News flashes

October 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm (News, Politics) (, , , , )

Here’s some recent headlines that caught my interest:

  • We all knew it, but this week Canada was once again recognized as one of the best places in the world to live. My home and native land turned up forth on the UN human development index. Norway topped the list, the US of A came in 13th, and Afghanistan was second last with only Nigeria behind it. 

    Former British president Tony Blair might be the new EU leader.

    Former British president Tony Blair might be the new EU leader.

  • Last week, Ireland ratified the Lisbon Treaty, bringing the agreement much closer to reality in the European Union. Among other things, the treaty will create the position of EU president and make the group more like a federal nation. There’s a pretty good chance former United Kingdom president Tony Blair will be given the first term as leader.
  • Brazil was awarded the 2016 Olympics on Friday, with Rio de Janeiro beating out Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid. It was a big moment for the nation and especially its president, the much-loved Lula da Silva. I, for one, am thrilled to see the Summer Games coming to South America for the first time. I’ve heard the argument that the millions of dollars to be spent on building projects and other preparation for the international event could be spent on poverty and crime initiatives for the country, I think the construction and other jobs this opportunity will create will be a huge plus. The Olympics will put the spotlight on Brazil and South America as a whole, both highlighting its positives and hopefully offering new solutions to its problems.
  • Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in trouble. Today, a judge overturned a law granting the leader immunity from prosecution, a law that got him out of a corruption trial in 2008. The court decided the legislation was unconstitutional, as it gave special privileges to specific politicians – an opinion I heartily agree with. Just because someone is a head of state does not mean they should not have to face consequences of their actions, or even alleged actions. In fact, being in that position should mean they provide additional transparency; after all, they make decisions for the entire country and must possess a measure of integrity. There is a lot of pressure on Berlusconi to resign because of the charges against him, but so far he’s said he plans to stick around.

Let me know what you think and leave your opinions and/or other interesting news bites in the comments section.



  1. Sean said,

    Berlusconi is also in trouble for meddling with the media. He has a couple of lawsuits against papers there, because the doesn’t like what they wrote about him, or, in what case, what they want to write. It’s hurting Italy’s reputation.
    In Freedom House’s 2009 survey of media independence, Italy was downgraded to “partly free” and placed 73rd in a list of 195 countries (only just above Bulgaria).

  2. AndrewP said,

    I checked out the wikipedia page for the UN Human Development Index:

    It lists countries who did NOT participate in the study:
    • Somalia,
    • Zimbabwe,
    • Iraq,
    • North Korea,
    • tiny European countries (Vatican, San Marino, Monaco), and
    • tiny Oceanic countries (Tuvalu, Palau, Kiribati, Micronesia…)

    Why am I not surprised about the top 4 countries??? Disgusted…but not surprised!!

  3. Cheryl said,

    Correction: The country at the bottom of the UN HDI was Niger, not Nigeria.

    Why are you disgusted by the top four, Andrew?

    Wow, Sean, I didn’t realize he had all these issues with the media as well. Guess we should be glad we’re not reporters over there, eh?

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