Violent protests are unfolding in Pakistan on the heels of former PM Imran Khan’s arrest. Khan, a controversial figure, has been arrested before but even non-Khan supporters are condemning how paramilitary troops arrested him. Here’s how it’s affecting the rest of the country. Imran Khan has a long history of activism and opposition to the government, both as a politician and as a social activist. When he was ousted from government in 2022, mass protests and unrest took place. Today, Khan supporters have stormed military bases and officials’ homes, leading to violence between civilians and police. Khan claims his arrest is politically motivated to keep him from re-election. Many fear this will delay elections, or worse prompt a military coup and martial law. Schools have been closed indefinitely, with major nationwide exams also put on hold. Access to social media platforms are being banned, with some regions facing total internet shutdown.
A city in Japan is allowing government employees to use ChatGPT for admin tasks, and there's more. The hope is that AI will solve Japan’s problem of limited human resources, as the country has a steadily declining birth rate and population. Even their PM is testing it out. The CEO of OpenAI, ChatGPT’s parent company, just visited Japanese officials to discuss expansion in the country. Unlike Japan, countries like Italy and Canada are concerned about the data security and biases that may come with using it. For their part, the Japanese city government says its employees will be forbidden from entering any confidential or personal information into ChatGPT. Do you think a government can be run by AI? The thumbnail for this story was made using StarryAI, an AI image generator.
The creator and stars of the Netflix sensation BEEF have responded to the David Choe rape controversy. Even still, many are specifically calling out Steven Yeun and Ali Wong for their initial silence, as they responded saying he’s done work to better himself. Did Choe’s presence ruin the show for you? David Choe is controversial beyond his 2014 incident where he was accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse. In 2012, he was also paid millions in stock options by Facebook though he expressed negative views about the company and founder. Viewers are angry about him being hired by A24 and skeptical about his growth. What is needed for Choe to be forgiven? How can he take further accountability? And is there an opportunity for him to learn from his mistakes and make amends?
After asking a little boy to suck his tongue, the Dalai Lama is being called a predator and abuser. First, his camp called the exchange “playful” but now apologies have been issued. Is this a traditional greeting that’s being misunderstood or is it a tradition that needs to end? The Dalai Lama is a highly respected spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, who has been a symbol of peace and nonviolence for decades. He has been praised for his teachings on compassion and advocacy for environmental protection. But he’s also faced criticism for his views on women’s rights and homosexuality. Tibetan supporters say that sticking out the tongue is a traditional greeting from the 9th century and are blaming Chinese propagandists for making the moment go viral. Others are asking for accountability and that this behavior shouldn’t be overlooked for anyone, even spiritual leaders.
Itikaf, the Islamic tradition of embracing solitude and spiritual reflection, happens in Ramadan's last 10 days. This year, like many before, Palestinians have been attacked in a moment of worship. Israeli security forces raided Al Aqsa–a holy site for Muslims and Jews. Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, where violence has taken place several times. The assault resulted in 400 people arrested and 158 others injured. Israel first claimed there was an agreement violation, but have now banned Jewish visitors from entering the site until the end of Ramadan. 2023 has already seen 88 Palestinians and 16 Israelies killed.
Was the brutal interrogation of TikTok execs by the US Congress really about TikTok? Or was sinophobia at play? After 4.5 hours of questioning, TikTok's Singaporean CEO, Shou Zi Chew, has become an unlikely hero to Gen Z audiences. While Congress raised concerns about foreign entities exploiting social media platforms for political and strategic gain, they really seemed focused on sharing their own tough stances on China. TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is being considered a national security threat because of the app’s potential to collect and share user data with the Chinese government. While lawmakers are known to be tough on tech CEOs, this questioning process seemed more than relentless–almost Sinophobic. Sinophobia, a prejudice and hostility towards China, its people, and its culture, has been on the rise in recent years–especially amid geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a 2022 PEW Research study, among the U.S. public overall, around eight-in-ten express an unfavorable opinion of China.