This was a busier-than-usual day around here. I hope you all enjoyed it. We started out commemorating the shortest presidency in the history of presidencies, Pedro Lascuráin’s shorter-than-an-hour term as Mexican president in 1913.
We checked in on Uganda’s presidential election, where incumbent and inevitable winner Yoweri Museveni adopted the interesting tactic of having his top opponent arrested while the votes were being counted.
We looked at the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons’ (TAK) claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Ankara, Turkey, which killed 28 people and is the reason why I didn’t make a single joke about their name.
We made a note of today’s US airstrike on an ISIS encampment in Libya, which may have killed the prime suspect in two terrorist attacks in neighboring Tunisia and may also be the first of many such strikes to come.
Last but not least I made an appeal for your generosity to support the work I’m doing here. This is going to be a regular Friday thing moving forward.
Now here’s your daily bit of humor. Slate’s international affairs writer, Joshua Keating, sometimes writes about American news in the same tenor that American reporters often write about international news. Those columns are usually pretty funny, but I got a real kick out of his story earlier this week about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, “Death of Hard-Line Jurist Throws Regime Into Chaos”:
WASHINGTON, United States—The unexpected death of a hard-line conservative jurist on America’s constitutional court has exposed deep fissures within the ruling regime and threatens to throw the country’s fragile political system into months of chaos.
The nine unelected justices who sit for lifetime terms on the Supreme Court are tasked with ensuring that laws passed by the democratically elected government don’t violate the ancient juridical texts upon which the country’s laws are based. As such, they wield immense powers and have the ability to overrule even the president himself. The aged, scholarly jurists, cloaked in long black robes, conduct their deliberations behind closed doors, shielded from the scrutiny of the media, and their most important decisions are often released to the public with great drama but little warning.
Respected by both allies and enemies, Antonin Scalia was a religious fundamentalist and fierce ideologue known for his stylish and original readings of the ancient texts. He led a movement within the court that supported adhering closely to the principles of the nation’s founding revolution, even as many laws have appeared out of step with the values of the modern world. He and his acolytes have often stood in the way of dissidents’ efforts to use the American legal system to seek increased rights for women, gays, and ethnic minorities.
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