TRUMP SHIFT IN SAUDI ARABIA
Donald Trump has criticized Barack Obama for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”. His aides offered him the term “Islamist extremism” during his visit to Saudi Arabia. The word Islamist reflects extremists without tarring the entire religion. But Trump used both words, Islamic and Islamist. He also put more burden on Muslim leaders to confront extremism. “The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them.” Obama and George W Bush had promoted human rights and democracy as tactics to undercut radicalism, Trump made clear he did not plan to publicly pressure Muslim nations to ease their repressive policies. “We are not here to lecture,” he said. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”
U.S. CHINA SPY WARS
It appears that Beijing systematically dismantled CIA spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward, according to The New York Times. Either a mole within the CIA had betrayed the United States, or the Chinese had hacked the covert system the CIA used to communicate. Between 2010 and 2012, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the CIA’s sources. The CIA considers spying in China one of its top priorities, but the country’s extensive security apparatus makes it exceptionally hard for Western spy services to develop sources there. Since then, the CIA has tried to rebuild its network of spies in China, an expensive and time-consuming effort.
FACEBOOK’S LEAKED DOCUMENTS
Leaked policies of Facebook guiding its moderators on what content to allow appeared in The Guardian and is likely to fuel debate about the social media giant’s ethics. The company’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site revealed how executives struggle to react to new challenges such as “revenge porn”, and how they are overwhelmed by the volume of work, which means they often have “just 10 seconds” to make a decision. Remarks such as “someone shoot Trump” should be deleted. But remarks like “I hope someone kills you” is permitted. Photos of non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children do not have to be deleted unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element. Critics say Facebook is now a publisher and must do more to remove hateful, hurtful and violent content.
PAKISTAN’S CENSUS AND THE MINORITY REPORT
Attacked and frequently hit by blasphemy charges, Pakistan’s religious minorities are hoping the country’s first census since 1998 will be a step towards greater political representation and rights. Minority groups in Pakistan want to go beyond guesswork about their numbers. They hope that the census results may also raise minority representation in parliament because the present representation is based on old numbers. This desire for more accurate data goes to the heart of the controversy surrounding the census: that it will redraw political boundaries and force a redistribution of resources. Census was delayed for years by politicians squabbling over the potential implications. Many census workers were the target of militant attacks last month. One activist moved court saying Sikhism was not mentioned in the census forms. The court ordered the government to include Sikhs — but the count had already begun.
A MAGAZINE FOR AFGHAN WOMEN
The first issue of a new women’s magazine in Afghanistan called Gellara covered themes like fashion tips during pregnancy and interviews with young pop artists about their love lives. There is also more serious fare, like an article about breast cancer and an essay on a proposed family law that has been delayed for years by conservatives who oppose the safeguards it would bring. The editor struggled to find a balance between pursuing themes like second-wave feminism and attracting a wider readership. Yet the magazine could provoke anger, or worse, even be burned. The magazine, which began on Thursday with a print run of 2,000 copies, does not list its office address. Its editor, Fatana Hassanzada, knows that she will face resistance in certain circles of men who, without even reading the magazine, will view its content as leading women astray and, therefore, dangerous.