Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ireland's abortion standoff'

In Ireland a women named Savita Halappanavar died from being refused an abortion at a Irish hospital. She was miscarrying at the time and died shortly after from infection. Her death has reignited the debate on abortion in the Catholic country. Right now the law in Ireland is that an abortion is only preformed to save the live of a mother. There are fierce debates on whether the laws should be changed or should remain the same. There are protest going on in the streets because many are in outrage over the death of Savita. They are marching all over the country in Dublin, Gallway, and Limerick in remembrance of her death. Many pro-choice advocates in the European Health Organization are using this case and relating it to case X in the United States when the fourteen year old girl was impregnated by rape and became suicidal and then was allowed to travel to obtain an abortion. People are calling for clearer laws on abortion and it seems that with Savitas death they may have an answer.

Posted by : Katelyn Krumreich 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two Croatians acquitted of crimes against humanity

On Friday, The International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia ordered the release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac. All of their previous convictions were reversed. Last year, the same court found Markac and Gotovina guilty of ethnic cleansing between July and September of 1995. Gotovina was sentenced to twenty-four years in jail and Markac was sentenced to eighteen years. The decision to release the war criminals was based on the fact that the court's appeals chamber was unable to find the existence of a joint criminal enterprise. The President of Serbia issued a statement that said that the decision would only open old wounds.
By- Emina Pivac

Pres. Obama to Visit Burma

On his current South East Asian excursion, President Barack Obama will become the first sitting United States President to visit Burma. In his six hours in Burma, Mr. Obama is expected to give a pro-democracy speech at Rangoon University amid the ongoing reform processes taking place. His visit also sheds light on the work Burma has left to do; after its considerable reforms, the country still harbors many political prisoners. Thein Sein, Burmese President and unexpected reformer, is also expected to receive an aid package from the United States in excess of $170 million. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also be accompanying Mr. Obama on the trip, which included a visit this weekend to Thailand and will include an upcoming trip to Cambodia.

You can read more on the story here.

Posted by Colin Wescott

Anti-Gay Protests in France

Yesterday, all over France Pro-family and Catholic groups gathered in what they called the "March for Everyone" in protest against their President Francois Holland with his proposed plan to legalize marriage and adaption for gays in France. He made plans to make this action in May when he came to power, but with the publicity these groups are getting against his plan appears as though it will make that move difficult. The some several thousand people that marched across France carried many signs saying a number of things against gay marriage and adoption for gay couples, one for instance said, "One child (equals) one father + one mother". They even wore blue, pink and white to get a dig at the French flag. The French population is split on approval for gay marriage and adoption, therefor it is understandable as to how many people protested against the possible change. The United States has not legalized it in the entire country which resembles the difficulty in achieving the difficult task of not only changing a law but more so changing a societally and religious norm. It will prove interesting as to see the outcome of the protests and the actions the president now takes. Michele Dobbs

Israel's Assassinations and Violence

I have included 2 web addresses here because I am writing about both of these articles. The second article discusses the looming threat in the Gaza strip of Israel invading with a ground force. Violence in the area has once again continued between the Israelis and Palestinians. As of right now the violence has accumulated into missiles being fired back and forth between each side, but there is a fear in Gaza that there will be a ground invasion by Israel's army. The supposed target of many of Israel's missiles are "terrorist leaders" in Gaza, usually members of the Hamas group there. However, there are legal questions involved in Israel's missiles and assassinations.

Israel has a long-standing policy of using assassinations as political action. The latest one of these assassinations is the assassination of the Hamas military commander. This is legal under the UN Charter, but a problem with these assassinations is that they often have civilian casualties as well. Especially in an age when missiles are the new silenced handgun, there is a risk of killing civilian bystanders, which is illegal at the international level. Also, there is a problem because often the targets are not at the locations that are destroyed. For instance, Israel sent missiles at a building they believed a Hamas leader was in, but ended up just killing four children and an 80 year old.

It will be interesting to see what the world's response will be to this continued violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Jon Kingzette

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jobseekers Head to Germany

The economic crisis and mass unemployment in Southern Europe has lead to the migration of thousands to Germany. The euro crisis has actually helped German companies. These businesses are experiencing growth from this because many of these jobseekers are highly qualified. Around 50 to 70 percent are university graduates with sought after degrees in scientific and technical subjects. In the first half of 2012, around 182,000 jobseekers came to Germany. This is a 35 percent rise over the same period in 2011. The number of Portuguese and Spaniards in the country has doubled over the last year and the number of Greek immigrants has risen by 78 percent. The amount of Hungarian immigrant has also risen. It is estimated that net immigration in Germany could top 300,000 by the end of 2012. Germany believes that this is a good thing.

By Abigail Van Hook
Southern European Jobseekers Head North in Droves

King Abdullah Has a lot Going On

King Abdullah of Jordan is dealing with a lot of problems currently. He just did a government reform to try to clean up his countries politics, he starting to move the country into a democratic-friendly direction, his country is getting less oil from oil lines due to problems in surrounding countries causing Jordan to lose $5 billion in revenue, he's dealing with more than 200,000 Syrian refugees that have recently flooded Jordan, he has to deal with a teacher strike, and on top of all that, the citizens are violently protesting against him over a $0.45 increase in gas prices, from $3.80 to $4.25.

Thankfully, no life was lost in these protests, but there were some casualties. The protesters were chanting against the government and against their hard-working king, insulting him (which is a crime in Jordan) and demanding cheaper gas prices. King Abdullah handed out $600 to families to help them with the gas price increase, but apparently that isn't enough to appease the protesters. It is believed that it isn't the Jordanians who started these protests, but instead it's a group of Islamists who are trying to rile the people up in order to overthrow the king and get control for themselves. But this hasn't been confirmed.

Stephanie Smith

Police Killing in Kenya Reveals Possible Corruption

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give our police a 2," said Macharia Njeru, the chairman of Kenya's police oversight board.  Human rights violations and extrajudicial killings were among the several corruption allegations.  John Muthini, a high school student, was shot in the head when police officers walked in, looking for a thief.  His friends said his last words were "It's not me," as he begged for his life.  In some of the rougher parts of the city, police officers are seen as a menace by the residents.  They have been known to kill alleged suspects and poor people they come across.  They are constantly rated as "one of the most corrupt public institutions in East Africa."  Mr. Njeru says the Kenyan police force has been intentionally kept weak so that it could be manipulated by politicians.  Therefore, with an election scheduled for next month, many are worried about whether the police will be able to handle issues surrounding election time.
More information at:

Amanda Ngo

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jason Mraz's live performance in Burma next month

A well-known American songwriter-singer, Jason Mraz will hold a free concert in Burma on coming December 16 to fight against human trafficking. This is going to be the foremost open-air performance by a foreign musician in the history of the country. Local artists will also take part in the concert as well. Hosted by MTV EXIT, the show will take place at People's Square in Yangon, at the base of Shwedagon Pagoda, and is going to be on air on national television programs as well as on MTV international networks. 

Last year, Jason Mraz hosted a similar concert in Philippines. He went to the Freedom Awards that is held each year to honor the people who are fighting against the human exploitation, and that made him realize that slavery still goes on behind the scenes for a long time. Approximately 27 million people in the world are enslaved.

Jason Mraz hopes that his songs can act according to his personal wills that can bring changes. The theme of the concert is "educate, empower, and engage." Many of his songs such as 'I'm yours' and 'I won't give up' are about trusting oneself, and pursuing the dreams that can fit the theme. 

Posted by: Aye-Myat-Myat Thinn

Jerusalem Air Raid Sirens Signal Possible Rocket Attack

In recent new Jerusalem has been a target location for bomb attacks by Muslims from Gaza. The first rocket was fired Friday and aimed right at Jerusalem. This will be a new fight between the Israel army and the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces are on standby and will be ready to enter if a ground operation is necessary. This is a very scary thought for this area of Israel. Just months ago, silence rose through the city, and tourist were coming in and out to see the religious platform that the city is built upon. Also earlier in the week the city of Tel-Aviv was a prime location to be hit by airstrikes as well. The Israeli army has authority to draft 14,000 soldiers. Not only were bombs found in areas close to Jerusalem, but also near Jewish Settlements in the West Bank. Orginially Jerusalem was thought to be beyond range of these attacks and too far north.
By: Josef Federman

Kacie Greer

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dozens of Officers Killed in Kenya

37 to 42 officers in Kenya killed over the weekend by cattle rustlers with many guns. A definite amount of officers down has not been released by the Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito for not wanting civilians or others to know the true amount for security reasons.  For many years now, the Turkana and Samburu tribes of northern Kenya have been fighting with one another by  means of taking large amounts of cattle from one another. The officers had intervened after being sent in to return cattle taken from the Samburu by the Turkana. The Turkana had been warned by the officers that they would have to take the cattle by force if they were not returned by last Friday. During the fray, however, the cattle rustlers of Turkana were heavily armed and within a well fortified village which led to dozens of officers killed.

Christina Drozek

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dalai Lama calls for China to investigate the cause of self-immolations

On Tuesday the Dalai Lama called on China to investigate why Tibetans are self-immolating and blamed the Communist party for viewing Buddhist culture as threatening.  He is also encouraging foreign media and Japanese MPs to visit Tibet in order to ensure that what is happening doesn't go ignored.  He was speaking to Japanese lawmakers and the head of the opposition party Shinzo Abe who is considered to be a top contender to become to next prime minister.  The Dalai Lama's visit caused China to lodge a protest with Japan. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said "China is opposed to any country or individual providing a stage for his separatist moves."  The spokesman also said that the Dalai Lama was taking Japan's side in the ongoing territorial dispute between China and Japan.

DJ Willey

North Korea Pushes Toward Missiles

North Korea appears to be developing long range missiles. This has been uncovered after analyzing satellite photographs taken the country. Using other satellite info it appears that North Korea has tested at least two large rocket motors since they tested a rocket in April that fell apart shortly after take off. The rocket was said to be pushing a satellite into space but many believe that excuse to be a cover for ballistic missile tests.

Tommy Hilton

Monday, November 12, 2012

Syria Conflict Not Ending

The Syrian conflict has gone on for 20 months now, and it doesn't look like it is going to stop in the immediate future. This article discussed a couple problems. Firstly, there is a problem with "spilling over" of the civil war because shells, mortar, and bombs are being dropped in or very close to countries such as Turkey and Israel. It also discussed the problem of Syrian refugees now living in Turkey, over 100,000! However, there is something refreshing about this article because it shows a global system emerging and also shows some liberal principles at work. NATO was "ready" to help Turkey deal with Syria if Turkey seeked their help. Also, an NGO is giving aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey. I see both the assertion by NATO that it will stand by turkey and the presence of an NGO to help in Turkey as positive signs that we are adjusting to globalization and responding by working together to solve problems.

Jon Kingzette

NATO may intervene along Syria-Turkey border

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance is ready to help member state Turkey in its conflict with neighboring Syria. The conflict was originally one contained within Syrian borders, but transnational strikes have caused death to spill into Turkey as well. The kerfuffle in Syria started twenty months ago, and has continued to escalate. Turkish President Abdullah Gul has been in talks with NATO about securing long-range missiles, but only to defend itself. Gul made the country's position clear, stating that war was "out of the question." The border conflict has resulted, too, in a refugee crisis, leading Turkey to harbor over 100,000 displaced Syrians. Turkey, in response, has asked from $34 million in emergency aid from the International Federation of Red Cross. It is unclear how the situation will develop from this juncture, although with Turkey and NATO making their positions very clear, the burden of action seems to lie solely with Syria.

You can read more on the story here.

Posted by Colin Wescott

Laos to start building controversial dam

Laos will start to build a controversial multi-billion  dollar dam that will affect its neighboring countries. The river that will be controlled by the dam is shared among 4 countries – Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. All countries rely on the river system for fish and irrigation. The Laos government has agreed to make changes in the dam’s design to “reassure neighboring countries” that will not affect the completion of the project by 2019. Hydropower projects in the region have increased and control for river and water sources has become a source of conflict. The continued demand for sources of energy promotes such projects. Laos is one of the poorest countries and the communist government is relying on the dam project to produce electricity that they can sell to neighboring countries such as Thailand. Concerns of 60 million people that will be affected by the dam project range from fish migration and sediment flow, it will also affect their transportation, food, and economy. 

by Albert Aguirre

Sunday, November 11, 2012

China: An Enemy Within

While in front of more than two thousand Communist Party delegates, Chinese President Hu Jintao claimed the Communist Party is at risk from within. Hu stated that the problem from within is corruption and that it could eventually bring down the state. Chinese politics have been heavily criticized recently for their wealthy politicians and the widening gap between them and the poor. Hu also said that anyone who breaks state laws violates party discipline with be brought to justice WITHOUT mercy. 

Israel Fires Warning At Syria

Israel's military responded to a stray shell from the fighting between Syrian troops and rebels today by firing a guided antitank missile near a Syrian mortar. Israel says this missile into Syria was a "warning". This warning stems from Israeli concern that the turmoil in Syria will spill over the cease-fire line between the two states. Israel firing on Syria has been the first time Israel has crossed that line since 1973. Israel states that it had filed a complain through the U.N. forces stationed between Israeli and Syrian forces. This complaint conveyed a warning to Syria, stating that continued fire would "not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity." Itamar Rabinovich, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, says that despite Sunday's incident there were no indications that Israel was about to depart from its policy of staying out of the Syrian conflict.

By Abigail Van Hook
Israel fires at Syria after stray mortar strikes army post

Greece MPs approve new austerity budget amid protests

Greek officials have finally agreed to major spending cuts and are going to be using the 32.5 bn Euro package that Athens got in order to try to reestablish the financial crisis.  However, the Greek population is highly against these spending cuts.  As parliament was voting and signing this financial statement there were 10,000 people protesting right outside and hundreds of thousands of more people that disapprove but stayed home.  It is suspected that Greece's national debt will rise to 189% from 175% of national GDP and the economy is supposed to "shrink" 4.5% as well.  Germany is beginning to get frustrated (as the largest loaner to the Greek bailout) because Greece is not coming up with money by deadlines that they have agreed to, regardless of urgency.

Matt Stochelski

Earthquake Strikes Burma

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck Myanmar on Sunday. Twelve people are suspected to be dead after all the damage done by the earthquake. Damage included a collapsed bridge and gold mine, and several buddhist pagodas. Some of the people that died in the earthquake were rumored to be mine workers from the collapsed gold mine. A 5.8 aftershock occurred on Sunday, but no casualties were reported from it. Residents are afraid of additional earthquakes and are superstitious that the natural disaster occured on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
By- Emina Pivac

Malala's Journey To Recovery

We all know what happend to Malala. She is a Pakastini girl who wanted an education. She is willing to do what ever it takes to go to school, but the Taliban does not believe females should be educated. On her way back from school, Malala was shot in the head and taken to the hospital. She was soon air lifted to a hospital in Great Britain where she is currently in recovery. Her family is very proud of her and supports her beliefs. In this article is gives a description of how Malala is currently doing. It has been weeks since she was shot, but she has encouraged many girls who want to pursue an education. The males who shot Malala have recently been been identified as two boys, but the main suspect is an  adult. One of the shooter's family actually apoligized and is ashamed of what happen.

Blog written by: Antoinette Williams

Demonstrators bang pots, pans to protest Argentina's policies

On Thursday thousands of people in Argentina marched the streets in protest to the government by banging pots and pans and chanting their concerns over new government policies.  These massive protest are named "Carcerolazos" and aim to draw attention to the rising problems in Argentina such as crime rates, inflation and political corruption.  One of the main concerns is the fact that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner could attempt to make changes to the Argentinian constitution and try to run for re-election.  Argentinians involved in the protest are fed up with the constant lies by the government and do not want a re-election.  They believe that allowing a re-election is basically making their nation and communist Argentina.  Protest have also spread to other cities such as Miami, London, Paris, Madrid and New York where Argentinians are expressing their concern.  President Fernandez's  popularity has significantly decreased after the annual inflation rate rose to 12% and after lawmakers passed a law moving the voting age from 18 to 16.  Protesters believe this is an attempt for Fernandez's party to win over young votes for her re-election.

By: Zayde Contreras    

27 Inmates Killed in Sri Lanka Prison Shootout

In the Capital of Sril Lanka, Colombo a prison riot broke out between the prisoners and the gaurds at the prison. 27 inmates were killed by the police and 5 prisoners were captured while trying to escape. However, they are still looking for other escaped prisoners. At least 42 more inmates were injured when they tried to over take an armory and temoprarily took control over part of the prison. The situation in the prison has returned to normal and they have obtained control again. The fight brook out because the officers were conducting raides and the prisoners started hurling stones at them. The real concern now are the prisoners that have escaped. The prison is not willing to admit or come out with the number of prisoners that are missing but a car load of prisoners were seen loading up and driving away during the shootings. So for the people who live in the capital city they should be on alert for these criminals and excercise caution. To me this is really scary because this is not the first time the prison has been over thrown and now there are criminals running around in a city full of people. This is definatley something to be concerned about and care about.

Posted by: Katelyn Krumreich

As Coal Boosts Mozambique, the Rural Poor are left Behind

Many people of the country of Mozambique (located in Southeast Africa) thought that they would finally be able to get occupations as miners instead of scraping by as subsistence farmers.  Many also thought that the projected wealth that has "propelled Mozambique from its war-addled past to its newfound status as one of the fastest-growing economies would be theirs."  Unfortunately, instead of being able to seize this "miracle growth," families were relocated 25 miles away from the mine, living in crumbling houses and far from jobs the mine would have created.  Mozambique is known to be one of the poorest nations in the world having also suffered through a 16-year civil war.  However, despite all of this, it is among the "African Lions", "countries that are growing at well above 6 percent annually, even amid the global downturn."  According to the World Bank estimates, gas projects could bring in as much as $70 billion, driven by Mozambique's vast deposits of coal.  But, far from economic centers of power, dependent on subsistence farming, and ignored by their government leaves rural families continuing to suffer.  Some are very optimistic that the level of poverty will decrease, but despite Mozambique's rapid growth in the past couple of decades, the country "remains near dead last on the Human Development Index."
More information at:

Amanda Ngo

Japan buys islands from China

A Japanese real-estate investor sells 3 uninhabited islands to Japan that have for centuries been considered a part of China's domain.  This sale angered China and caused boycotts and violent protests.  China believes this is a "nationalisation of private property".
These islands are claimed by Japan, China, and Taiwan (and are closest to Taiwan).  For over 100 years disputes have risen over who actually owns the islands.  The investor's family supposedly bought them in 1972, and have been working for years to sell them to Japan.

Kye Manuel Holston 2012Nov11

Israel Fires Into Syria

On Sunday, Israel may have been dragged into Syria's civil war. A stray mortar shell landed in Israel, hitting an Israeli military post. This forced Israel to fire anti-tank missiles as warning shots into Syria to show that Israel will not tolerate any of this. Israel is not the only country have the Syrian civil war spilling over into their borders. Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan are also being caught up in the conflict.  Israel fears that this conflict will escalate because it claims the three Syrian tanks crossed into Israel earlier this month. "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that Israel is 'closely monitoring' the border with Syria and is 'ready for any development.'"  If Bashar Assad's regime were to collapse then the region would destabilize. This would allow many Islamic extremist groups, like Hezbollah, to gain access to weapons that could be used against Israel.

Here's the link:

Aaron Langer

Tons of Cocaine

Officials arrested a drug lord in Paraguay and 3,724 pounds of cocaine was seized in a city that falls along the Brazilian and Paraguay borders. The drug lord was from Bolivia, and more amounts of the drug were found among further investigations. The investigations revealed they were intended to be flown to Rio De Jainero in Brazil. An illegal landing strip had been instilled to allow the transaction to successfully occur. There were eighteen others who were involved and arrested as well.

Vallarie Perez

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Witnesses testify in Afghan Massacare case

torched bodies, a son finding his wounded father, boys cowering behind a curtain while others screamed "We are children! We are children!"
As the Afghans recounted the horror that left 16 dead in the darkness early on March 11, the U.S. soldier accused of carrying out the rampage sat quietly in the courtroom.

They recounted the villagers who lived in the attacked compounds and listed the names of those killed, to provide a record of the lives lost. The bodies were buried quickly under Islamic custom, and no forensic evidence was available to prove the number of victims.

The youngest witness was Sadiquallah, a slight boy of about 13 or 14 whose head rose just above the back of the seat he was sitting in. With his ears sticking out from beneath a white cap, he described being awakened screaming that an American had "killed our men."

He said he and another boy ran to hide in a storage room and ducked behind a curtain. It provided no protection from the bullet that grazed his head and fractured his skull. Sadiquallah said the shooter had a gun and a light, but he could not identify the man.

Kyler Juckins

4 Killed in Train Accident in Egypt

Just south of Cairo two trains were headed south happened to collide. They are thinking that it was due to an error a switch operator caused. AS of current updates, four are dead and about thirty injured. This is not the first time Egypt's railway system has experienced accidents, considering its poor safety record, greatly due to low maintenance and management. The worst accident occurred in February of 2002, with a death total of 363 people. Written by Michele Dobbs

Protesting in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has been having some very noisy protests lately, starting all the way back in June. Citizens are going to the streets with pots and pans in order to clang them together so they can get attention and have their voices heard. They are protesting high crime rates, high inflation, and a corrupt government. The protesters are sick and tired of insecurity and lies, and they want a reform. Lately, these protests have become a global sensation, with people coming out to the streets all over the world to support the Argentinians. Marches are happing and Sydney, Australia, and other marches are being planned in other major cities such as New York, Paris, and London. The protesters in Argentina say they just want their voices to be heard without fear of retaliation from the government or violent citizens.

Stephanie Smith  

Friday, November 9, 2012

President Obama's Trip to Burma Announced by the White House

Just a few days after being reelected, President Obama has planned to visit Burma on November 19 while he is also going to Thailand and Cambodia. This is going to be the first U.S. President's trip to Burma in history. He is going to meet the leaders of the country, President Thein Sein and Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. His aim is to support the transformations towards democracy, and to contain China's influence upon the region. It also stresses the significance of normalization of U.S. relations with Burma. Nevertheless, Critics argued that it is too soon for this to happen because the government of Burma has failed to properly handle the conflicts between Rohingya and local Rakhine (Arkanese) people. Moreover, there are still political prisoners behind the bars who are yet to be released, and more important reforms in politics are pending to be done. This visit can be witnessed as President Obama's encouragement in democratization. 

Posted by Aye-Myat-Myat Thinn

Source: U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Burma

At a Manila Hospital, Making Mothers by the Minute

In Manila dozens of expecting mothers line the streets to get into an already over crowded hospital. Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital 171 women and the same number of newborns are sharing fewer than 100 beds. The nurses at the hospital are saying that they are letting women in the hospital just as fast as they are letting them out. The women are rushed to the labor room, delivery room, the maternity room and back out the door in less than 48 hours. These women coming to Fabella Memorial Hospital can not afford to receive private care during delivery. This act has been happening for years and because of this the House of Representatives to end debate on the reproductive health bill. This should slow down conception rate in the Philippines. This bill is said to be sent and hopeful to be approved by the senate on Monday.The Philippines the birthrate is 24.98 out of 1,000 and the U.S. is 13.7. Last year Fabella delivered 17,639 babies. This is jut one hospital in the country. Fabella has given birth to more babies than any other hospital in the Philippines.

By: Floyd Whaley

Kacie Greer

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Puerto Rico wants to become the 51st state of the US

Puerto Rico wants to be a state of the U.S. A vote was taken, and two-thirds of the United States territory would like to just be a state. Puerto Rice has been having debt issues, and they would also like having financial support from the government. There are a million more Puerto Ricans in the United States then there are in Puerto Rico. The country already functions like the United States by using the dollar and U.S. passports, but the Puerto Rican delegates in Congress do not have a vote that counts. Puerto Ricans also do not have a vote in the election. If the entire country wants to become a part of the U.S., Obama said he would support it. This also needs Congress' approval.

By Alyssa Ramos

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

South Korea Down Two Reactors for Energy

On Monday, Seoul, South Korea, had to shut down two nuclear power plants due to forged quality parts being used throughout the plants. A large amount of these forged quality parts had been sent to the Yonggwang power plant and placed in two of the reactors. As a result of the closing of the two reactors, five percent of South Korea's power will not be available for the winter season. Many are worried for the fact that South Korea's temperature during this time falls below zeroes. In order to have the reactors up and running again, most of the forged parts will need to be removed and replaced with the reactors being fixed at the earliest by then end of the year. For this month the government has been working with other agencies to help make up for the pressure of the missing power. After another issue with nuclear power plants including the recent failure of the Fukushima plant in Japan, nuclear power is gaining even more scrutiny for these hazardous issues.

Christina Drozek

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

China leaders consider internal democratic reform

China's outgoing leader, Hu Jintao, and his likely successor, Xi Jinping, are pushing the Communist Party to adopt more a more democratic process for selecting new leadership. The move is said to be an attempt to boost the popular legitimacy of the Party which has been struggling due to increasing inequality, corruption, and environmental degradation. Hu and Xi proposed that when the 18th Congress opens they should hold elections for the Politburo which will have more candidates than seats for the first time. One source is quoted as saying "Hu wants expanding intra-party democracy to be one of his legacies," and also said that "it would be good for Xi's image." Cheng Li, from the Brookings Institution in Washington, said it is a very important development and would provide a new source of legitimacy; Li and other experts remain skeptical that the proposal would be adopted because it could be vetoed by party elders and/or conservatives.

DJ Willey

Monday, November 5, 2012

Greece braces for 48-hour strike amid crucial debate

As we all know, Greece has been under heavy financial strain and the government has been taking action in order to try to correct the problem; however, against the public opinion.  The government is planning on signing on even more spending cuts which has lead for the public to take drastic action against it.  The Greek population, both in the private in public sectors, has been planning on pulling off a 48 hour strike in order to get a point across to the government.  The government is saying that this will save approximately 13.5bn Euros.  However, they are saying that there will be a large amount of budget cuts and job losses due to this spending cut.  So far, future job outlook in Greece is not looking positive, hence the strike.

Matt Stochelski

A New Pope Selected For Egypt's Coptic Christians

Bishop Tawadros has been selected to become the new pope for Egypt’s ancient Coptic Christian. In an elaborate ceremony, three names of senior clerics were put in a chalice and a blindfolded fold was made to pick from the chalice as to who will become the next pope, “the act was believed to reflect God’s will in the choice”. Coptic Christians are estimated to be 10 percent of the 83 million people of Egypt. The senior clerics nominated were all consensus candidates chosen because they stayed out of disputes within the church and with other groups. The group has been fearful because of the rise of Islamists after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The previous pope had a close relationship with Mubarak. The Christians relied on the church for their rights and protection. Now that Mubarak has been ousted, the group’s relation with the state is in limbo. Most members want to assert their rights, better representation and freedom of worship from the new government.

by Albert Aguirre

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Skiing and Beach Time in Russia

Russian leaders have initiated the incorporation of new jobs and opportunities for its people by creating ski slopes and beaches. The creations have been instilled hoping to promote more peace in parts of Russia that have lately been unruly. The plan is to increase tourism and minimize potential violence. Investors are wanted and Putin along with other officials have donated an estimated two billion to the cause. The resorts will take a span of years to build.
Vallarie Perez

Kye and Syrian Civil War

Civil war still going in Syria.  For over a year Syria's government has been shaky, and militant Suni rebels are against the Asaad Shi'ite Leader.  A bomb was set off in Damascus by the rebels in opposition to the government.  Many are dying on both sides of this struggle, the government killing over 100 just last Sunday.
When a Syrian representative asked for a proxy government to be placed in charge, they got 3 vetoes from permanent seat members.
Kye Manuel Holston

Taliban Targets Female Students With Acid Attack

In an effort to prevent girls from getting an education, the Pakistani Taliban have been throwing acid in the girl's faces to scar them and scare them out of going to school. One Taliban leader said in a phone call that this will keep the girls from showing their faces and show other girls what will happen if they attempt to get educated. The Taliban does not believe that women should be allowed to get a "Western education" and they will do anything to keep these women following their idiotic ways. Something definitely needs to be done to stop the Taliban's violent and disgusting ways.
By- Emina Pivac

South Korean Presidential Candidate Pledges Engagement with North Korea

South Korea's presidential frontrunner, Park Guen-hye, proposed to open liaison offices in Seoul and Pyongyang. The move is meant to help ties between North and South Korea. She also said that she was willing to meet with Kim Jong-un but that North Korea must renew its commitment to end its nuclear program. Park's policy is meant to distance herself from the current presidents tough stance toward North Korea. However, North Korea is seen as favoring the liberal opposition candidate Moon Jae-in due to a pledge for unconditional aid for the North. Park also said that she would separate the humanitarian crisis in North Korea from politics.

DJ Willey

China Party Endorses Expulsion in Scandal

The Chinese Communist Party's leaders endorsed the decision to expel Bo Xilai.  Bo had been the bid for one of the party's highest positions.  He had been accused of abusing his power, taking large bribes, and hindering a police investigation into the death of a British businessman.  Bo's wife was convicted of the murder in August.  The party has also decided to expel Liu Zhijun, the railway minister, for recieving bribes in excess of $100 million.  The current president is to be replaced by Xi Jinping, and the current prime minister is to be replaced by Li Keqiang.  The Central Committee also voted to make two generals vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission.  China's government, as a whole, is going through major changes in the coming months.  

Chris Lencioni

The children with no nationality

In London and a few other in the UK, there is said to be hundreds of children living with no nationality.  Living with no shelter, money or food.  Some are forced to work for sex in order to gain a few euros or even pennies to be able to buy food for the day.  According to official records these children don't exist.  The problem is not only in London but it is most apparent in the Capital.  With no citizenship they can't apply for education or housing.  Some children have come from Syria and Libya into the UK legally but never were registered then have no choice but to live on the streets homeless with nothing.  Law enforcement do not seem to be helping these children out.  Instead they give them excuses or turn a cheek.  The UK has a responsibility to help these innocent children out at least by granting them citizenship.  Since this report a few children have been granted their citizenship but are still homeless.

By Zayde Contreras

Fighting Terrorism with Tourism

Russia has had problems with terrorism in North Caucasus. This is due to the Islamic fundamentalism and separatist aspirations. Russia has tried using military actions to stop the violence in this area, but it has not worked. So, they have turned to tourism. Russia has an $18 billion plan to build seven ski resorts and a $4.6 billion plan to develop three beaches on the Caspian Sea. The Russian government has given $2 billion to sponsor the Northern Causcasus Resorts. The government plans to begin decelopment and start looking for investors. There is skeptism regarding this plan due to safety issues. Last year, three Russian tourists were killed in the area. So far this year, 574 violent deaths have been reported. While, this IS down from the 1,030 in 2009. Russia states that this could produce up to 300,000 jobs. Another issue that has people questioning, is the fact that no one will want to go to these resorts. While the area is beautiful, that might not be a strong enough reason for people to visit the Northern Caucasus Resorts. Alexei Malashenko, an expert on the North Caucasus at the Carnegie Moscow Center, says "If I wanted to go to skiing, I would go to Austria." Russia claims that by year 2020 twenty percent of Russians will be middle class. Gernot Leitner, an Austrian architect, skier, and sports professional, says, "That mean 300 million people with money to spend on vacations."

By Abigail Van Hook

Russia backs ski resorts to stem terrorism

Showdown in Syria

Syrian rebel fighters attacked Taftanaz Military Airport on Saturday in protest to the governments excessive use of deadly airpower. Government air forces were bombarding civilian areas in nearby towns as punishment against civilians for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) offensive on the airport. Bombs and shells had leveled 30 houses there, killing seven, including four children. This recent event has also triggered continuing ground battles in Damascus. This series of events, according to CNN, is part of a perpetuating 19 month conflict which has killed more than 35,000 people.

Ryan Bartell

How to Help Iran Build a Bomb

Some people advocate a military airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities claiming that they would cause Iran to basically start over on their nuclear weapons programs which would make it take longer for a nuclear weapon to become a reality. This idea has been around for a while now. The general consensus however on wether or not that would be a good idea is that it would only make Iran want to build these weapons sooner and potentially use them. I think it would be a bad idea to bomb Iran because it would only upset them and make them want to make and use weapons against us in the future.

Posted by: Josh Moorman

Taliban Acid Attacks

In Pakistan, we are all aware of the cruelty that females face under the Taliban. The Taliban has recently began attacking females who are trying to pursue an education by pouring acid on them. This is meant to scar them for life, so that they will never forget their punishment for trying to get educated. As far as the Taliban goes, it is believed that women should not pursue an education and is doing all it can to prevent women from doing so.

This article mentions what happens when females are seen going to universities or other schools. When a female is caught going to school, they are targeted by the Taliban and given their punishment. It also mentions Malala, who is still recovering from getting shot because she tried to stand up for women's rights to an education.

Concerning an acid attack that took place recently, a group of students were on their ride home from Kohat University. These were fifthteen students, male and female. A couple of Taliban extremists stopped the vehicle they were riding in shot one of the boys and through acid on the girls. Two of the girls and a boy suffered acid burns while another boy was shot. The girls who had acid thrown on them are okay and alive, but faces are scarred very badly.

Blog written by: Antoinette Williams

Haiti Appeals for From Sandy Damage

The Haitian government has called for international aid from the damage caused by hurricane sandy. Reports say that the hurricane destroyed over 70% of the crops in the southern part of the country, and killed many livestock. Marking a heavy toll on the nations agricultural area. This call for aid comes as the U.S is also in the mists of trying to recovery from the massive storm that ravaged the northeast. With the U.S focusing on its own issues caused by the hurricane, it should be interesting to see who will come to Haiti's aid. It is also note worthy that Haiti, a very impoverished nation, is still recovering from the destructive earthquake that hit two years ago.

Adam Olson