Recently in International News Category

Assad brings promises, Syrians still protest

By Calvin Swanson

Thousands of Syrian protesters scampered the streets Sunday, making their anti-government concerns heard.

On Saturday, Syrian President Basher Assad promised to lift emergency laws, which have been in place for decades, that allowed security forces to arrest suspected dissidents, according to a LA Times article. Despite Assad's promises, Syrians continued to protest and have been protesting the past few weeks.

More than 200 have been killed because of the protests and dozens have been arrested, according to a BBC article.

The protests have been sparked by the citizens' lack of confidence in their government, and recent reaction suggests that the people are not still not satisfied, despite the government's moves.

Protests have broke out in several prominent Syrian cities, the LA Times reported, cities such as Aleppo, Baniyas, Duma, Zamalka, Harasta, Homs and Latakia.

The BBC reported the rallies were held on Syria's Independence Day, which marked the day, 65 years ago when French soldiers departed.

Twelve kids shot and killed in Brazilian school

By Calvin Swanson

A gunman shot and killed ten girls and two boys ranging in age from 12 to 15 at a Brazilian elementary school Thursday.

The gunman, identified as Wellington Oliveira, 23, lined the children up against a wall before he shot each of them in the head at point-blank range, according to a Washington Post article. Oliveira, who had two handguns in his possession, shot and killed himself after being confronted by the police.

Oliveira was a former student of the Tasso da Silveira, the elementary school where the shooting took place, according to a BBC article. There is no clear motive of why he gun-downed the children at school.

The first funerals for the 12 children were held Friday atop hill overlooking Tasso da silveira, according to the Washington Post. More than a thousand people gathered for the events. This is the beginning of a three-day national morning for the victims, according to the BBC.

The Washington Post reported Brazilian crime experts stated this was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

The BBC reported Oliveira left a suicide not at the scene, and it gave detailed instructions on how he wanted to be buried, but it gave no reasons why he decided to attack the school.

India's population rises slowly during past decade

By: Calvin Swanson

India's population has risen to 1.21 billion people due to its population increase of more than 181 million people in the last decade.

The increase of 1.21 billion people, which is about the entire population of Pakistan, makes India the world's second most populated nation only to China, according to a NY Times article. The past decade's population growth was 17.6 percent, which is down from 21.5 percent from 1991-2001. India's growth percentage is the lowest since India's independence in 1947, according to a Washington Post article.

Despite the growth in the country, there are concerns amongst the heavily-populated country. The Washington Post reports Indian citizens' preference of keeping sons over daughters is causing abortions of female fetuses and infants. The ratio of girls to boys for children age 6 and younger has dropped to 914 girls per 1000 boys, the lowest in India's history.

Indians prefer to raise male children over females because they see daughters as a financial burden, according to the Washington Post article. The trend is more popular in the educated states such as Punjab and Gujarat.

Despite the birth concerns, the NY Times article states female literacy rates are up, and the country's overall literacy rate, 74 percent, is up 9 percent.

First female vice president nominee dies at age 75

By: Calvin Swanson

Geraldine A. Ferraro, the first women nominated for national office by a major party, died Saturday in Boston.

Ferraro, 75, died because of multiple myeloma, a blood disease she had been fighting for 12 years, according to a N.Y. Times article.
Ferraro ran for vice president with Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale in 1984 against President Ronald Reagan. Reagan went on to win the 1984 election in a landslide, according to the N.Y. Times.

Despite Mondale's and Ferraro's dismantling in the 1984 election, Ferraro's attempt at a vice presidential bid opened the door to a trend of women in politics. Her breakthrough progress helped Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2008 and Sarah Palin's vice presidential bid the same year, according to an AP report found on the Star Tribune website.

The AP report is substantially written about the controversy surounding Ferraro, such as her feud with Barbara Bush, her support of abortion and her comments about then presidential candidate Barrack Obama, saying that he is prominent because he is black.

The N.Y. Times articles talks about her rise into the political world.

Earthquake and tsunami devastates Japan

A record setting 8.9 earthquake struck Japan Friday, igniting a tsunami that washed over parts of northern Japan leaving an expected death toll of more than 1,000.

The earthquake, largest in Japan's recorded history, has left thousands of homes destroyed and has made roads impassable, The N.Y. Times reported. There are 184 confirmed deaths and more than 700 missing; the death toll is expected to exceed 1,000, according to Japanese police officials.

The Japanes military has assembled thousands of troops, hundreds of planes and dozens of ships in response to the disaster, according to a BBC article. Large relief operations have begun.

Safety concerns have sprung 170 miles northeast of Tokoyo, where Japan's government has evacuated thousands of people within a six mile radius of a power plant, according to the N.Y. Times. A Japanese nuclear safety panel has confirmed the earthquake has damaged the plant's cooling system, and radiation has escaped the plant's walls.

BBC reported the port city of Sendai, in Miyagi prefecture, was one of the most devastated areas hit by the quake. Roughly 300 bodies have been recovered in one ward alone.

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