FSRN Weekly Edition – April 1, 2016

  • Myanmar’s military hands power to civilian NLD with Suu Kyi near the top
  • Pakistan anti-terrorism sweep nets thousands after Easter attack, most released but hundreds still detained
  • Sectarian tensions within migrant populations increase complexity of refugee resettlement
  • FCC moves to decrease the digital divide 
  • Nonprofit installs free solar panels for qualifying low-income residents
  • New band brings live music to the Gaza Strip with updated traditional music
  • Urban artists give New Delhi a muralist makeover

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Myanmar’s military hands power to civilian NLD with Suu Kyi near the top

Pro-democracy icon Ang Sang Suu Kyi is making good on her pledge to wrest political control of Myanmar from the military junta that has run the country also known as Burma for the last five decades. FSRN’s Shannon Young has more.

 

Pakistan anti-terrorism sweep nets thousands after Easter attack, most released but hundreds still detained

Pakistani authorities detained more than 5000 people this week following an Easter Sunday suicide bombing in the city of Lahore. Most of those detainees have been released, but authorities are still holding more than 200 under a so-called national action plan that Human Rights Watch says “violates basic freedoms,” including circumventing civilian courts. The death toll from the attack continues to rise and now stands at 75, dozens of the victims were children. Hundreds of others were injured when the attacker detonated near a playground in a popular city park. FSRN’s Malik Ayub Sumbal has more.

 

Sectarian tensions within migrant populations increase complexity of refugee resettlement

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on countries to step up efforts to resettle nearly half a million Syrian refugees. So far only about about 185,000 people have been placed. His remarks came at a one-day summit hosted Wednesday by the UN’s refugee agency, attended by representatives from more than 90 countries. The vast majority of Syrian refugees who still need a place to settle are currently in countries immediately adjacent to Syrian borders. But opponents of resettlement have latched onto the attacks by Muslim extremists in Brussels and Paris to argue against allowing Syrians into some European countries. Further complicating the issue are tensions within communities of refugees and among other recent immigrants. Tom Carstensen has more.

 

FCC moves to decrease the digital divide

The FCC took steps to narrow the digital divide in the United States this week. The vote proved contentious, but in the end the commission allowed an existing telephone subsidy to help low-income consumers afford broadband internet access. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.

 

Nonprofit installs free solar panels for qualifying low-income residents

A new study by the federally-funded National Renewable Energy Laboratory has significantly increased estimates of solar power’s potential to meet energy needs in the United States. The research examined a number of factors in 128 U.S. cities to determine which are best suited to generate solar power using rooftop arrays and found that California has by far the greatest capacity for generation on small, medium and large buildings. In Los Angeles, researchers project as much as 60 percent of the city’ s energy needs could be met with rooftop solar. However, the upfront costs of the cells and their installation remain a hurdle for many. Lena Nozizwe reports on efforts to bring solar panels to the rooftops of low-income residences while creating local job opportunities.

View accompanying slideshow.

 

New band brings live music to the Gaza Strip with updated traditional music
It’s been a decade since Western powers placed economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip after a Hamas victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections. Shortly after Hamas took power in March of 2006, the U.S., EU and Canada cut aid to the Palestinian Authority causing a deep factional rift between Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah. Israel followed suit in 2007 with a total blockade of the coastal territory. The isolation has infused every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip, including its music scene. But a new band has started performing across the region, aiming to keep traditional Palestinian music alive. FSRN’s Rami Almeghari reports from Gaza.

 

Urban artists give New Delhi a muralist makeover

India’s capital New Delhi is getting an artistic makeover with dozens of local and international street artists setting out on a mission to transform the city’s landscape. With a view to making art accessible to everyone, the artists are using Delhi’s footpaths and walls along with shipping containers as platforms for their expressive imaginations. Bismillah Geelani spent some time with the artists at work and reports how they are using murals to impart social and political messages while enhancing public spaces.

View accompanying slideshow.

 


(Music Credit:  JLT via Jamendo.com)

 

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