Soon, on the 18th September, all adult residents of Scotland will be offered a rare opportunity. They will be asked to cast a simple yes/no vote on whether or not Scotland should break from the United Kingdom. As a Scottish expat in Berlin, I have been watching keenly, but having left Scotland, I feel a certain sense of detachment from it all. (More…)

It has become obvious that Pakistan faces a massively turbulent future as a result of climate change. Most Pakistanis, especially in rural areas, are unfamiliar with the International Panel on Climate Change and its findings for South Asia, but they can tell what is going on.  (More…)

You’ve probably heard of Burger King’s plan to buy Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons. News of the $11 billion “King Hortons” merger has caused stocks to soar, with analysts excitedly reporting that it will form the world’s third largest fast-food company. It isn’t exactly innovative for an American company to buy Tim Hortons: Wendy’s did it previously. What is new is the brazenness of its intent. (More…)

Today, with the resumption of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, a group of Berliners disturbed by the high proportion of infant and child deaths took the names of the deceased and fly-postered them across the German capital. The action had three goals in mind. (More…)

For those of you unfamiliar with video games, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is something of a phenomenon. It is widely regarded to be the most significant game of its generation, owing to its brilliant visuals, innovative gameplay, and sharp writing. It is a shame that it did not reflect more deeply on its post-apocalyptic setting. (More…)

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of Ferguson, Missouri until this week. And yet, here it is, laid out in international media. It started with an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, shot and killed by a police officer the hacking collective Anonymous has identified as Bryan Willman (though this hasn’t been confirmed.) The community, mostly black, responded in outrage and sadness, creating a new protest sign—their arms in the air. (More…)

The Berlin launch event for the Holocaust memorial project Never Again for Anyone was strange for me. This was partially because I was nervous about handling the film portion. It was also because I felt strange about how I would interact with the event as a Pakistani Muslim. (More…)

The Onion has a sister publication called Clickhole that described current violence in Gaza pretty well. It parodied .GIF listicles with a piece called “The Current Crisis In Gaza Explained Using GIFs From Previous Crises In Gaza.” The satire was underlied by the fact that it seems like we’re stuck.  (More…)

There are a few reasons to be annoyed that Germany won the World Cup, and one of them is the weird sexism that is coming out about the FIFA “WAGs” (wives and girlfriends.) An article about them in the Daily Mail is part of an internet trend that showcases them as the softer side of a robust national team. Basically, the angle is, “the men won the game, and then they went home with hot women.” (More…)

You’ve probably heard the news: the U.S. Supreme Court has found in favor of Oklahoma-based retailer Hobby Lobby’s objection to providing its employees with birth control under Obamacare. The case’s breadth has been completely misinterpreted, though. Contrary to the mainstream opinion, it is not about “religious freedom.” (More…)

Operation Zarb-e-Azab is currently in full-swing in North Waziristan, following a raid of Jinnah International Airport earlier this month by the Taliban, and the previously unknown Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. This follows failed peace talks, and widespread condemnation of the attack in Karachi. Unfortunately, it has also given way to uncritical praise of the mission in Pakistani media outlets that is basically propaganda. (More…)

“Sufi militarism” seems like a paradox to many regional observers. Iraq’s Naqshbandhi Army therefore seems like it has no firm ideological basis. This is essentially true: the group espouses Sufism more as a populist strategy than anything else. (More…)