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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Neha Banka


Neha Banka is a journalist based in Kolkata and writes about Asia, women’s rights, religion and culture.

Explained: How North American sports teams have historically misappropriated Native American culture
Tue, Aug 04, 2020

Sustained efforts by activists over the past few years have forced these professional sports teams to rethink how their use of these names, symbols and imagery could be offensive.

Donald Trump wants the US elections to be postponed. Is it possible?
Sat, Aug 01, 2020

Since Wednesday, Trump has railed on Twitter against mail-in voting, making claims of a “rigged election” and that votes, specifically in New York state, were “missing”.

Durga meme row and other reasons why Israeli PM’s son Yair Netanyahu is always in the news
Thu, Jul 30, 2020

Since 2017, after the launch of investigations into corruption charges involving his father, Yair Netanyahu stepped in more prominently into the public sphere, using his social media platforms to tell the investigating authorities and his father’s opponents exactly what he has to say about them.

Explained: Why Israel has been witnessing weeks of large-scale protests against PM Netanyahu
Tue, Jul 28, 2020

The Netanyahu family has been publicly criticising these protestors, with the prime minister's son Yair Netanyahu taking the lead, despite not holding any official position in the government.

Explained: Why Thailand’s students have demanded amendments to school haircut rules
Mon, Jul 27, 2020

For decades, schools in Thailand have enforced strict rules regarding hair length and styles for male and female students. Violations of these rules involve penalties, including humiliating haircuts in public.

Explained: Why historians have called for a review of UK’s citizenship test
Thu, Jul 23, 2020

The test appears to glorify Britain’s colonial past, say the historians.

Explained: Why Netflix cancelled a Turkish drama after row over an LGBTQ character
Wed, Jul 22, 2020

Although Turkey is more liberal than some of its neighbours when it comes to LGBTQ rights, and homosexuality has been legal in the country’s modern history, activists say the scenario has been changing under the present government.

Explained: Why the Chicago Mayor called Trump top aide ‘Karen’
Sun, Jul 19, 2020

This week, it was the turn of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to be called 'Karen' by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Who is a 'Karen'?

Borders melt for Indian patients seeking treatment in Nepal’s snakebite treatment centres 
Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Snakebite patients in northern West Bengal use the Indo-Nepal border crossing to enter Nepal on their way to the snakebite treatment centre at Chaarali. 

Explained: Why Armenia and Azerbaijan are at loggerheads over Nagorno-Karabakh again
Thu, Jul 16, 2020

This past weekend, tensions escalated at the border between the two countries and resulted in the death of at least four Azerbaijani soldiers. Following the killings, Armenia and Azerbaijan were engaged in a verbal spat, accusing the other for having instigated the most recent conflict.

Explained: Srebrenica massacre, the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims
Mon, Jul 13, 2020

On July 11, 25 years on, commemoration services were held at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery in remembrance of the victims of the massacre. During this ceremony, bodies of nine victims that were recently identified were buried in the cemetery.

Explained: Why Hagia Sophia’s return as mosque puts Turkey’s secular credentials on a prayer
Mon, Jul 13, 2020

In a televised address to the country, Erdogan said the conversion would require six months to complete. Throughout his speech, observers noted that the president made no mention of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, perhaps in a deliberate move to remove that association from the Hagia Sophia.

Explained: The strange case of Turkmenistan, the country with ‘no COVID-19 cases’
Sun, Jul 12, 2020

Turkmenistan and Covid-19: Due to strict government controls over the dissemination of information, it is difficult to assess the ground situation.

Explained: Why 160-year-old Vladivostok has a Chinese connection
Tue, Jul 07, 2020

Before Primorsky Krai, of which Vladivostok is the administrative capital, became Russian territory in 1860, it was a relatively small Manchu settlement under the sovereignty of the Qing dynasty.

Explained: Why Finland’s air force stopped using swastika symbol
Sat, Jul 04, 2020

The Air Force’s spokesperson had acknowledged in the official statement that the use of the swastika in the old insignia “had caused misunderstandings from time to time”.

Explained: Why Turkey wants to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque
Sat, Jul 11, 2020

The construction of this iconic structure in Istanbul started in 532 AD during the reign of Justinian I, the ruler of the Byzantine Empire, when the city was known as Constantinople.

Explained: Israel’s plan to annex West Bank and why is Netanyahu doing it
Sat, Jul 04, 2020

These annexation plans have been extremely controversial because it would mean Israel unilaterally declaring sovereignty over parts of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Such moves by Netanyahu are also contrary to the two-state solution and have the potential to trigger further conflict in the region.

Explained: Why Russia has to vote on a constitutional referendum in the middle of a pandemic
Sun, Jun 28, 2020

Polls have opened in Russia on Thursday for a week-long vote on a constitutional reform that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.

70 years of the Korean War: India’s lesser-known role in halting it
Wed, Jul 01, 2020

India played a unique role throughout the Korean War, having no specific geo-political interests in the Korean Peninsula and maintaining a neutral position before and during the war years, yet believing in the reunification of the peninsula.

70 years of the Korean War: Why Ethiopia jumped into a distant war and remained unvanquished
Fri, Jun 26, 2020

It was the first time that Ethiopia had been involved in a war outside the African continent. A closer look at Ethiopia's history during and after the Second World War shows why the country became involved in an unrelated war so far away.

Explained: Why the American Museum of Natural History wants to remove Theodore Roosevelt’s statue
Wed, Jun 24, 2020

Why has the American Museum of Natural History asked the New York City government to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States who was in office from 1901 to 1909?

Explained: Why did North Korea blow up a joint liaison office with Seoul?
Thu, Jun 18, 2020

The demolition of the joint liaison office follows a recent deterioration in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul and occurred just hours after Pyongyang threatened to engage in military action at the border with South Korea.

Explained: How Native American casinos could reopen despite Covid-19 advisories
Wed, Jun 17, 2020

The shutdown of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos for the pandemic has contributed to soaring unemployment in eastern Connecticut, a region that has seen some of the biggest spikes in jobless numbers despite relatively few infections.

Explained: What’s happened in the two years since Trump and Kim’s Singapore Summit?
Fri, Jun 19, 2020

On the anniversary of the Singapore Summit, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said: "Never again will we provide the US chief executive with another package to be used for achievements without receiving any returns."

Explained: Why have North Korea and South Korea stopped talking?
Fri, Jun 19, 2020

These inter-Korean tensions come at a time when North Korea and the US have reached an impasse on negotiations on nuclear capabilities of North Korea, discussions that had been aided by South Korea.