BBC-December 2, 2011
After talks with U.S. Secretary of State, Aung San Suu Kyi said that she is hopeful that Burma can get on the road to democracy, but is still not on that road yet. She said that more needs to be done and political prisoners must be freed. But still, new reforms have let her party stand in elections. The democratic leader, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, had a morning of talks with Mrs. Clinton. The two discussed upgrading diplomatic ties, and the U.S. will support some modest changes in Burma’s status in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Clinton is the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Burma since John Foster Dulles in 1955. Clinton urged for momentum behind the reforms, and was thrilled to see her free after many years of house arrest. The U.S. has maintained tight restrictions on senior Burmese leaders, which was ruled by a harsh military junta from 1962-2010.
Michigan Daily-December 1, 2011
On Tuesday, November 29th, the state senate passed Matt’s Safe School Law, a bill that requires all Michigan school districts to have anti-bullying policies. Governor Snyder is expected to sign the bill next week. The passing of the bill marks the end of the struggle that lasted weeks over the specific terms of the bill. State legislators denounced Jones’s Senate Bill, passed in the chamber November 2, for a clause that did not consider bullying to include when a student has, “a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil or a pupil’s parent or guardian” The House rejected Jones’s Senate bill, and began working on November 9th on a new bill-Matt’s Safe School Law- that would resolve differences between Republicans and Democrats. The House passed the rewritten bill without enumerations included on November 10. This bill passed Tuesday without amendments.
NPR- November 29, 2011
On Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate voted to outlaw gay marriage, gay advocacy groups, and public displays of affection from same-sex couples. The bill still must be passed by the house and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan before becoming a law, but public sentiment is in favor of the restrictions in the highly religious country.
More than 200 Occupy LA protestors remain in jail
The Los Angeles Times-December 2, 2011
More 200 Occupy LA protestors remain in jail after a Thursday raid of the protest drawing criticism from civil rights attorneys who say many may not face criminal charges and are being unlawfully held. Nineteen protestors have been criminally charged and released on the condition that they do not return to the park where the protests took place, which is seen as an unfair restriction.
The New York Time-December 3, 2011
Leaders of Israel and Western countries worry that the recent democratic election results in Egypt will pose a new threat to the stability of peace between nations. Despite that official results have not been released, a leak has shown that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is ahead in the poll at 40%. This party is posing a difficult scenario, creating strife among Islamists over the application of traditional Islamic law and religion into the country’s “promised democracy.” The party has long since attempted to create a more orthodox Islamic society among Egyptians, including such stark laws as prohibitions against “interest-bearing loans, alcohol and ‘fornication,’” as well as, the implication of traditional forms of punishment such as stoning for adultery. Egyptian liberals and Western nations, alike, worry that this glimpse into the election results foreshadows a new threat to the rights of the country’s people.
The New York Times- November 29, 2011
The terrifying threat, “Death to England,” could be heard on Tuesday November 29th, as Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran. This relatively large-scale attack, led by students of the Basij militia, caused serious damage including the smashing of windows, tearing down of the British flag, marring of walls, along with temporarily detaining six staff members. The attack was seen as a protest against the new economic sanctions that Britain has imposed on Iran. These new sanctions require that all contacts between themselves and the Iranian Central bank be severed. The attack on the embassy came after the Iran government approved a measure to “expel the British ambassador and downgrade diplomatic relations between the two countries,” a type of retaliation against the new economic laws. This attack is viewed as the most violence seen against the British Embassy in Tehran since 1990, when relations between the two countries were restored after an Iranian outrage in 1988.
The New York Times-November 29, 2011
For the second time in the nation’s history, the Democratic Republic of Congo held a democratic vote last week. Despite the warnings of western donors, who supply the nation with billions in aid, that encouraged officials to delay the vote, the Congolese government decided to hold the election anyway. The resulting chaos of shootings, political conflict, disruptions in the voting process and suspicions, have many concerned over the validity of the polling results. In addition, Congo’s election commission, which is run by a friend of the current President Kabila, is threatening to disqualify thousands of opposition votes, a situation that is sure to create an uproar. The results of the election will be declared by December 6th, and concern over the violence such news may bring continues.
CNN-December 2, 2011
The cost of higher education has become an issue demanding attention in the United States. The spending for post-secondary education in America in 2009 was equivalent to 3.3% of the U.S. GDP, which is greater than the total GDP of countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Portugal. Universities run quite differently than businesses. They have little incentive to be efficient, and are able to turn “customers” away. Not only do the number of college graduates exceed the number of jobs available, but also they are dealing with an average debt of $24,000. Obviously, the American system for higher education needs reform.
Politico-December 2, 2011
This past month, the unemployment rate dropped from 9% to 8.6 percent, but since 13.3 million Americans are still without jobs, some are saying that this is not enough. The chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers has said, “Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” The holiday season may be the entity to thank for this spike in jobs, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the New Year.
NPR-December 1, 2011
President Obama has arguably won some votes from AIDS activists on World AIDS Day this past week. Obama has pledged $50 million dollars in funding for Ryan White Care clinics and AIDS drug assistance programs in America, and also announced his Emergency Plan for AIDS relief of PREFAR; the plan wants to grant treatment to 6 million infected by 2013 and also give treatment to 1.5 million pregnant women in developing countries. However, the president did not discuss rescuing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria organization that has been struggling financially, an action that left many wondering why.