The World’s Weekly Blue Streak

September 26, 2008

Girls Rule (In Rwanda)











September 27, 2008: RWANDA-This week, women filled 44 seats in the Rwandan parliament, tipping the gender balance and making Rwanda the first country to elect a female majority. Although the constitution calls for an obligatory 30% female representation, Rwandan women have surpassed this number in both the senate and parliament. The news comes as a major step in gender equality in a country that traditionally enforces stereotypical gender roles. The change can be partially attributed to the 1994 genocide, which opened up career opportunities normally closed to women. Increased representation means increased legislation for children’s and women’s rights, and more voices heard: true girl power. 

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Back to Square One?

September 27, 2008: NORTH KOREA—Despite the fact that North Korea recently confirmed that it is restoring its nuclear facilities, the North has proposed meeting with South Korea for talks next week, the first offer of its kind since President Lee-Myung-bak took power in February. South Korea has approached the offer with trepidation, and hasn’t yet given a reply. The North is likely to discuss how to implement past military agreements. The talks are not likely to affect South Korea’s alarmed opinion that restoring the facilities has brought diplomatic negotiations “back to square one.” However, the situation is particularly delicate for North Korea right now, as there are new signs of famine and increased rumors of Kim Jong Il’s physical decline. It may just be the time to take advantage of North Korea’s vulnerability. 

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Where Have All the Kalashnikov Assault Rifles Gone?










September 27, 2008: RUSSIA-It was the American-Ambassador-boot heard all ‘round the world, and now Russia has joined the fun and offered Venezuela a $1 billion dollar loan for arms purchases. In the latest move demonstrating the increasingly close ties between Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez, Russia has already started delivering fighter jets, helicopters and assault rifles to Venezuela. Both leaders have expressed their joint frustration with Western diplomacy, and Chavez has made it clear that he supports Russia’s operation against Georgia. Last week, the United States expelled the Venezuelan ambassador and slapped on harsh sanctions. Today’s trip will be Chavez’s third visit to Moscow since June 2007, and as demonstrated by this photo, things are going swimmingly. But when can all the Ambassadors come back? 

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It’s On

September 27, 2008: USA—It was on. It was off. Now it’s on again. The epic debate between good vs. evil (or evil vs. less evil, depending on your point of view) takes place tonight at 9 PM E.D.T. If you’re not so stuffed with American electoral politics that you want to puke, be there. 

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By: Dana Liebelson



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