Weekly Geopolitical events
By Keating Smith, Contributor
Africa: (Rwanda) Victoire Ingabire, the opposition political leader in Rwanda, has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Ingabire is charged with treason and contributing to attributes of genocide that occurred in the country 18 years ago. Ingabire fled Rwanda and lived abroad for 16 years and returned in 2010 with hopes of running for president, at which time she was arrested.
North America: (United States) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg publically announced his endorsement for Barak Obama after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern seaboard. The independent party mayor said Obama has “taken major steps to combat climate change, [and has] won some important victories on education and health care, and shares his values on abortion and gay rights.”
South America: (Argentina) The voting age in Argentina has been lowered from 18 to 16 and won final approval by a vote of 131 to 2 in the lower house of Congress last week. According to Al Jazeera, skeptics say the new law is aimed at drumming up support for president Cristina Fernandez before the scheduled legislative elections in 2013, while supporters say the measure aims to bring Argentina in line with surrounding countries that have already lowered the voting age to people as young as 16.
Asia- Pacific: (Burma) Asia’s second poorest country made international headlines twice this week after 130 refugees fleeing from violence in the western region of the country drowned after the derelict fishing vessel they were onboard capsized on Halloween. The World Bank announced the following day that the country will receive an $80-million grant from the financial institution for the first time in 25 years, which will go towards building and developing infrastructure in the rural areas.
Europe: (Russia) The Russian government has signed into a bill obliging Russian Internet providers to block websites with banned content and putting responsibility on state agencies and non-governmental organizations to search for such sites, according to Russia Today. Websites including child pornography, information on illegal drugs, and also suicide instructions are now being blocked in an attempt to protect young children in Russia.
Middle East: (Egypt) The Egyptian government is imposing a new curfew in which restaurants and shops must close between 10 p.m. and midnight, in an effort to conserve electricity in the nation’s capital and one of most crowded cities in the world. In a country with plenty of political change, skeptics say that the move will cost the economy billions of dollars in lost revenue, as most shops and restaurants conduct most of their business during the late night- early morning hours of the day.