Al Jazeera – Jan. 31, 2013
Jean-Yves le Drian, French defense minister, stated, “the French intervention has succeeded,” on Thursday January 31st, just as at least two Malian soldiers were killed by a landmine leftover from fleeing fighters. There have been various “acts of vengeance” occurring throughout the country by the Malian population. French politicians have been calling for peace talks to negotiate a north-south dialogue for the country and set up elections for July. France agrees to speak with the Secular Tuaregs of the National Movement for the liberation of Azawad (MNLA), however, refuses to meet with any representatives from the three al-Queda groups that previously seized northern Mali.
CNN – Jan. 31, 2013
The New York Times reports that Chinese hackers, stealing passwords from certain reporters and other employees of the paper, have carried out extensive attacks on their computer systems. The Times does not believe that these attacks are an attempt for commercial advantage, nor a method of stealing customer information. The efforts appear to target monitoring the newspaper’s coverage of China. In response, China has blocked the English- and Chinese-language websites in mainland China, in an effort to manage the flow of sensitive information about the country after a recent story The Times published investigating the wealth of the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao.
Wall Street Journal – Feb. 1, 2013
Twitter announced on Friday that it had detected unauthorized attempts to access information from the messaging service that is used by over 200 million people worldwide. In a company blog post, Twitter acknowledged that hackers may have gained access to Twitter user names, e-mail addresses and passwords for 250,000 users. The company said that it would notify users whose information had been compromised via e-mail.
Fox News – Jan. 31, 2013
The University of Michigan recently summoned members of the Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to revise their constitution that states the group’s leaders must be practicing Christians, breaching the university’s student organization policy of non-discrimination. Instead of complying with the university’s demands, the group is “standing firm in their faith” and fighting for what they believe in. As a result, the group has been deregonized and banned from using space on campus. Members feel that their voices are being marginalized because of differences in their beliefs.
CNN – Jan. 28, 2013
The Boys Scouts of America may be making a change to their policy against allowing gay members to join the organization. The current standing of the national policy that prevents openly gay males from joining has created a great deal of controversy throughout the gay and lesbian communities. Some members of the organization are outraged with the policy and are using social media outlets and protests to draw attention to the issue. The organization’s national board is expected to bring up the possible policy change at a scheduled meeting in February.
Al Jazeera – Jan. 31, 2013
Graffiti artists in Aleppo, Syria strive to alter thoughts of war and destruction with painted expressions of love. The artist profiled, Khalifa, spray paints expressions of hope. He always wanted to be an artist, and enrolled in the fine arts school last year after high school graduation, but he could not afford the high cost of required educations, so he transferred to computer programming. He dropped out of college two months ago when his face appeared on TV in a protest, fearing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces would arrest him in the classroom. Amidst the city’s destruction, scarred from bullets and rocket shrapnel, Khalifa draws cartoon characters, flowers, and writes words like “hope,” “love,” and freedom.”
CBS News – Feb. 1, 2013
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at an entrance to the U.S. embassy in the Turkish capital on Friday, killing himself and one other person. U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardione told reporters that a Turkish gate guard was killed in the 1:15 PM blast, and another Turkish citizen was wounded. U.S. embassies are usually guarded by a combination of local security personnel and American diplomatic security forces. The bomb appeared to have exploded inside the security checkpoint at the embassy side entrance, but it did not damage the inside of the embassy itself. The Turkish Prime Minister said that Friday’s suicide attack is the work of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C. The group has been recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
The Guardian UK – Feb. 1, 2013
The US recovery remains weak, with the private sector’s 166,000 new jobs offset by 9,000 cut by the US government. The number of people looking for and unable to find work remained at 12.3 million. But the BLS revised upwards the number of jobs it believes were added in November from 161,000 to 247,000, and in December from 155,000 to 196,000. The revisions and better-than-expected economic news from the manufacturing sector cheered investors. The US has now added jobs for 28 months in a row but the pace of job creation remains historically weak compared to recoveries after other recessions. The news is the latest signal of the fragility of the U.S. economic recovery.
Reuters – Jan. 29, 2013
On Tuesday, Obama made a speech in Nevada about the need for immigration reform. Recognizing the increasing influence held by Hispanic voters, Republicans have shown a willingness to enact reform with the hopes of improving their standing with the Latino demographic. Capitalizing on that, Obama has chosen now to push Congress on immigration reform which was put off during his first term in the face of more pressing economic and health care issues. In Washington, however, fissures emerged over points of priority, with Obama pushing for a faster “pathway to citizenship” and Republicans desiring precedence for border security.
CNet – Feb. 1, 2013
Last quarter Apple took the lead over Samsung in the struggle for top mobile phone maker, having shipped out roughly one million more phones than its nemesis. Yet comparing market shares to where they were a year ago, Apple has actually dropped from 41 to 39 percent while Samsung has increased from 21 to 30 percent. Overall though, Apple’s numbers place it at the top for now. Together Apple and Samsung dominated the market, accounting for nearly 70 percent of all smartphone sales last quarter.