news you should know about

newsmongering 02/29 (the leap year edition)

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> As you’ve probably heard (if not, consider yourself chastised), Romney took both Arizona and Michigan in the primaries last night. Michigan was a fairly close race betwixt Romney and Santorum, with Romeny taking 41 points to Santorum’s 38. Apparently Michiganders agreed with Romney’s comments regarding the state’s pleasing foliage. Romney’s margin in Arizona was substantially higher; he beat Santorum 48 to 26.

> Syria! Foreign Policy’s Passport has quite a good briefing here, but in short: China and Russia, who have adamantly opposed any UN resolutions regarding the current violence, appear to be willing to support a resolution focused on humanitarian aid with little/no comment regarding Syria’s political circumstances. The blog also notes:

As Syrian troops launch a ground attack on the flashpoint city of Homs, the United Nations estimates that 7,500 civilians have been killed in the conflict and that the death toll now exceeds 100 civilians a day. The Syrian government says around 2,500 civilians have died and that “armed gangs and terrorists” have killed more than 1,000 members of the security forces, according to the BBC.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be classified as a war criminal.

Thirteen members of the Syrian opposition are reported to have died yesterday attempting to transport four journalists out of a besieged neighborhood in the city of Homs. One journalists successfully escaped and crossed the border into Lebanon; the other four appear to have remained in Homs. This article vaguely implies that one of the journalists attempting to escape was wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier.

> A French bill that would have criminalized denying the somewhat contentious Armenian genocide was struck down in courts yesterday on the grounds that it violated the right to free speech.

> North Korea has agreed to suspend its nuclear program and allow IAEA inspectors into nuclear facilities in exchange for an American pledge of food aid. North Korea relies on food aid to feed its population. A US aid ship arrived in the country yesterday.

North Korea has agreed in the past to halt its nuclear program, only to back out, demanding more concessions or accusing the United States of reneging on its obligations. And the statement Tuesday from the North’s official Korean Central News Agency appeared to give the country’s leaders wiggle room again this time, saying that Pyongyang would carry out the agreement “as long as talks proceed fruitfully.”

Still, North Korea’s agreement to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to return to the country appeared to be a significant concession. After years of negotiations, North Korea expelled inspectors and went on to test nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009. American intelligence officials believe the country has enough fuel already for six to eight weapons.

If the North lives up to its agreement to stop uranium enrichment, it could help ease some anxieties in the administration over the program at a time when the administration, in an election year, is consumed with halting Iran’s nuclear program before Israel decides to stage an attack.

> Studies indicate that recess is good for you. Well. Yeah.

> A Field Poll indicates that support for gay marriage in California has increased substantially since 2008:

59% of respondents favored gay marriage while 34% opposed it. Three years ago, the poll found that 52.3% favored same-sex unions while 47.7% opposed them.


Written by whackanarwhal

February 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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