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India Tries Using Cash Bonuses to Slow Birthrates
Grace Baranowski
India is sending nurses to go through rural towns try to newly wed couples to wait two years before having any children.The government has offered to pay anyone who signs up and doesn't have kids for a few years. They have offered 106 dollars and a few reasons as to why not to have children. One reason they give to wait is money. They say wait and save some money so you care for your child properly and still have money. The more money you have depends on how much you help them to be successful. It would also give the parents the chance to finish school if they were still attending. It would also help India from the overpopulation problem they are having. So many girls are getting married when they are younger than 18 and then have children right away. Almost half of India's population is younger than 25 years old. They have so many people that they are willing to pay young couples to not have children.

Iran to Pay for New Babies to Increase Population
Tess Cotter
On July 27, 2010, a new policy was inaugurated by Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attempting to begin to boost Iran's population. The government initiative will give families money for each new child they have and put money into the newborn's bank account up until they turn 18. Ahmadinejad believes the country could feed approximately 150 million people. Iran's current population is 75 million and predicted to increase. This policy is intended to begin to increase Iran's population as well as keeping Ahmadinejad popular with lower income families. This is reversing Iran working in previous decades to bring Iran's population down. From 1986 to 2006 Iran's population growth rate dropped from 3.9 percent to 1.6. This new policy's funding has not been determinded but each new child will have 950 dollars placed in their bank account and receive an additional 95 dollars each year. Twenty-six million people in Iran are between the ages of 15 and 30. They have many people who will help increase the population due to the new initiative.Immagration Ends Some Deportations
Hannah Sawyer
The Immagration Agency held a memorandum from John Morton, who is the head of the agency, announcing a new policy. The Immagration Agency is lowering the number of deportations in the United States. Currentlly Courts have reported that at least 17,00 cases could be eliminated if the ICE dismisses deportations that in these particular cases would most likely end up to win legal status because they were married to a citizen. The policy is intended to adress the mahor insufficient pile up of cases on deportation by trying to focus on catching the illegal citizens who have beenn convicted of crimes or that pose a national threat.This new policy is being debated by the democratics and republicans, Republicans thinking that it makes it easier for illegal immgrants to stay in the U.S while democrats think its is the "pretty basic common sense thing to do,"because all of the cases are so backed up.

Gypsy Problems in Europe

Nikolas Anctil
Europe's Roma or Gypsies as you may call them are causing problems for everybody even themselves. All over europe the Gypsies are victims of prejudice and they are being deported by France but the Roma may deserve this because at certain times they get into criminal activity and sometimes aren't even citizen's of the country they live in. They live in hopeless poverty. You could almost compare their qualities of life to African people. There recently has been a shooting where seven Gypsy have died and 14 are injured. The greatest problem they have created would be about school. The Roma leave school early with out the skills to do anything and are routinely placed in mental institutions. Also the young women get married in their teenage years and young men are put to work early in their lives. They arrive in europe in the late middle ages and throughout all the years they have been discriminated. They have always lived on the fringe of society and probably wont be going anywhere else.

Carter Bakarich
Stonings a punishment for adultery
In many Middle-Eastern countries, adultery and sexual activity between two unmarried persons are punishable by death, more specifically stoning. Stoning is a form of execution where the accused is usually buried about waist deep and is pelted with moderate sized stones until dead. Two recent cases of stoning sentences where in Afghanistan and Iran. The first case in Afghanistan was where a young unmarried couple attempted to elope(marry without consent), and were both sentenced to be stoned as a result. The second case in Afghanistan was where a woman called Sadkineh Mohammadi Ashtiani committed adultery in 2006 and was on trial until september, 2010. Due to immense public pressure from other parts of the world, the Iranian government, in an attempt to escape criticism for the adultery case, tortured her until she plead guilty for murder on national television so that they could charge her for murder instead. Even though the claim was completely illegitimate, they still tried to stick it. With some pressure from the Brazilian government, she was later released free of charges. While she endured all this, the man was able to get off completely clean. Many people believe that the existence of stoning as a punishment in the modern world is an artifact of the Islamic religion. As barbaric as stoning is, its still a viable punishment is many parts of the world. Most of the world questions the morality of stoning as a punishment, let alone a punishment for a low level offense like adultery. In the Islamic culture and in Islamic law, Stoning is the correct and reasonable punishment for adultery and unmarried sexual activity, because in that culture, bloodlines are very, very important. Knowing whose children belong to who is vital to how things work for them. To the cultures involved, stoning is acceptable, but to everyone else, stoning is barbaric, cruel, immoral, and absolutely not a just punishment for something that in most cultures is simply frowned upon.

Election Problems in Afghanistan
Arturo Chavez
This weekend there is a Parliamentary election in Afghanistan, and the world is waiting to see if it will be a fair election. People in Afghanistan fear that the Taliban will influence the outcome of the election. The Taliban has stated openly that they do not want people to vote. They have threatened to cut off ink-stained fingers (a sign that people have voted) in some regions. Four candidates and several campaign workers have been murdered. It seems unlikely that there will be a clean or fair election in Afghanistan. There are about five million more voter-registration cards than there should be. Even the candidates are not running a clean campaign, as Martine van Bijlert, an Afghanistan expert and co-director Afghanistan Analysts Network said, “Many candidates have concluded that you don’t really stand a chance if you don’t manipulate the process. And their backers know how to do it.” Also, there are estimates that nearly 1,000 out of 7,000 polling places may have to be closed due to poor security. Afghans would like to believe in the integrity of the process, but they are skeptical. So the question is: Do you think that the upcoming election will be a clean one? If not, what does the Afghanistan government need to do to have fair elections? Lastly, what, if anything, should the United States do about it?

A Muslim Community Center Near Ground Zero
Benny Louchheim
There are plans to make a muslim community center/ mosque In New York city just two blocks away from ground zero. Obviously this was considered a horrible idea to many Americans because the 9/11 incident was blamed on the muslims. This community center was projected to be 15 stories high, have an art center, a gym, a swimming pool ,and also a mosque. This center was Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf's project and is a huge supporter of this because he said, " The project is intended to foster better relation between the West, and Muslims. But other sources said "placing the center close to the site of the late World Trade Center will not promote healing and would not promote a better understanding of their religion, but it would be a constant reminder of the evil its capable of." The group of people who want to build this center have the a permit for the property so they should be able to build it, but there have been so many complaints about illegal construction so it has been tough to get the clearance. Also former mayor of New York city Rudy Giuliani said that it would be extremely hard to raise 100 million dollars, and would take several years to build the center. The recent attempted bombing in Times square also brought up a reason for Mayor Bloomberg to hold off with the construction because people are beginning to get scared. The reason for this is because the citizens believe that it would be a great meeting place for future terrorists to come and plot an attack. What do you think the New York city government should do? Should they let the Muslims build the community center with risks of future terrorism, or Not let them build it at all ?

Yemen Says Militants Are Trapped in Town

Casandra Fiehtner

Al Qaeda militants have been trapped in a village in Abyan. There is a government effort in getting rid of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, The U.S. supports the Yemeni government in its fight against the al Qaeda because of their threats coming from the military leader to overtake the president and toppling the government of Yemen, although it is said to be unsure what role we are taking in the fight. Over this weekend the military attacked the city of Mudiya with airstikes, tanks, and artillery shells. 300 of Mudiya citizens were sent fleeing. Al Qaeda has taken resonsibility for attempting to blow up a jet liner, and 2 British vehicles. The al Qaeda militants of the Arabian Peninsula have run to Tha'aba where they are now surrounded by the military, but they then used children and women as shields,so the people are being evacuated out. Should the U.S. government use its resources to back Yemen in it fight against al Qaeda?
Juan Williams released from NPR contract after comment on plane
By Ben Klinkenberg
Recently long time African American NPR radio speaker Juan Williams had his contract terminated after making a few comments about muslims on planes. He remarked that muslims on planes in traditional garb made him "nervous." NPR soon afterwards terminated his contract. Some people believe that NPR is the one in the wrong here, and that the organization as a whole overreacted. Others believe NPR was correct to fire Williams,and that what he said was very offensive and inappropriate. Williams appeared on the O'Reilly Factor when he made the remarks, and replied with his comments on muslims making him nervous on planes after Bill O'Reilly asked him about his opinion on muslims and the United States. Being African American, the question also comes up if the organization fired Williams merely due to the fact that he was also black. Had it been a white man who had said that muslims had made him nervous, would he have possibly kept his job? And who is to blame in this controversial topic, NPR, or Williams? Should Williams have been fired, or should he be allowed to keep his job?,8599,2027412,00.html
President of Afghanistan Confirms Receiving Support from Iran:
Recently there has been talk of a theory that the president of Afghanistan was receiving money from the Iranian Government. The theory was confirmed when the president of Afghanistan, Karzai, replied to the question asked by The New York Times. Karzai simply said "sure, they give us money; so does the US. This is a relationship between neighbors. And it will go on, and we will continue to ask for cash help from Iran." The US may be concerned of the growing influence of Iran on Afghanistan. The reason the US may be concerned is due to Iran's disregard for the international rules set down about nuclear capability. Not to mention the past conflict between Iran and the US may take a role in their concern as well. The US thinks that what Iran may be doing to Afghanistan, is similar to what Iran is doing in Iraq. That would be to be influencing the iraqi government to benefit themselves. These facts combined worry the US that Iran will become to powerful and act against US interests. Based on this information, does it make sense for the US to be concerned? Should the Iranian government be stopped from buying influence in Afghanistan? If so, how would they be stopped, since Karzai wants the money? If Iran becomes to powerful it may prove as a danger to Afghanistan, does this make it a mistake for Afghanistan to be accepting money from Iran? Considering the fact that the US currently has a war going on in Afghanistan, by the Iranian government giving money to support Afghanistan, does this give Iran another outlet to fight against US interests, in other words a "proxy war"?

A Debate about the Serengeti
Leah Mann

A controversy has emerged in Tanzania, with scientists and conservationists opposing what they see as a political move by the country’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, who is running for reelection. Kikwete has made a campaign promise to construct a national highway directly through the Serengeti National Park. This is a huge expanse of land where each spring animals such as wildebeest and gazelles head north in what is termed the Great Migration. Scientists fear that a highway will interfere with the process and damage the Serengeti ecosystem. On the other side of the coin, in this exceptionally poor country, economic development is needed and many believe that a highway will allow for cheaper products, as well as daily living advancements such as electricity. The debate is further complicated by growing political corruption. What position would you take with respect to the construction of a highway through the Serengeti and why? To what extent do you believe that this is a political issue rather than an economic one? Should Americans be concerned about this and why?

Iran and It's Nuclear Program

Clayton Matheson
Iran's president says that the upcoming talk with 6 world powers will fail if the nations continue along what he calls a "path of arrogance." The U.S. and some of its allies suspect that Iran's intreats in nuclear energy is related to nuclear weapons. This suspicion is even stronger since Iran will not let their facilities be inspected as well as they won't give up uranium enrichment, part of the process of making nuclear bombs. Iran defends itself saying that the enrichment is for energy purposes only, to fuel power plants. If this is what they are doing, then the people who live there could benefit greatly from this program. When asked, Iran denies having nuclear weapons but they are hiding too much for many to believe them. U.S. and and the other countries that are questioning Iran are trying to make agreements with Iran but so far Iran has not agreed to anything. What do you think? Should the U.S. be making sure they don't have nuclear weapons? What if they do, what would we do about that then? How strict should the rules be for Iran? If any?

Google Doodle Controversy

Jodi Rickel
On this Veteran’s day Google released one of their famous doodles, however some say that the ‘e’ hidden behind the flag is part of an Islamic crescent moon symbol, and they also say that the flag is burning. The morning when the doodle was posted many Facebook posts and tweets were criticizing Google for this, and Google has yet to comment on it. Whether or not you believe that that there is a hidden Islamic message, do you think that people are overreacting? William Browning of Yahoo said,"No wonder Islamic extremists hate us.” Do you believe that he is correct in saying this? Should we, as a people, be that afraid of the Islam religion so much that any hint of it will cause alarm? One last question, are you now affected by this and will you stop using Google. (Another interesting thing is that the article starts out by saying, "Today's Google Doodle either celebrates Veterans Day or grossly offends America – it depends on who you ask." This makes the reader wonder if people of the Islam religion are happy about this.)

On another note, so far the majority of articles we've read evolve around what is happening in the Middle East and the Islam religion . When I was looking for an article I found it very hard to stay away from these types of articles because there are so many of them, and they are usually on the home page of many of news websites. A lot of the media today centralizes more around those countries than of the things happening in other parts of the world like South America. Do you agree with this statement? If yes, then why do you think the media does this?

Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration

Noam Shahar

During summer, an immigration law, called SB1070, was presented in Arizona. The law is still being challenged in the courts. The law states that policemen may ask any person, who they deem suspicious, for their legal documents. Immigrants that are shown to be illegal are either fined, imprisoned, or both. If someone does not have their documents at the time, they can also recieve a small fine. Mexicans, which are assumed to be the main illegal immigrants in the Southern United States, may feel like they are not trusted or betrayed, even if they are legal. This raises uncertainty and steryotypes about Mexicans. Citizens are influenced by this law and there have been several stories of people not buying from stores run by Mexicans. Many people from president Obama to everyday citizens have criticized this new law and there have been protests against it. Should this law go into affect? If not, what could be a different solution to dealing with illegal immigration?

An Industrial Project That Could Change Myanmar

Alex McNerney
The government of the poverty-stricken country of Myanmar (also known as Burma) recently signed a deal that will allow countries such as Thailand to use Myanmar's land to build large industrial sites that would include power plants, oil refineries, shipbuilding yards, factories and many other facilities. While this would create many job opportunities allowing the myanmarian people to earn a living, it would also pollute the environment and change many farmer's ways of living. In Thailand, research has proven that in the industrial site Map Ta Phut cancer rates are higher, as well as polluted groundwater and air. Unlike in Thailand, there are no laws protecting the Myanmar environment, so Thailand can basically do whatever they want relating to the environment (as in they aren't prohibited from making factories that produce massive amounts of harmful byproducts such as carbon-dioxide, and toxic chemicals). Also, happening right now in Myanmar, farmers are being forced to permanently leave their lands and get new homes, and in many cases they are forced to move to infertile land. Their former farmer lifestyles are lost, replaced by working in factories. Do you think that the pros of this opportunity outweigh the cons? These new factories would be able to transform Myanmar from its current impoverished state to an industrial country with the inherent consequences of higher cancer rates, pollution, and drastic altering of Myanmar's landscape.

U.S. Leads New Bid to Phase Out Whale Hunting
Joshua Girard
Whaling has been a topic of major controversy. Japan, Iceland, and Norway are the only countries that still permit whaling as a legal commercial trade. The three whaling countries have long battled with the IWC, the International Whaling Commission, and "have long exploited loopholes in an international treaty that aims to preserve the marine mammals". A new effort at stopping whaling was proposed by the IWC led by the US earlier this year. It proposes that for 10 years, the three countries will still be able to hunt whales but in reduced numbers. Also, the three countries have to "agree to stricter monitoring of their operations, including the placing of tracking devices and international monitors on all whaling ships and participation in a whale DNA registry to track global trade in whale products." This would allow for illegal black market whale trade to be tracked. While some people think that the new treaty is a step in the right direction towards the elimination of whaling, others argue that the treaty is just a way for the whalers to draw attention away from themselves. Some officials say that if this treaty attempt fails, the IWC will collapse. Even with all the efforts of the 88 countries of the IWC opposing whaling, the amount of whales killed per year has been increasing from 300 in 1990 to 1,700 in 2009. If whaling is allowed to continue as it is, it won't be long before whales become extinct.

North Korea warns of all-out war

The U.S. government and South Korea are stirring up global controversy. They are running joint submarine military training drills that were earlier delayed by a tropical storm, but they are now being conducted right after the North Korean attacks on South Korea's island (a controversial time). North Korea feels threatened by the drills and has notified the public that they are ready to conduct "war games." Even though the drills are in intended to threaten North Korea and notify them of S. Korea and the U.S's joint power; why aren't we listening to their anticipated threats? North Korea announced that they are prepared for "all out war any-time." Also, South Korea claims that the N. Koreans torpedoed one of their submarines. North Korea says that they did not and that their intention of saying this is to start a war on false pretenses. On top of all of this, North Korea has readily completed their production of low-enriched uranium. This will allow for them to produce highly-enriched uranium and nuclear weapons. Should we back off? Should we feel threatened? What is the purpose of threatening them? How does it make you feel about our government that is essentially fueling conflict and the production of nuclear weapons through conflict?

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-Michael Rosenberg, 2010

Blood Diamonds in Zimbabwe
Jake Rogers,9171,2029482,00.html
In easter Zimbabwe under the city of Mutare, a massive billion dollar blood diamond mine was discovered about three years ago. After only a few months of the discovery, Mutare had become the worlds epicenter for the trading of illegal diamonds. The blood diamonds are smuggled into different countries by dealers to be polished and mixed with certified gems, and then sold for a large profit. The trading of blood diamonds has been banned between the United States and certain countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. The blood diamond trade in Zimbabwe has affected the world wide trade of diamonds because the buyers don't know whether the diamonds they are buying are certified or "stained". Should the United States stop the trading of all diamonds to weaken the market of blood diamonds? If Zimbabwe can't control the flow of blood diamonds, then who's job should it be? Why do we even need diamonds in the first place if the price for them could be the loss of another persons life?