Weekly geopolitical events
By Keating Smith, Staff Writer
Africa: (South Africa) Former South Africa president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from a hospital in the city of Pretoria after spending three weeks in the facility while being treated for a reoccurring lung infection and surgery for gall stones. Mandela has been flown home where he is to carry out the rest of his recovery under doctor supervision. The Nobel Peace Laureate turns 95 this year.
North America: (United States) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was released from a New York City hospital last week after doctors found a blood clot behind her right ear. Doctors treated Clinton with blood thinners to dissolve the clot, which developed after she suffered a concussion back in December. Clinton’s spokesperson told the media that she will be able to make a successful recovery on her own at home and is “eager to get back to the office.”
Latin & South America: (Venezuela) Newly re-elected president Hugo Chávez may potentially miss his inauguration this week after fighting a lung infection post-cancer surgery in Cuba. Although Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolás Maduro rejected calls for another election if Chávez is unable to take office on Thursday, opposition leaders in the Venezuela have asked the government for more detailed updates on the status of his health and condition while receiving treatment outside the country.
Asia- Pacific: (North Korea) North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has reached out to South Korea by calling for an end to the conflict between the two countries in a shocking New Years Day speech made on state-run media. Jung-un, who took over from his father Kim Jung-il after he passed away in 2011, made the comments in contrast to his father’s shy and rare public speeches. Both North and South Korea have been at war since 1953.
Europe: (Vatican City) The Italian Central Bank has suspended bank card payments in the Vatican after the Holy See failed to meet the EU’s precautions on finances including anti-money laundering legislation beginning in 2013. The Italian Central Bank ordered Deutsche Bank Italia to freeze all of its card terminals in the Vatican on New Years Day causing people to pay for goods and services in the area with cash only. The Vatican has been scrutinized by the EU for being involved in money laundering scandals on multiple separate occasions in the past.
Middle East: (Qatar) The Qatari based media network Al Jazeera is planning to launch Al Jazeera America after purchasing former US Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV network for an estimated $500 million. The network hopes to reach out to more than 40 million American households by acquiring the network, which has been faced with financial problems over the past year.