As promised, here’s a roundup of news stories I have been following recently and will continue to monitor this coming week:
Olympics – I have an almost unhealthy amount of love for the Olympics, not just #London2012 but all Olympic Games. I’ll provide a run down of my favorite and most memorable moments from these Games in a future post to prevent my inevitable post-Olympics depression – yes, it’s like that.
The Curious Case of SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) – It was just announced Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has sacked SCAF leader, Mohammed Husein Tantawi (Al Jazeera English). A new Defense Minister, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, has been appointed. It was an unexpected move and questions are swirling as to whether this move is even allowed given the Constitution. Was this a back-room deal, part of a bigger plan? Is the Constitution annulled? What other minister positions could change?
Paul Ryan, Boy Wonder or Blue-eyed Blunder? On Saturday morning, well before my morning coffee and tea, U.S. Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney announced his Vice President running mate, House of Representaties Member from Wisconsin Paul Ryan (Daily Beast).
I get worried when a leader in a deeply politically divided country cites Ayn Rand as a large influence. It shows inflexibility in approaching team work and bipartisanship for the good of forward progress. At 42, he is quite young and unlike Romney, has spent all his career (PolitiFact) in politics. He’s also particular bad news for womens’ rights and economic quality. My thoughts are that he was brought on board because he seems slightly, only slightly, more accessible than Dresage ‘I have an elevator for my cars’ Romney. Also, because his Ryan Plan for Saving the Rich, err, his economic plan, was better received by the public that the 59-point plan of vagueness by Romney. On the heels of a gaffe-filled trip (The Gothamist) ignoring and insulting the media overseas to the London Games, Poland, and Israel – I feel Romney’s pick of Ryan further highlights his dangerous disinterest in foreign affairs (Foreign Policy) and push for isolationism.
Syria – The rebels try to hold on as the United Nations Security Council makes no progress (Foreign Policy), with frustrating vetoes and blocks from the Russian and Chinese delegations. According to the UN, the number of refugees from the Syrian conflict is over 145,000, with many in camps in Turkey and Jordan (New York Times). The death toll has been reported as a shocking 18,000. And yet, the rebels continue to try and fight Assad’s forces, while Aleppo is decimated (Washington Post).
In any conflict of this nature, womens’ concerns and safety are too often ignored and they are subjected to a particularly cruel role. The New York Times’ Samar Yazbek has a fascinating piece from the female perspective in the Syria.
On a much happier note,
MARS – NASA may have had budget cuts and sadly retired space shuttles, but they haven’t lost the unique ability to amaze and inspire every human being on the planet with wonder and charm. We landed on Mars! It took a rover called Curosity, a dedicated team of scientists, and $2.6 billion but the landing and future exploration of Mars is a success.