World Recap: July

Image of President Obama in Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island via Pete Souza
Image of President Obama in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island via Pete Souza

Weekly geopolitical events

By Dylan Hackett, News Editor

Africa: (South Africa) United States president Barack Obama spent time with members of Nelson Mandela’s family last week. Mandela, 94, has spent much time recently shuffling in and out of hospitals, where he is now in critical condition. Obama met with South African president Jacob Zuma on his African tour where he gave a speech, addressing the dismantling apartheid as having a role in his own political development.

North America: (United States) The Unites States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favour of a strike-down against a discriminatory section of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal bill law that disallowed certain legal provisions to homosexual couples. The main judicial principle against the act was the acknowledgement that LGBT persons are safeguarded from denial of life, liberty, or property under the Due Process Clause. Proposition 8, a gay marriage ban referendum ratified in the 2008 election was also struck down in the court’s decision. The repeal came timely for gay pride weekend celebrations held worldwide.

Latin & South America: (Ecuador) United States Vice President Joe Biden has requested Ecuador refuse whistleblower Edward Snowden’s request for asylum. Last month, Snowden leaked details of the NSA’s “Prism” program, a massive spy network monitoring the world through social media, and the US is now charging Snowden with counts of espionage. Snowden is being assisted by WikiLeaks in attaining asylum from Ecuador, who have been housing renowned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in their London embassy. Snowden initially fled to Hong Kong and is believed to be in Moscow.

Oceana: (Australia) An Australian Labour Party leadership ballot ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the nation’s first female prime minister. Kevin Rudd assumed position last Thursday and is set to lead the party in the coming fall election. Gillard won the 2010 election by a narrow margin but has since remained popular in polls. Gillard plans to retire from politics.

Europe: (England) The two men who slayed military drummer and machine gunner Lee Rigby in broad daylight on May 22 have a trial date set for November. The brutal video of the killing made its way online moments after happening. Rigby had been a well-liked military recruiter stationed in London since 2011, and he now leaves behind a two-year-old son. The killers stated religious motivation was the reason behind the killing.