what happened last week


Hey, this is Sham, your very own news curator. August is ending, and in this part of the world, summer is ending, too. I'm a little sad. Perhaps this issue is putting a smile on your face because...

Issue #310 includes Somali poetry, Janet Jackson and Argentinian classical music. The vice-president of Argentina is on trial, a British museum gave back stolen art to Nigeria, and India's far-right nationalists are becoming violent in Australia. Plus, retweeting dissidents in Saudi Arabia can get you 34 years in prison, Chongqing in China has never been this hot, William Ruto is Kenya's new President, an American-Venezuelan family is making history, a Taiwanese horror movie recommendation, and so much more.
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The trial against Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is still ongoing –
A status update

Since May 2019, the country's Vice-President (and former President) Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been on trial for corruption. Here's a status update on the high-profile trial of the most-talked about politician in Argentina.

Why this matters: Some 46 million people live in Argentina, the third-largest economy in Latin America.

Tell me more
She is accused of accepting millions, if not billions, of U.S. dollars in bribes when she was President from 2007 to 2015. Further, together with her late husband Nestor (he died in 2010), who also was President from 2003 to 2007, the prosecution has reason to believe that they were The Girl Bosses of a mafia-like organization that did a lot of shady sh*t such as giving public works contracts to a friend and businessman, Lazaro Baez, in her home province of Santa Cruz. Prosecutors say Baez overcharged for the projects, some of which are not even finished.

How did this even become known?
Thank Oscar Centeno, the driver for a public works official- Between 2005 and 2015, he kept notebooks. Eight of them were passed to La Nación newspaper in 2018 and its journalists worked on a story secretly for months before passing them on to judicial authorities. In his notebooks, Centeno wrote about delivering bags (!) of cash from construction bosses to government officials, which prosecutors say were worth around US$160 million. (

What's her defense?
She denies everything, of course. CFK claims the trial is politically motivated and that the (right-leaning) judicial system wants to punish her (center-leftist) political coalition with President Alberto Fernandez. Basically, CFK, like former
U.S. president Donald Trump, believes that everyone is trying to bring her down. (Buenos Aires Times) Actually, they have a lot in common, James Neilson writes for Buenos Aires Times. "Both former presidents are born authoritarians who expect their supporters to obey their every whim and take as gospel their most casual remarks."

What's the latest trial update?
She tried to get the investigating prosecutor Diego Luciani disqualified. It's a whole thing. Now, and for the next three weeks, it's the prosecution's turn to present its closing arguments over nine sessions, after which it will be CFK's turn. So, to be continued. (

Other news

One of the three best authors of classical music today comes from Argentina. Composer, Rod Schejtman, was announced to be one of the finalists of the WorldVision Composers Contest (an international music competition).
Listen to his stuff here. (Buenos Aires Times)

There was another very important trial going on in the country that I think you should know about: The Truth Trial. It’s been almost 100 years since the Napalpí Massacre took place. On July 19, 1924, between 400-500 Qom and Moqoit in the Chaco Province (Northeast Argentina) were violently attacked by police and ranchers. There has never been justice, until May. This year in the Truth Trial, a very unique trial, prosecutors finally said that the state committed crimes against humanity. (
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs) The last known survivor of the Napalpí Massacre is Rosa Grillo. She is 114 years old. (Diario Primera Línea)


A British museum is giving some stolen art back to Nigeria

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London, United Kingdom plans to hand over 72 historic objects that were stolen from Benin City in southern Nigeria during a British military invasion in 1897. (The Guardian)

Why this matters: Nigeria has been attempting to get the artifacts back since the country gained its independence in 1960.

Zoom out: This is just the tip of the iceberg. According to reports, the British military stole about 10,000 objects when they burned Benin’s royal palace and confiscated all its treasures in 1897. The Oba, or king, had decorated the palace walls with the metal plates. Many of them were auctioned to 165 museums all over the world. The British Museum has the largest collection of Benin objects in the world — about 900 pieces. (
Atlanta Black Star)

Good to know: Benin City was part of the kingdom of Benin, an ancient region but don't confuse it with modern-day

Tell me more
Nigeria's National Commission for Museum and Monuments, short NCMM, (responsible for preserving the country's historic and cultural properties) requested their return in January. The Horniman then "carefully researched the objects,"
writes NPR. The Board of Trustees then decided, "The evidence is very clear that these objects were acquired through force, and external consultation supported our view that it is both moral and appropriate to return their ownership to Nigeria." (Horniman) "Maybe we'll let you borrow it sometime," Abba Tijani, NCMM's director-general, said in the news release.

Recommended read: Dan Hicks, Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford, wrote one of the best art books of 2020,
The Brutish Museums: Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence, and Cultural Restitution. If you don't have time to read it, just watch this.

Why now? 
Thank the campaign activists who created the "
Topple the Racists," a crowdsourced database of sites and monuments that celebrate slavery and racism. They also added Horniman to the list. The database is inspired "by the direct action by Bristolians," says the About section. For those who don't remember (but you should), this is what the Bristolians did in 2020. However, let's not glorify Bristol because the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery still has a Benin Bronze itself. (Bristol 24/7)

When can I see them? 
Nigeria plans to display them in the Edo Museum of West African Art, to be opened in 2025.

Zoom out:
Cambodia says it has found its lost artifacts and they're at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, United States. Now, the Cambodian government and the museum are talking about who they really belong to. Bradley Gordon, a lawyer for Cambodia’s government, responded: "The burden of proof should be on the Met to prove the Met has the right to legally own Cambodia’s national treasures." I agree. (The New York Times)

Other news

Did you know that there is a long history of African surfers that can be traced to as early as 1640? Surfing is not Californian or white.
OkayAfrica's Zee Ngema talks to Ethiopian-American director David Mesfin and his upcoming surf doc Wade In The Water.


Far-right Hindu nationalism is spilling into Australia

Last week marked 75 years since India became independent from Britain. OK, that's that but where is India heading today? Some people might say, in a not-so-good-for-everybody direction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) really love Hindu nationalism. As a result, experts have observed that their followers have become super violent against the people who don't love it as much – even in Australia, writes Santilla Chingaipe for The Saturday Paper.

Wait, what? How nationalistic is the current Indian government?
Very. And in a not so very religious-tolerance-way. "It's called the Hindutva ideology," says Dr. Priya Chacko, of the University of Adelaide. "[The] concept of India was that it was a land of Hindus and that Muslims and Christians were invaders. So, to be Indian, you had to be Hindu and you had to follow a religion that was from the soil of India, which is Hinduism or Buddhism or Sikhism and so on. But Muslims and Christians were considered foreigners. So that’s the basic ideology that underpins the governing practices of the current government in India." Meaning, whoever goes against this ideology is marginalised, Muslim, Christian or even left-wing Hindus.

What does Australia have to do with this? 
According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, there are more than 700,000 India-born people in Australia. This group of people is slowly but surely becoming increasingly influential in Australian politics. Unfortunately, they're getting into trouble amongst each other. (Don't call them a 'community.')

Chingaipe writes about one incident where a Hindu student seriously assaulted a Sikh person. The student was then arrested by New South Wales police, charged with several counts of assault, and despite this, according to a Muslim activist, the student was welcomed as a hero in India for his role in the hate crimes. There is a lot of abuse and harassment online, and some experts are afraid that that may spill over into the real world. "We know that violence doesn’t perpetuate overnight. It happens through hate-mongering; it happens through fearmongering and then the extremist ideas flourish, and when no action is taken, that’s when violence and assaults take place on the streets."

What is the Australian government doing about it? 
Not much. The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils keeps telling them, 'hey, you gotta do something here. You can't stay this ignorant about Hindutva!' Dr. Priya Chacko says, "Not being aware of this stuff means that Muslim Indians in Australia are marginalised as well as Christian Indians. Dalit Muslims are being marginalised. I would want the government at the very least to be aware of this sort of stuff before they engage with these sort of groups and uphold them as representatives of the Indian community."

Zoom out: There is a similar situation in
Germany, France and many other European countries. A lot of far-right nationalists from Turkey's Grey Wolves, the paramilitary wing of the neo-fascist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), target Armenians, Kurds, Jews and other political opponents in Europe. And not much is being done about it. (Al Jazeera)

More you might have missed 

The bad
Israel/Palestine: Israel admitted that they were responsible for the raid near Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza that killed five children on August 7. (Al Jazeera) In total, at least 16 children aged 18 and under were killed by Israeli air strikes at the beginning of the month. You can find all of their names in this Al Jazeera article.
Somalia: Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame (Hadrawi) died last week. Don't know him? He's one of the most famous Somali poets; Hadani Ditmars in The Independent once called him the 'Somali Shakespeare'. He's also written the song Baladweyn (added it to the Go Global Weekly Spotify playlist), performed by Hasan Adan Samatar in 1974, one of the most influential Somali singers. 
Syria: Four girls were killed while playing volleyball by a suspected Turkish drone in the village of Szamuka, Hasaka province, northeast Syria (Rojava). 11 others were injured. Their names were Ranya Eta, Zozan Zêdan, Dîlan Izedîn and Diyana Elo. Turkey has not claimed responsibility for the attack. According to a report of the Syria-based Rojava Information Centre (RIC), between July 19 and August 18, Turkish shelling and drone attacks have killed 62 people and injured 86. (Rudaw / Mirror)
China: Temperatures in Chongqing, China, reach 45 °C (113 °F) during a historic drought. It is the highest temperature ever recorded in China outside of Xinjiang. (AP)
Saudi Arabia: A woman is sentenced to 34 years in prison for following and retweeting dissidents on Twitter. (The Guardian)
The 'We'll See'
Kenya: William Ruto is elected President of east Africa's largest economy. If everything goes well (his rival Raila Odinga wants to challenge him in court), he'll be sworn in on August 30. Before, and since 2013, he served as Deputy President, so this new job is not new-new. However, this may surprise you, the 55-year-old studied botany and zoology at university, even got a doctorate in plant ecology, and then started to shift his focus to politics in the 1990s. Many people didn't vote (64.6% turnout, compared to 79.5% in 2017). The challenges ahead are, among others, high food and fuel prices, and mass youth unemployment. (The Africa Report)
The good
Venezuela: Disney's latest animated show Hamster and Gretel (Trailer) is the first animated Venezuelan-American family on television in the country. "Together they symbolize an important step in Venezuelan representation in animated media," writes Pedro Graterol for Caracas Chronicles.
Turkey: Archeologists found bits and pieces of a 2,200-year-old Roman fountain at Assos, Çanakkale (northwestern province). Assos, also known as Behramkale, was one of the most important port cities in the Byzantine Empire. (Bianet)


An Afghan Lawmaker Fights For Justice While Exiled In The U.S (Borderless Magazine)
More than 76,000 Afghan refugees have fled their homes and come to the United States since the Taliban takeover of the government in Afghanistan in August of last year. Journalist Saleha Soadat is one of the thousands of Afghans who were evacuated from Kabul airport ten months ago. In this special Borderless series, Soadat documents their struggles and hopes for the future. This is the story of Mahdi Rasikh, a Hazara lawmaker who was elected as a member of the Afghan House of Representatives of the People. After the Taliban took over, Rasikh had to escape to the United States.
Ahmed Al Koseem – In conversation with Syrian Cassette Archives (Podcast episode)
Ahmed Al Koseem is one of the most important and renowned traditional artists from the Houran region of southern Syria. Originally from the city of Al-Harak in Daraa, Syria, Al Koseem began singing at local weddings toward the end of the 1990s and recorded his first tape in 1998, with many more to follow. Throughout his career, Al Koseem has held on to the heritage of the Houran region and worked hard to preserve and disseminate it to the widest possible audience. Al Koseem left left Syria in 2011, resettling in Irbid, Jordan
Incantation (2022) – Taiwanese horror film on Netflix
If you're into horror movies, you have to check out Incantation (Chinese: 咒; pinyin: Zhou; Trailer). It's a supernatural found footage horror film directed by Kevin Ko. The film was released in Taiwan on March 18, 2022, and it became the highest-grossing Taiwanese horror film. Netflix got it last month. Inspired by a true story of a family who believed they were possessed by spirits, this film follows a woman who must protect her child from a curse.

On a funny note

According to Microsoft, the music video for Janet Jackson's 1989 pop hit Rhythm Nation can crash old laptop computers. It has now been recognized as an exploit for a cybersecurity vulnerability.

You wanna try it yourself?

That's it from me. 

Have you checked out this newsletter's very own Spotify playlist Go Global Weekly yet?

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