By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
North America: (Canada) The Government of Quebec introduced a bill in the National Assembly which would place some restrictions on the freedom of religion of its public employees. The proposed law, known as Quebec’s Charter of Values, aims to portray the state as neutral and secular. Public sector employees would be prohibited from wearing any religious clothing or displaying any large religious symbols in the workplace.
(United States) President Barack Obama addressed the nation on September 10 in prime time, stating his position on the Syrian civil war and making his case for a “limited” strike in response to the Syrian regime’s reported use of chemical weapons in the conflict. The president went on to suggest that he would attempt diplomacy, referring to a deal brokered by the Russians to get Bashar al-Assad to forfeit his chemical weapons.
South America: (Argentina) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) held meetings in Buenos Aires this week, which set the direction for the future of the Olympics. The week-long gathering proved fruitful, as the IOC selected Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Summer Games, re-instated wrestling as an Olympic sport, and elected Germany’s Thomas Bach as the organization’s new president.
Africa: (Libya) The 11th anniversary of 9/11 last year ended tragically in Libya as suicide bombers stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, killing four diplomats, including Chris Stevens, the then-newly named US ambassador to Libya. A year later, the new Libyan government is not cooperating with US efforts to bring those responsible for the attack to justice. In addition to apprehending those responsible, the Obama administration has yet to figure out the logistics of any potential criminal proceedings, including where they would be tried.
Asia: (Philippines) Government and rebel troops in the country’s south have exchanged gunfire after a ceasefire between the two broke down less than 24 hours after it went into effect. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) seeks independence of, what they refer to as, Bangasmoro Land, and has taken a number of hostages in the villages surrounding the southern city of Zamboanga. Government officials say that more than 50 people have been killed in recent hostilities. President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to visit Zamboanga this weekend to meet with displaced residents.
Europe: (Greece) The Greek government is making more tough decisions to bring stability back to its economy. This week, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s reform minister, scrapped a popular benefit given to its bureaucrats for working more than five hours a day on a computer. Since 1989, public employees working five or more hours per day on a computer have received six extra vacation days. The move comes as the Greek government tries to adhere to the terms of multiple bailouts from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Oceania: (Australia) Proponents of euthanasia in Australia are promoting a new drug they call the “peaceful pill,” which promises to be the most effective and painless way for someone to end their own life. Nembutal, a drug that kills within an hour of ingestion, is being easily imported from China, which dominates the global market demand for the drug. Despite the illegality of importing or possessing Nembutal in Australia, euthanasia supporter Dr. Philip Nitschke claims that hundreds of Australians have acquired the drug in the past two years.