What happened this week – 1) In Syria, Assad’s security forces killed over 100 civilians, mainly women and children, in the town of Houla. The brutal violence brought international attention back to Syria, as foreign governments are now considering more aggressive action to help Syrians unseat Assad.
2) In Egypt, two candidates qualified for a run-off in the first round of Egypt’s presidential elections. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi finished first with 25% of the vote while Hosni Mubarak’s former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, finished in second. The two will compete in a run-off in several weeks.
3) In Indonesia, Lady Gaga was forced to cancel a sold-out concert due to threats from an extremist Islamic group. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, with over 200 million Muslim citizens.
4) In Europe, Banks in Spain in Greece are facing a crisis of confidence. Slowly, individuals have begun removing deposits from banks. If this trend accelerates, it could turn into a fill-blown bank run. Spain recently nationalized one of its banks, Bankia, and may need a bailout from Germany to support the others.
Top PolicyMic stories – Egypt's Mubarak Trial Result Sparks New Wave of Protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square (Stephen Kalin) – Egyptians return to the streets to protest the disappointing sentencing of Mubarak and his top aides, while elections to replace the former president are scheduled to occur in two weeks.
Fareed Zakaria Delivers Harvard Commencement Speech of Hope (Sal Bommarito)– This speech of hope and optimism should be read by all.
Does the Increasing Number of Female Journalists Hurt or Help the Feminist Cause? (Haleigh Collins) – While more women than ever before are writing Op Ed articles, many of their stories are coined "pink." Should women be writing more "important" issues?
Top 25 Obama Excuses For a Failed Economy and High Unemployment (John Giokaris) – The job numbers and weak recovery are only getting worse, yet President Obama continues to blame anything and everything else for his failed policies. Here's a look at his top 25 excuses.
What we’re reading – Do dogs feel guilty? (Thoughtful Animal); A nasty kind of sectarianism has emerged in Egypt (National Interest); The real cool of Warhol and Lichtenstein (NYRB).
Just for fun – 7 Ways to Recreate an Idyllic Childhood Summer as a 20-Something(Aubrey Menard).