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January 30, 2008

News of the week…

For all of you who are too busy being productive citizens of the student community and have no time to read news I thought I'd create a little deliciously bias review of the crazy things that have been happening in our global society in the past few days. That way you save time, you can impress fellow intellectuals with how up-to-date you are on your current events and I have some motivation to read news (it's kind of like back in school when teachers made you do book reports).

  • Bush's State of the Union 

I guess an important place to start is Bush's (thankfully) FINAL State of the Union address last night. Amongst the usual fluffly, patriotic rhetoric and a vocabularly that would pose no challenge for a toddler, he set an outline for his administration's priorities for the next year. Some came as a surprise. A top issue was of course the economy with GDP falling down to a 0.6% in the fourth quarter. The budget, taxes, immigration (including tigheting of the southern border), Iraq, terrorism and global warming (ironically for a superbly anti-green and non-committal administration). His US Education voucher program is probably going to fail in Congress once again, just the way it has in the previous years. There is nothing really new here, it just rounds up two turbulent terms of the man whose administration will inherit a legacy of destroying America's image globally through a series of bad decisions.

Check out some highlights:

  • US Elections (Democrats)

Obama for America

The US primaries are in full-swing leading to the excitement that is going to be Super Tuesday next week when most American states makes their choice. Obama won the  South Carolina Primary in a landslide on Saturday, leaving Hilary miles behind. Perhaps it was the 50% black population of the state that pulled the scales in his directions but polls shower that a high percentage of whites and people under 30 also gave him their vote which gives some hope that this race might not turn out to be entirely about race at the end of the day. John Edwards who is from Southern Carolina was left a distant third which caused him to drop out of the race leaving the democrats with an exciting two-hander in the final stretch!

  • Madness in Kenya

Watching news clips from Kenya scarily reminds me of some of the scenes from Hotel Rwanda. Ethnic violence has progressively risen leading to mass killings and political turmoil that has put the world's attention firmly on Kenya. The good news is that it former UN Sec Gen Koffi Anan has swiftly taken on a mediating role with many hoping that a compromise can be reached at the African Union summit which starts on Thursday. It appears that the world has refused to ignore the situation however and will not let Kenya leave the radar. Could it be that we have learned from past mistakes? After a month of killings many are concerned that this could be heading in the direction of Genocide.  "Today our country is under serious threat of sliding into anarchy," speaker of parliamentary Kenneth Marende said. The estimate puts the dead at around 850 with about 150 just since last Friday.

  • Plot to kill Nobel Prize Laureate Orhan Pamuk

This is so scary and absolutely outrageous check it out in the news.

  • Britain's new Culture Ministe Shakes things up

Apparently he's got some fairly entrepreneureal bright ideas which might be just what the Cultural Industries are in need of at the moment with so much talk of their funding being threatened. Read up I have forgotten the details.

Ok this is enough news for the next few days. In the meantime I am going to go watch the incredible Yasmin Levy in concert at the Warwick Art Centre's main theatre this evening and I am thoroughly looking forwards to it. More news on the interview we did with her on behalf of the superb RAW World Music show- GreenHouse Effect, coming soon!

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