Student Media Watchdog Association

Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Nov 14 – Nov 20)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten on November 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Economist: Without big reforms, Detroit will default in 4 months, file bankruptcy

CNN- November 17, 2011

Mayor Dave Bing announced last week that, in 4 months, the once powerful auto capital of the country will not have money. Bankruptcy is going to result is huge reforms from budget cuts, such as pension reform, strategic layoffs, and cuts in medical care costs. Default could also result in public works shut downs. Since “Detroit is the only major U.S. city with a credit rating below investment grade right now,” the city needs to either approve Bing’s proposal, or find an alternative solution, and fast.

Syria accepts Arab League plan ‘in principle,’ though questions remain 

CNN- November 18, 2011

‘In principle’, Syria has accepted an Arab League plan to allow observers into Syria to make sure that the regime has taken steps to protect civilians, states a senior Arab diplomat on Friday. But questions remain about how many observers will be permitted, originally 500 were to be sent to Syria, but the U.S. State Department said that number had been reduced to 40. Syria requested plan amendments that included changes to the protocol and duties of the observers on Thursday night a day after Arab league representatives approved it. Observers want to observe the hospitals and the causalities. World support has diminished for Syria as thousands have been killed and jailed across the country.

German intelligence criticized for overlooking neo-Nazi group

The Los Angeles Times-November 14, 2011

Germany’s intelligence service came under criticism after revelations surfaced that a neo-Nazi terrorist group had been undetectably operating in the country for over a decade and killed at least 10 people-mostly Turkish immigrants between 2000 and 2006. The group, also known as the “Brown Army Faction: is also suspected of involvement in over a dozen bank robberies and a bomb. Suspects have been arrested. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann again called for banning the far-right National Democratic Party, which has enjoyed modest success in the country’s eastern state-where the Nationalist Socialist Underground is based. In 2003, an attempt to ban the party failed after it was discovered that several high-ranking NPD officials were informants for German intelligence. Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that, “Right wing terror is a disgrace for Germany.”

Egyptian Islamists Rally to Protest Military Rule

The New York Times-November 19, 2011

Thousands of Islamist Egyptians converged in Thair Square to protest the country’s interim military rule since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. The rally, one of the largest in recent months, protested the current regime and the lack of Islamist voices in government decisions. This conflict has led to a new battle in the country between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, a highly conservative Muslim group that concerns some Egyptian liberals.

Russians are leaving the country in droves

The Los Angeles Times- November 14, 2011

A new wave of emigration from Russia has emerged and been called “the Putin decade exodus.” With over 1.25 million people leaving the country in the past ten years, it has been compared to the outrush during the Bolshevik Revolution. Citizens have been leaving due to social and political repression, lack of modern technologies, and economic struggles.

11 States Seek Relief From ‘No Child’ Provisions, in Return for Raising Standards

The New York Times-November 16, 2011

Eleven states including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee recently applied for waivers excluding them from executing certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind law. In return, these states have promised to adopt higher standards for education and other elements of the Obama administration’s school improvement agenda. Under this waiver program, states are required to set performance targets so graduating high school seniors are prepared for college, the military, or the workforce. In exchange, schools will not be considered failing if students are not fully proficient in English or math by 2014, one of the key requirements integrated into the No Child Left Behind law. The verdict of these waiver applications will be announced in January.

Bishops Open ‘Religious Liberty’ Drive

The New York Times-November 15, 2011

The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States have renamed their struggle against gay marriage and pro-choice entities as a fight for “religious liberty.” Interviews with several bishops suggest an uneasy feeling in the Catholic community, as many bishops expressed anxiety toward limitations cast upon the Catholic Church by same-sex marriage laws. But despite the strong opinions of the Roman Catholic bishops, the article points out a lack of support for the “religious liberty” fight from the liberal Catholic community.

Students lose zeal for supporting Obama again

The New York Times-November 15, 2011

Obama’s campaign for office in 2008 was driven by strong participation of college students who were eager to do all that they could to have Obama elected. However with the harsh reality of a 13.4% unemployment rate and a deadened job market for college students to face, fewer students are willing to rally for Obama’s campaign again. One student stated, “He hasn’t really addressed the young people, and we helped get him elected.” Many Obama supporters doubt that he will be able to repeat the “youthful energy that become such a defining hallmark of his campaign.”

New York court upholds eviction of Occupy protestors

The New York Times-November 15, 2011

The New York Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Occupy Wall Street protestors could remain in Zuccotti Park but without the tents, generators and other installations that have crowded the area. Police were sent to the park to evict hundreds of protestors. This action was taken after continued concern about public health and safety. Although protestors claimed that this action was a threat to their First Amendment Rights, it was argued that their rights did not include these material possessions.

Pattern of Illegality Is Cited at News of the World

The New York Times-November 15, 2011

After the discovery of illegal hacking by Murdoch’s The News of the World in July, the government has commissioned an investigation into the practices of Britain’s news media. It has been found that this illegality was not limited to Murdoch’s News Corporation. Notebooks belonging to private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, contradict the claim made in July that the phone hacking was only due to a  “single rogue reporter”, and instead illustrates “wide-ranging illegal acts within the organization”. This investigation will judge the newspapers’ practices and ethics and decide whether the government should regulate news media.

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