Student Media Watchdog Association

Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Feb 6 – Feb 12)

In International, News, Obama, Political, Top Ten on February 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Scotland likely to hold a vote on independence from Britain

The Los Angeles Times-February 9, 2012

A referendum is likely to be held in 2014 as the long-standing political battle between Scotland and England ensues. The Scots have long discussed complete secession from the English government and becoming an autonomous, independent state. However, in an increasingly globalized, economically weak world, doing the responsible thing for the Scottish people is called into question. Scotland is weary of whether they would be able to survive independently. Thus, a policy of maximum devolution – conveniently nicknamed “devo max” – has become an attractive alternative. In a policy of devo-max, Scotland would form a type of self-rule that stops just short of secession, but gives the government of Scotland powers such as taxing and spending.  The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron encourages this referendum to take place in 2014. Only time will tell whether a historic secession between the English and Scottish will result.

Greece must do ‘whatever it takes’

CNN-February 10, 2012

In response to looming bankruptcy and a potential default on a €14.5 billion bond redemption, Greek Parliament is set to vote on austerity reforms required by the European Finance Ministers to qualify for a second economic bailout this Sunday.  These austerity reforms are only the first of many requisites set by the European Finance Ministers, who were not satisfied with last Thursday’s reform package that Greece must fulfill before receiving the bailout.

California Proposition 8 same-sex-marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

The Washington Post-February 7, 2012

California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in 2008, was declared unconstitutional by a federal appeal panel by a vote of 2 to 1 Tuesday. Both proponents and opponents of Prop 8 hope this development will lead to discussions of same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court, which is the only place they believe this divisive social issue will be resolved.

DPS names 15 schools to close; some parents worried

The Detroit Free Press-February 8, 2012

The Detroit Public Schools emergency manager announced that 16 of the schools buildings will close permanently and four schools may become charters at the beginning of the next school year.  These closures are mainly due to lower enrollment rates in schools and consolidation of students into a few buildings to cut costs for the school district. Parents are concerned that the school closings and mergers could bring about gang violence and repercussions to DPS students.

Maldives president quits amid protests

USA Today-February 7, 2012

President Mohamed Nasheed resigned as the president of the Maldives on Tuesday amid controversy over his order to arrest a senior judge. The tourist nation in the Indian Ocean has faced weeks of protests after President Nasheed ordered the arrest of a criminal judge who released a prisoner who was arrested for criticized the government. The Madives is a fairly new democratic nation after the end of an autocratic regime with Nasheed’s election in 2008. The vice president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, is expected to take over the post.

Egypt lays out evidence against held Americans

CBS News-February 8, 2012

Egyptian judges claim evidence of maps, cash, and videos taken of military facilities and churches as evidence against the 19 Americans arrested in Egypt. Egypt referred them to court for their alleged involvement in banned political activity through nonprofit groups. Egypt’s recent crackdown on pro-democracy and human rights groups has strained relations between Cairo and Washington. Washington has threatened to revoke the $1.5 billion in aid it gives to Egypt annually. Egypt’s ruling military council has repeatedly claimed that foreign groups are plotting unrest in Egypt. Late last year, the government raided human right’s organizations offices. The U.S. and Arab allies are now both threatening to withhold aid money to Egypt.

Trial set for Bradley Manning

The Guardian-February 9, 2012

A trial date has been set for accused Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. According to the Guardian, his 22 count arraignment will begin on February 23. Though Manning a suspect in the largest leak of secret documents in US history, his lawyers are hoping to raise objections to the unjustly long period Manning has spent in military jail. The cutoff according to the military rule book is 120 days, and Manning has been imprisoned since May 2010. His charges include: aiding the enemy; wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy; theft of public property or records; transmitting defense information; and fraud and related activity in connection with computers. If convicted, he faces life in military custody.

Bombers strike Syrian city of Aleppo as offensive continues in Homs

The Washington Post-February 10, 2012

On Friday the northern Syrian city of Aleppo was struck by two attacks by suicide bombers. A reported 28 people were killed and 238 injured. The first attack targeted a law enforcement department and the second hit a military security branch. Some of the victims were children playing nearby. These attacks fall right after ongoing military offensive in the city of Homs, where opposition groups claim 16 were killed in Homs Friday and 15 in the suburb of Damascus. It seems Russia’s veto of the U.N. resolution that condemns the recent military offensive on its own people has encouraged the government to resort to even greater force to end the uprising in Syria. International intervention in Syria still seem out of the question as NATO refuses to become involved, and U.N. protection forces would require Security Council approval. The Arab League monitoring mission in Syria appears to be the only possibility to directing dealing with the violence in Syria at the moment.

In Santorum’s Sweep, Sign of G.O.P. Unease With Romney

The New York Time-February 8, 2012

In perhaps one of the most surprising swings of this Republican primary race, Rick Santorum won all three contests this Tuesday. This turn could prove most devastating for Mitt Romney as he not only expected victory in these states but because it came right as the party’s establishment was crying for its activist to finally pledge their elegances to him. We cannot currently realize the magnitude of this pivotal night, but we can be sure that, at this instant, the two front-runners are preparing their campaigns for their crusades on Maine and then Michigan later this month; Mr. Romney with a crack of skepticism and doubt from within the party, and Mr. Santorum with a new momentum and confidence.

Lew Defends [Obama’s] New Contraception Policy

February 12, 2012 –

President Obama announced on Friday a policy change on contraception coverage in health insurance plans hoping to compromise with critics from Congress and religious groups. His new plan does not require hospitals and universities to provide contraception coverage in their health plans but insurers will be required to offer coverage at no cost to women employed by these institutions. Although this new plan has been met with resistance, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew confirmed Sunday that the White House is still satisfied with the policy change.

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