible for the care of the elderly.
While India, France, the Ukraine and 29 US states mandate what used to be a cultural given – that children must care for their parents, the laws are rarely enforced because the government funds care for the elderly.
Bush Administration Ousted Former OPCW Head over Iraq
In a new interview today, José Bustani, former director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague (OPCW, which just won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in Syria) discussed his abrupt dismissal in 2002. At the time, Iraq wanted to join the organization, which requires countries to allow the OPCW full access to their chemical weapons stockpiles in order to destroy them. The Bush administration thought that the revelation that Iraq was hiding no chemical weapons would hinder its push to invade the country. Bustani believed it should be allowed in, and was ousted as a result.