Libya and the EU kissed and made up this week by lifting visa bans on each others citizens. The session was complete with an apology from the Spanish Foreign Ministry for blacklisting Libyans, all of which began two years ago when Hannibal Gaddafi was arrested in Geneva and Switzerland initiated a diplomatic tiff.
In the DRC a massacre by the LRA in December has finally come to light, revealing the continued threat of the terrorist group despite the assurances of the government. A former LRA spokesman has denied the association, claiming that it is the Uganda People's Defense Force that is carrying out the killings. After mounting pressure in Washington from groups such as Invisible Children and Resolve Uganda the Senate passed a bill this month authorizing funding for humanitarian efforts in the region as well as military action against the LRA which the US will likely effect using AFRICOM, the US military command in Africa.
Drilling efforts to reach the largest body of freshwater on the continent and the fourth largest lake on the planet are close to fruition as a multi-national team of British, American and Russian scientists revealed today that they are 300 ft of Lake Vostok. The project is fueled in part by a quest for life on the planet's most harsh environment as well as beyond (Mars, Europa), and also in part by a search for more answers on the prospect of climate change.
The theme at the 2010 AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) meeting was" Israel: Tell the Story" , which seems to emphasize the revelation of a side of Israel that is often hidden. The council aimed to convince those in attendance that Israel "that Israel is making the world a better place", although some critics viewed it as another "bomb Iran special".
Partyiers in Sydney spend a few more minutes than usual in line at Home nightclub in order to get their pictures taken and fingerprints and IDs scanned into a bio-metric system being tested at club. While Home nightclub is the only one to use the fingerprinting technology, other clubs are using a variety of 13 ID-scanning technologies for the stated purpose of increasing safety for their patrons. ID-tect, the software company which provides the software states that if the patron is not a "ban list", their information is deleted within 28 days, otherwise it may be stored indefinitely.
The largest trade union in Britain has revealed that it has a piggy bank of £700,000 which it plans to use to aid its British Airways members who are facing up to £900 pay cuts for participating in the recent cabin crew walkout.
Last week's EU summit saw Greece receiving a sustained brush off from Germany, which for the past two years has consistently vetoed proposals for bank bailouts. Germany has a well-known post-war policy of placing European unity before national interests which has been upheld by all post-war chancellors up to this point which is why Chancellor Merkel's ardent stance on the Greek bailout has caught some off guard.
Brazil's is the country of the month, with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pledging mid last week to maintain a steady stream of economic stability and later showing a bit of prowess after receiving authorization from the WTO to enforce cross-retaliation measures against the US cotton policy which was found to be illegal in 2008. Brazil has already applied surcharges to many of US products and will be announcing more on US IPR. GM also announced that it will invest $780 million in two Brazilian plants towards adding two new models to the country's lineup. Furthermore, the WSJ sang Brazil's praises and speculated on a promising future for the biggest economy in Latin America and the 10th biggest in the world. Da Silva also found his popularity rate at its highest since taking office as he finishes his last term.
For a president who did not finish paying off his college loans until taking office due to the increasing costs higher education, one would expect Obama to place higher education initiatives high on his priorities, which he did, for a short while.In the summer of 2009 Obama unveiled a plan to propel 5 million university graduates by 2020, however the education bill that was pork-barreled with the recently passed health care bill catered meagerly to higher education and in almost no way to community colleges, which typically receive no attention from the federal government.