CNN-November 9, 2011
On Election Day, voters in Mississippi rejected an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting abortion. Amendment 26 created the “personhood” initiative, which defines life as starting at conception. This outlawed all instances of abortion, many forms of birth control, and certain forms of contraception including in vitro fertilization. According to those opposed to the amendment, voters opposed the overly broad amendment and showcased their views that the government should not be involved in such personal decisions.
The New York Times-November 10, 2011
The Obama administration has decided to review the route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline traveling from Alberta to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, pushing back the decision about the pipeline until after the 2012 election. Recent environmental concerns have been raised due to the current routes interference with the sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska. The administration has recently been delaying such environmental decisions under intense pressure from conflicting environmental activists, business lobbies, and health advocates.
Aljazeera.com- November 11, 2011
U.S defense secretary, Leon Panetta, advised the Pentagon on Thursday that military action against Iran could lead to “unintended consequences.” This message follows reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that there is substantial evidence of Iran carrying out activities associated with the creation of a nuclear device. Panetta argues that it is important to apply strong economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran to change their behavior and the European Union is discussing the approval of further sanctions against Iran in the upcoming weeks. However the UN Security Council will not step in due to opposition by Russia and China. In addition, Iran has warned that any threat of attack will be “firmly responded to.” Panetta encourages that the nation’s response to this situation must be carefully considered.
The New York Times-November 9, 2011
Herman Cain has hired attorney L. Lin Wood to fend off sexual harassment allegations that have been brought to the public eye in the past month. Four women have come forward with such allegations and two of the women, Ms. Kraushaar and Ms. Bialek, made the decision to go public. These two women have stated that they received monetary settlements relating to harassment allegations while they were working for the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. They have faced great scrutiny in the media over the past few weeks and their credibility is being called into question. Mr. Wood has warned that any other woman who is considering making similar allegations “should think twice.”
Los Angeles Times-November 8, 2011
Is a life sentence for young criminals cruel and unusual punishment? The Supreme Court is considering having a national limit on life sentences for juveniles. As of now there are 73 prisoners who are serving life sentences for their role in homicides committed when they were 14 years or younger with no possible parole. The majority of the states in America do not impose life terms for offenders of such a young age. Appeals for two juvenile cases were made in an effort to urge the justices to declare these life terms unconstitutional for those 14 years and younger.
The New York Times – November 10, 2011
The European sovereign debt crisis is reaching even the strongest countries in the euro zone despite attempts to control the damage. We can attribute this to the irresponsible governments, regulators, and investors. Banks believed that they all countries using on the euro would “make good on their debts”. Looking for maximum profit, banks bought higher-yield bonds and ignored the political and financial problems in these countries. How will regulators deal with the sovereign debt that is “spinning out.”
AlJazeera.com – November 11, 2011
Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs has been convicted of leading a “kill team” in Afghanistan which murdered unarmed civilians. Gibbs also cut off the finger tips of the corpses as a trophy. The jury at the court martial hearing decided against the automatic life sentence for Gibbs, saying that he would be eligible for parole after 8 years and a half. “Pentagon officials have said the misconduct exposed by the case, which evolved from an investigation of drug abuse within Gibbs’ Stryker Brigade infantry unit, damaged the US image around the globe,” reported Al Jazeera.
The Guardian – November 12, 2011
Italy’s parliament passed a “package of savage cuts and stimulus measures” ordered by the European Union to lower Italy’s $1.9 trillion debt. Berlusconi, now former Prime Minister of Italy, had promised to resign once pushing the reform package through Parliament. Berlusconi officially resigned late Saturday night, ending his “17 year domination of Italian politics,” reported the Guardian. Napolitano, Italy’s president, is expected to nominate the former EU commissioner Mario Monti to head a “technocratic” government in Italy.
New Prime Minister Lucas Papdemos’ top priority in his first days in office is to avoid possible bankruptcy. Mr. Papademos, who has until February to prevent the country’s bankruptcy. has high hopes about the outcome of his administration’s efforts in solving the country’s problems, as do his other European counterparts.
The Guardian – November 11, 2011
According to Human Rights Watch, the Syrian government forces have carried out crimes against humanity as they try to crush opposition to the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. HRW is now urging Arab League delegates to suspend Syria from their organization, ask the UN to impose sanctions on individuals responsible, and refer Syria to the international criminal court. Syria has barred most foreign media, making it difficult to verify accounts of opposition activists or officials.