BBC – March 6th, 2012
Brazil’s economy, 2.7% in the last year, has now grown to 6th in the world, overtaking the United Kingdom’s economy. The country has enjoyed an economic boom due to rising oil and food prices as well as a rise in domestic inflation. In 2011, the IMF found that the Brazilian economy was $2.52tn whereas the UK’s was $2.48tn.
CNN- March 7th, 2012
Wary of military intervention, the United States hopes to remove al-Assad’s regime from Syria using diplomatic pressure. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said acting unilaterally would be a global mistake. The US interest includes stopping the killings in Syria, gaining the ability to sever Hezbollah’s ties to Iran, eliminating threats to Israel, and removing a longstanding government that sponsors terrorism. However, Syria’s chemical and biological stockpiles threaten US national security due and give more reason for the US’s need for international support.
NPR- March 6th, 2012
Eight members of the U.S. military filed a lawsuit alleging that they were raped, assaulted, harassed, and punished for reporting it while they were serving. The lawsuit also accuses the military of having a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks and also of discouraging victims of sexual crimes to come forward.
The Detroit Free Press – February 26th, 2012
Its official: a birth control pill for men has officially been created. Now Dr. Tash and his research associates at the University of Kansas need to go to the FDA and get clearance to begin tests on human subjects. The new pill, called gamendazole, stops sperm production, but it’s 100% reversible and a few weeks after the subject stops taking it, Tash claims everything will go back to normal. As with the female contraceptive, this pill could revolutionize sexual relations between men and women and stigmas of contraceptives in general.
Washington Post – March 7, 2012
Starting July 1, 2012, abdominal ultrasounds will be required for women who are seeking abortions in Virginia. Republican governor Bob McDonnell signed the bill into law even after facing angered protestors who cited the requirement as invasive.
CNN – March 9, 2012
An agreement was signed on Friday that will move a US run detention center under Afghan control. The move will take place over six months and will gradually transfer power from US forces to Afghanistan. This is one part of broader negotiations which have been underway for more than a year to withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan by 2014. This most recent agreement shows a step toward a larger agreement which has been complicated by tensions between the two countries.
Washington Post – March 6th, 2012
On Tuesday, the newly re-created nation of Libya was surprised by the declaration of a semi-autonomous state in the eastern region of the country. In a conference in the main city of Benghazi, tribal leaders and militia commanders declared the region would take control of its own administrative and financial affairs. The next steps taken by the government in Tripoli will decide the fate of this young democracy.
Washington Post – March 6th 2012
A newly founded voting observation group created to look for voting violations in the nation of Russia stated that numerous violations were prevalent in the election of president Vladimir Putin. This new experiment of accountability in the election process in Russia will not change the overall results, but is a sign of change in the overall climate of the country.
New York Times, March 9, 2012
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association is calling the most recent news on the Greece debt crisis a technical default. On Friday March 9, Greece was able to strike a deal that said, in essence, the nation’s debt of 260.2 euros would now be held by the International Monetary Fund, the Central European Bank and the EU nations that actually lent money. Now the main creditors of Greece are foreign taxpayers instead of private creditors. The agreement will reduce the debt by 100 billion euros, but analysts claim this agreement will make further negotiations down the road difficult for Greece.