Student Media Watchdog Association

Archive for the ‘Top Ten’ Category

Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (March 25 – March 31)

In Economy, Hillary Clinton, International, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on April 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

2in china bird flueTwo in China are first-known deaths from H7N9 bird flu

USA Today – March 31, 2013

Two Chinese men are the first humans to die from a lesser-known strain of bird flu. A third person also has contracted the disease and is in critical condition. There is no sign the three contracted the disease from the same source and no sign of human-to-human transmission according to Chinese officials. The H7N9 strain is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot be easily contracted. The majority of individuals who contract bird flu have the H1N1 strain.

 

south africa praysSouth Africa prays for Mandela’s recovery

AlJazeera – March 28, 2013

At age 94, Nelson Mandela, ­is reported as “responding well” to treatments for a recurring lung infection. The anti-apartheid icon, who also served as South Africa’s president for five years, has received much national and international support as he ages on various social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, where supporters have been wishing him well and to be discharged soon.

 

7000 warned7,000 warned of potential HIV, hepatitis exposure

CNN – March 28, 2013

After the discovery of multiple health violations at a local dentist’s office in the Owasso suburb of Oklahoma, some 7,000 patients are being notified that they could have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis over the past six years. Dentist W. Scott Harrington voluntarily stopped practicing after the onset of the investigation.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Feb 10 – Feb 17)

In Economy, Egyptian Islamists, International, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on February 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

egyptian court bans Egyptian Court bans YouTube for a month

Saturday an Egyptian court banned the use of YouTube in the country for one month citing that the site hosted an American made anti-Islam video and failed to remove it. This video is the same that sparked violent protests throughout the Middle East, criticizing the prophet Mohammed. The judge who presided over the case said that the ban may apply to other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. It was not clear when the ban would come into effect and the court’s decision also can be appealed.

 

kerry doesnt commit Kerry doesn’t commit on Keystone Pipeline

The Keystone Pipeline was one of the main items on the agenda while new Secretary of State John Kerry hosted his Canadian equivalent in Washington. Although Kerry did not discuss the merits of the project, he said that the state department would have its review of the project completed in the “near term.” This review would include an environmental evaluation of the plan that would send oil from the Canadian tar sands from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

 

curiousity rover Curiosity rover completes 1st drill into Mars rock

The Curiosity rover, a recent and incredibly successful rover that has landed on Mars, has accomplished an impressive milestone as the first Mars rover to drill into the terrain and obtain a sample – one of the first steps for scientists in analyzing the building blocks of life. This powdery substance will be transferred to the onboard laboratory for research to determine its chemical makeup. Curiosity will be traveling to a mountain for the next nine months while on the planet.

 

panetta gets a send of Panetta gets a send-off but he’s not yet out the door

 CNN – Feb. 9, 2013

On Friday, February 7, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was given his ceremonial goodbye, even before his planned successor, former Senator Chuck Hagel, was announced. Various political and military leaders were in attendance. Panetta has faced a fair level of criticism concerning the Benghazi terror attack, the rise of Islamic extremists in Mali and the gas plant siege in Algeria, however his stepping down ceremony was graceful and respectful. Before Panetta stepped down, he warned that sequestration, $50 billion annual spending cuts within the next 10 years, should be the country’s main concern.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Oct 21 – Oct 28)

In Campaign 2012, Economy, News, Obama, Political, Poll, Syria, Top Ten, Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm

ImageNortheast in crosshairs of ‘superstorm’ Sandy

CNN – October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the northeastern United States after already claiming two dozen lives throughout its path in the Caribbean. The expected storm is being compared to the “Perfect Storm” of 1991. In the worst case scenario, the storm may collide with a strong cold front coming from the west and has the potential to create a “superstorm” hitting the Northeast with powerful winds, pelting rain, and days of power outages. Various cities along the eastern coast have taken precautions and upcoming political events have even been postponed or canceled.

 

ImagePurple Poll: Tiny lead for Obama in Colorado and Ohio; Virginia tied

Politico – October 26, 2012

According to the most recent Purple Poll, a survey conducted by the bipartisan consulting firm Purple Strategies, has shown President Barack Obama holding a small lead over Governor Mitt Romney in several of the swing-states. Overall, the presidential race has tightened by 2-3 points across the map as a whole, yet Obama still leads after a difficult month campaigning.

 

ImageChina’s Internet censors strike again

Washington Post – October 26, 2012

Chinese Internet censors have blocked a recent New York Times article detailing how Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his family have over $2.7 billion in investments and assets, some overseas. The story details how leading Chinese families, some descending from Mao himself, have used their immense power to become very wealthy when they claim to be similar to the ordinary Chinese citizen. Although Wen claims to be a reformer and promoting Chinese openness, after the release of the story Chinese Internet has censored both the English and Mandarin versions of the article suggesting the ruling class’ fear of the digital revolution.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (March 26 – April 1)

In Economy, International, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on April 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

Supreme Court Health-care hearings conclude

The Washington Post – March 28, 2012

The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments about whether the Obama health-care law, in particular the individual mandate which requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, should be judged unconstitutional. Many believe that the constitutional issues surrounding the health-care law highlight the ideological issues, which currently divide the Supreme Court. But, it is not yet clear that the court will decide to strike the entire law even if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional. A decision is likely to come in June before this year’s session ends.

Hard Line on Iran Places White House in a Bind

The New York Times – March 29, 2012

The White House must make a difficult choice about whether or not to appear willing to take military action as American and European diplomats prepare for negotiations with Iran of its nuclear program. While the threat of military action may appease criticism from the Republican Party and pressures from Israel, it may also make war with Iran inevitable if other means fail to do so. The White House and Pentagon remain worried that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities either by Israel alone, or with US aid, may provoke a round of counterattacks drawing the US into another war after years of fighting in the Middle East.

Israel extends new border fence but critics say it is a sign of weakness

The Guardian – March 27, 2012

The border fence between Israel and Egypt is being erected at high speed, stretching along a 150-mile boundary. The construction was accelerated due to last summer’s attack in which eight Israelis were killed and to discourage the alarming amount of refugees crossing into the Jewish state. The Israeli government says the fences are necessary deterrents against terrorism and illegal infiltration. However, respected Israeli journalism Alex Fishman says that Israel is huddled terrified and hiding behind fences.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (March 19 – 25)

In Drug, Economy, Health law, International, News, Obama, Political, Tax Cuts, Top Ten on March 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

How The Health Law Could Survive Without A Mandate

New York Times – March 23, 2012

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether its constitutional that the 2010 health law will require most Americans to have health insurance starting in 2014. This “individual mandate” seems to be the centerpiece of the new health law, however others participating in the debate are not quite convinced of this. Other provisions that could propel the law into action without the mandate include expanding the Medicaid program for the poor and setting up new marketplaces where people can compare plans and buy health insurance. Those against the mandate see, and are arguing for, ways that people could be encouraged to take part in buying health insurance that start short of a requirement.

 

Cornered Suspect Admits Killing 7 in France, Officials Say

New York Times – March 21, 2012

23-year-old Frenchmen, Mohammed Merah, admitted to the methodical killings of ten civilians, including three children, which occurred over the past ten days in the Toulouse, France region. Before being captured, Merah had isolated himself in an apartment building in the Côte Pavée neighborhood. He has been identified as a former garage mechanic who had been trained by Al Qaeda. These murders have not only created a security issue, but also problems concerning other Muslims within France. The event has increased concerns of “Islamophobia” and racism among French civilians against those who practice the Islamic religion.

 

Keystone XL pipeline: Obama to oil progress as pump prices rise

The Guardian – March 21 2012

President Obama announced on Thursday that he will speed up the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline in order to allow construction to begin before the November elections. This process will include submitting an executive order directing government agencies to speed up approval processes in the southern US-only segment of the line. The President also is said to be planning to approve the entire route of the pipeline from Alberta to Texas, inciting angry reactions from environmental groups.

 

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (March 12-18)

In Detroit, Economy, Human Rights, Human Slavery, International, News, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Top Ten on March 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Jury Finds Spying in Rutgers Dorm Was a Hate Crime

New York Times – March 17, 2012

On Friday, the Dharun Ravi was convicted of all 15 charges brought against him in the prosecution of his spying upon his gay roommate Tyler Clementi. Ravi set up a video camera to spy upon his roommate having sex with another man, and then made the video public to friends and associates through his twitter account. The ruling is being hailed by gay rights activists as a step forward against bullying and hate crimes in a time when existing laws have struggled to keep up with evolving technology, but Ravi’s lawyer is certain that an appeal will be made.

 

Students extol tuition equality at regents meeting

The Michigan Daily – March 15, 2012

Members of the Coalition for Tuition Equality and related student organization on campus met with the University’ Board of Regents on Wednesday during their open meeting to discuss the effort of giving undocumented students living in the state of Michigan the same in state tuition rate as other students. Other issues discussed were the decreased enrollment of African-American students, and the possible increase of childcare funding for grad students.

 

Congolese Warlord Convicted, in First for International Court

New York Times – March 15, 2012

After three years of trial, an international court found Thomas Lubanga, a leader of the rebel group the Democratic Republic of Congo, guilty of one of the most damning acts of war- the use of children as soldiers.  Lubanga recruited children under the age of 15 forcing the boys to fight and the girls into a life of sexual slavery. The court is likely to issue Lubanga’s sentence in the coming weeks.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (March 5 – March 11)

In Economy, Human Rights, International, Middle East, News, Political, Syria, Top Ten, Uncategorized on March 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Brazil ‘overtakes UK’s economy’

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.

Military resists calls to intervene in Syria

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.

8 Women Sue U.S. Military, Allege Rape, Harassment

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.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Feb 13 – Feb 19)

In International, News, Obama, Political, Top Ten on February 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

As Wars Wind Down, What Are U.S. Security Needs?

NPR-February 15, 2012

The level of force required to secure the interests of the United States of America is the big talk amongst policy makers over the past few weeks. President Obama has plans to make cuts in the Defense department. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes that these cuts can be made without loss of security, but many in Washington want the department to be left untouched.

Israel Says Iran Is Behind Bombs

The New York Times-February 13, 2012

In the escalating conflict between Israel and Iran the accusation of bombings in India and Georgia make the situation in the Middle East a world issue. Bombs that were in the vicinity of Israeli embassy employees in the capitols of foreign nations were blamed on the Iranian government by Israel.

Iran Warns 6 Countries in Europe It Will Cut Off Oil

The New York Times-February 15, 2012

Iran has threatened to cut off its oil supply to six European countries in response to international sanctions instituted on their nuclear program. Early forecasts foresee that the Iranian embargo will have a massive effect on worldwide economics, possibly doubling the global price of oil.

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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.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Jan 30 – Feb 5)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on February 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Cuba Mulls Over Changes To Communist Party at Conference

Fox News Latino – January 28, 2012

In a two-day conference of Cuba’s Communist Party, Raul Castro has announced the possibility of requiring all officeholders’ terms two two, five-year terms. This is due in part to Castro’s distress at the lack of able-bodied politicians to take over offices after their predecessors leave or retire.

Militant group kicks aid group out of regions in Somalia

CNN-January 31, 2012

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is responsible for providing food relief for countries in need, has been banned in certain areas of Somalia. Al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group linked to al Qaeda, says the Red Cross has provided them with expired food on more than one occasion.

Pfizer Recalls Birth Control Pills

BBC – February 1, 2012

Pfizer recently recalled fourteen lots of Norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol and fourteen lots of Lo/Ovral-28 due to a packaging error. About one million packages have been recalled in the US because of this error. The error resulted in a number of packages containing pills with the incorrect dosage.This means that women with any of the affected prescription have been advised to visit their doctors and return their prescriptions immediately.

Romney wins Florida Primary and highlights GOP upcoming primaries before
Super Tuesday

CNN – February 1, 2012

Mitt Romney won Tuesday’s Florida primary with a significant 46% victory. He was followed by Newt Gingrich at 32%, Rick Santorum at 13%, and Ron Paul at 7%. Many consider Romney’s victory an important one because of the role it may play in the upcoming primaries, including Super Tuesday. Frontrunners Romney and Gingrich have been gaining momentum this election season, and victories in the upcoming caucuses could create a pattern heading into Super Tuesday.
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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Jan 23 – Jan 29)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on January 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Facebook sues ‘clickjacking’ firm

The Guardian – January 27, 2012

Facebook has brought a lawsuit against a firm in Delaware that makes a profit from Facebook users “liking” fake pages on the social network site. It has been found that the firm, Ascend Media, has made $1.2 million a month through this practice, which is known as “clickjacking” or “likejacking.”

North Korea threatens to punish mobile-phone users as ‘war criminals’

The Telegraph – January 26, 2012

North Korean citizens who attempt to cross the borders into China and South Korea in order to escape lives of poverty can now expect to be executed if they are repeat offenders, as can citizens who attempt to retrieve information about events in the outside world using cell phones. This comes at a time when the North Korean government, now under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, is fearful of any information concerning international politics instigating political unrest in the North.

Big Brother Concerns over Google Changes

Al Jazeera English – January 26, 2012

Google has recently announced that the company will make changes to its privacy policy to improve the experience of users. The company said in a statement that the new policy combined more than sixty different privacy policies for its various services; including Google search, Gmail, YouTube and Google+. These changes have caused an uproar in the community of Google users who claim that the new policy will violate their privacy rights. The new policy will allow the company to combine all personal information about users rather than keeping them on separate databases, allowing a clearer picture of individual users and more about what they do online.
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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Jan 16 – Jan 22)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten on January 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

In Fight Over Piracy Bills, New Economy Rises Against Old

New York Times – January 18, 2012

The legislative battle over the two worlds of “old media” and “new media”—with the support of Internet activists—ultimately resulted in the loss of support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect I.P. Act (PIPA). With the overwhelming number of calls made to Congressional offices, it appears that Congress will heed to the “netizen revolt.” The powerful world of old media notably included the support of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the motion picture lobby. The new world included Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and many others.


Sharp clashes at Republican debate ahead of vote

The Chicago Tribune – January 19, 2012

At the recent Republican Debate in Charleston, S.C. Presidential Nominees Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul gave their arguments as to why they deserved the nation’s highest elected position. With Rick Perry withdrawing from the race and giving his support to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney refusing to release his tax records until April the environment of the Republican Nomination has become very uncertain.

Detroit teeters on the brink despite autos comeback

CNNMoney – January 18, 2012

Detroit will run out of money to pay its bills by April unless Mayor Bing can convince the city council and municipal unions to agree to steep spending cuts. If the city is unable to pay its bills, the state of Michigan may take over the city, which would allow for Detroit to file for bankruptcy- Detroit would be the largest US city to ever do so. While Detroit automakers are showing their best profits in years, the city of Detroit has seen little benefit. Even though General Motors (GM) has headquarters in downtown Detroit, it doesn’t rank among the city’s top 10 largest employers.

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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Dec 5 – Dec 11)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten on December 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Mysterious blasts, slayings suggest covert efforts in Iran

 

The Los Angeles Times-December 4, 2011

Attacks on nuclear scientists and sites suggest that the U.S. and Israel are trying to covertly stop Iran’s programs. On November 12, a big explosion ripped through an Iranian military base, where engineers were working on weapons that intended to be used against Israel. Most of the buildings collapsed, and 17 people were killed, including the founder of Iran’s ballistic missile program. Iran called the blast an accident, but many former U.S. intelligence officials and Iran experts think that the explosion-the most destructive of at least 24 unexplained blasts in the last two years-was part of a covert effort by the U.S., Israel, and allies to disable Iranian missile and nuclear programs. The intention of the CIA’s counter proliferation division is to slow Iran’s weapons of mass destruction program. Patrick Clawson, who directs the Iran Security Initiative at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says that this is the 21rst century form of war-comprised of a campaign of assassinations, sabotage, and cyber war.

NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote

The Guardian-December 5, 2011

NAACP is petitioning the UN over what is sees as an effort to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. Evidence of what the group sees as a deliberate attempt to “block the vote” by the state legislatures will be presented to the UN High commissioner on human rights. Next March, the NAACP will send legal experts to Geneva to get the support of the UN human rights council. Fourteen southern and western states have passed a sum of 25 measures. These states have the fastest growing black populations (Florida, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina) and Latino populations (South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee). In 2008, more than 2 million extra black and Hispanic voters each turned out over 2004, an increase of 15% for blacks and 28% for Hispanics. Moves that would have a disproportionate negative impact on blacks and Hispanics include: blocks on voter registration drives, blocks of voting with a criminal offence, blocks on early voting, and requirements of voters to have photo IDs on election day.

Japan Split on Hope for Vast Radiation Clean Up

 

The New York Times-December 6, 2012

After nearly 90,000 people evacuated Futoba, Japan, the country is developing clean up plans so those who were displaced can return to their homes. This clean up effort, however, is experiencing criticism from Japanese citizens and from the international community. Japan hopes to be able to decontaminate the area to reflect Japan’s rebirth, but the logistics are not currently in place for such a large operation to be successful and reducing radiation in the area is no small feat. Domestic problems over the allocation of contaminated soil and the safety of clean up are just a few of the major issues surrounding the task that, in time, Japan hopes will be a major success.
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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Nov 28 – Dec 4)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten on December 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Hillary Clinton Burma visit: Suu Kyi hopeful on reforms

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.

Decade later, state Senate passes anti-bullying bill

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.

Nigerian Senate Approves Anti Gay Marriage Bill 

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.
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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.”
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Top Ten Articles We Think You Should Read (Nov 6 – Nov 12)

In Economy, International, News, Political, Top Ten, Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Mississippi voters reject anti-abortion initiative

 

CNN-November 9, 2011

On Election Day, voters in Mississippi rejected an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting abortion. Amendment 26 created the “personhood” initiative, which defines life as starting at conception. This outlawed all instances of abortion, many forms of birth control, and certain forms of contraception including in vitro fertilization. According to those opposed to the amendment, voters opposed the overly broad amendment and showcased their views that the government should not be involved in such personal decisions.

U.S. Delays Decision on Pipeline Until After Election

 

The New York Times-November 10, 2011

The Obama administration has decided to review the route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline traveling from Alberta to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, pushing back the decision about the pipeline until after the 2012 election. Recent environmental concerns have been raised due to the current routes interference with the sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska. The administration has recently been delaying such environmental decisions under intense pressure from conflicting environmental activists, business lobbies, and health advocates.

Panetta sounds warning on Iran attack

 

Aljazeera.com- November 11, 2011

U.S defense secretary, Leon Panetta, advised the Pentagon on Thursday that military action against Iran could lead to “unintended consequences.” This message follows reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that there is substantial evidence of Iran carrying out activities associated with the creation of a nuclear device. Panetta argues that it is important to apply strong economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran to change their behavior and the European Union is discussing the approval of further sanctions against Iran in the upcoming weeks. However the UN Security Council will not step in due to opposition by Russia and China. In addition, Iran has warned that any threat of attack will be “firmly responded to.” Panetta encourages that the nation’s response to this situation must be carefully considered.

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