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French president signs law allowing same-sex marriage

French president signs law allowing same-sex marriage | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
PARIS -- French President Francois Hollande on Saturday signed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt, after months of sometimes violent protests and the vehement opposition of the country's Roman Catholic Church leaders.
Joseph Gray's insight:

After months of protest and opposition, France has legalized marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.  For a long time, and still today, same-sex marriage has been highly criticized in France, but President Hollande is demanding that this law be carried out and any disruption of it will not be tollerated.  The French population only supports this law by a very slim majority, so it is a polarizing issue that may cause continued protests and harm future reelections.  

As the world becomes more socially liberal with this new social movement, I believe that opposition to same-sex marriage will only grow, because of how polarizing it is.  In addition, most countries have strong religious backgrounds, so this will add into the vehemence of opposition.

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Obama declares ground troops not being considered for Syria

Obama declares ground troops not being considered for Syria | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- President Obama said he “does not foresee” sending ground troops into the bloody civil war in Syria , a comment that appears aimed at reassuring Americans that U.S.
Joseph Gray's insight:

When being questioned by reporters in Costa Rica, President Obama said that the U.S. was not considering sending U.S. troops to aid the rebel forces in Syria.  Since the uprising in Syria, the U.S. has had multiple plans on how to settle the issue, but has not come to a clear decision.  Many analysts have called that the U.S. directly supply the rebels with weapons, but talks about troops have been off the table.  This is likely due to the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, so President Obama and legislators are not likely to repeat this scenario.  However, it has not been determined if Syria is in possession of chemical weapons and whether or not they have been used.  If so, this could drastically change U.S. action.

The situation is Syria is continuing to grow, so it is unlikely that we will know for certain what course of action we will take.  The civil war is constatnly progressing and evolving, so an idea that may work now, may not necessarily work in the future.  Also, U.S. action could inhibit Syria's future growth as a nation, because the Syrian people need to be able to control and form their own government, so too much aid could cause setbacks in Syria's growth.  Another perspective to be held though is that with so much power, the U.S. has a duty to protect the weak from oppression.  

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Iraq’s First Vote Since U.S. Exit Is Mostly Calm

Iraq’s First Vote Since U.S. Exit Is Mostly Calm | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Limiting violence is one gauge of success, but observers are also waiting to see whether the results will embolden the prime minister to expand power along sectarian lines.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The recent election in Iraq since U.S. troop withdrawal was predominantely peaceful.  Previous elections had occurences of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings.  However, this election was peaceful, but precautions were taken as extremist groups and Al Qaeda begin to take more influence.  This election is predicted to usher in a majoritarian democracy by Shiite Muslims.  Iraq used to be ruled by the minority Sunnis, so this change in government could allow for less corruption, less death, and the start of a prospering government.  

The article stated that these provincial elections were like the "preseason" elections for the national elections.  This means that the parties that win in each province will help determine which parties are likely to run in the national election.  In additon, the voter turnout for the provincial elections this year was 50% (much higher than state elections here in the U.S.).  Both of these aspects help spell out that Iraq is making progress in its political system and that hopefully it will form a constitutional government.

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Wayne LaPierre, the Gun Man, Sticking to His Cause

Wayne LaPierre, the Gun Man, Sticking to His Cause | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, has honed a no-compromise strategy over the last 35 years that is now facing its most difficult test in decades.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Wayne La Pierre has been seen by many critics as an extremist, but supporters see him as a leader that doesn't "fold," as Grover Norquist said.  LaPierre has helped form the NRA into what it is today and has forged an organization that has incredible influence over politics, politicians, and legislation.  With the recent massacres and scutiny over gun laws, LaPierre and the NRA have been extra busy as they try to rally people to their cause and show legislators that gun control laws are not as popular as liberal media make the people believe.  

From my perspective LaPierre leads the most powerful interest group in the United States.  The NRA has a plethora of people backing them and is dedicated to ensuring the Second Amendment is not limited.  The NRA has complete influence with conservative legislators and liberal legislators in conservative states.  The NRA is an interest group that has legs in each party and an extremely wide base of supporters, so with politicians only working for the vote, it is unlikely that any legislation will ever be made that doesn't have the NRA's stamp of approval.

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In Italy, Talks on Forming Government Break Down

In Italy, Talks on Forming Government Break Down | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Negotiations between the center-left leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, and the Five Star Movement failed to yield a majority.
Joseph Gray's insight:

As Italy tries to develop a new government, many problems are occuring.  For one, the people cannot come to a clear majority, so no definitive ideas can be made that would best suit the nation.  In additon, economic troubles and the continued decrease of the euro are creating a high level of scrutiny from foreign investors and distress amongst the Italian citizens.  Italy also faces the possibily of having an outside leader, appointed by Mr. Napolitano, take power if a new, stable government isn't created.  If these options fail then the people will be taken to the polls again which will only strengthen the Five Star Movement. 

I believe that Italy's leaders need to cooperate if they wish to stay in power, because as the Five Star Movement grows, so do fears of a major hit to the euro.  In this case of political turmoil, the people are becoming restless of government failure and its lack of initiative.  In turn, if a people's power is to take hold, which is more relatively unorganized and more nationalistic, then all of Europe will suffer the consequences.

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Women Finding Their Way in German Politics

Women Finding Their Way in German Politics | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
While Chancellor Angela Merkel has won spurs as one of the world’s most influential women, a new generation of of German women are wielding power closer to home.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Ms. Dreyer was elected as govenor of the German state, Rhineland-Palatinate.  The Social Democrat looks for bipartisan work and for all sides to come together in order work for the common good.  She is willing and ready to cooperate with leaders of other parties.  This is a trend that is being seen throughout Germany with women leaders.  In Germany, women are more likely to try and compromise and hear the other side, while men stood with their argument and tried to get the final word.  As women throughout the world begin to take more political leads, it is possible that the trend in Germany be seen in other countries.  The example of Germany and its bipartisanship is a good and noble goal for many countries.  In addition, the progressive view of politics and social standings in Germany has allowed this cooperation to occur.  Of course Germany will still have polarized politics, but at least they can make a decision in the end.

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Tunisia names new prime minister to form government

Tunisia names new prime minister to form government | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Tunisian political leaders tapped a new prime minister Friday, choosing the head of a crucial and controversial ministry to form a new government for the divided North African nation.
Joseph Gray's insight:

As Tunisia falls deeper and deeper into chaos, a new prime minister takes charge.  Jebali stepped down and in his place is Larayedh.  Larayedh was a prisoner in the old government, but is now a leader.  The choice of having him be the replacement is very strange in that it has sparked more protests and violence.  It is unclear how he will benefit the country, except take out politics.  Larayedh's appointment has only caused more problems, because he is the blame for many problems in the first place.  This political move by Tunisia just seems to be the governments way of giving up hope.

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Senate to Revist Violence Against Women Act

Senate to Revist Violence Against Women Act | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
With the Senate voting overwhelmingly to take up the Violence Against Women Act, the House will be left to either stand against the provisions that derailed the bill last year or to compromise.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Violence Against Women Act is expected to pass in the Senate, but the House is a different story.  Many House Republicans may vote against the Act, because of "politics."  The Senate had bipartisan support for the bill, but the House is much more polarized.  The House Republicans are particullarly hesitant of the bill because of its support for same-sex couples, support for illegal immigrants, and its strengthening of tribal courts on Native Reservations.  On the flip side, if the House Republicans pass the bill then they will have more women support then they have had recently.  Senator Collins, a Republican, begged her party to pass the bill, because it is a nonpartisan issue that must be dealt with.  In the end, either morals or politics will guide this bill.  To be fair, the bill is laced with politics and ornaments, but will the Republicans accept these?

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News Briefs: Jan. 21, 2013

News Briefs: Jan. 21, 2013 | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
The House is expected to vote this week on a bill that would freeze federal pay scales for the rest of 2013.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Pay Freeze Article:  The House of Representatives, which deals with fiscal concerns, is expected to vote for a bill that would freeze federal pay scales.  This is interesting to see from people who always have their hands in other's pockets.  To the point, this bill would freeze pay scale increases that would take place this year.  According to Republicans, this would save taxpayers $11 billion over 10 years.  However, whait does this do for us now?  How will this help the massive debt and looming economic failure?  This is just politics and another distraction that is being used to forlong any real planning.

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Let's get politics out of our gun laws

Let's get politics out of our gun laws | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
It seems to happen so often now that everyone knows what’s to come.
Joseph Gray's insight:

After the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shooting, gun control laws are coming into question over their effectiveness.  Constitutionally we have a right to bear arms, but that means that anyone can get a hold of a rifle or pistol.  However, gun control laws have placed limitations on who can own weapons and what type of weapons we can own.  Opponents of gun ownership believe that stricter gun control laws could have prevented this, but the truth is that no one knows how this tragedy could have been prevented.  Murderers and criminals will always find a way to get their hands on weapons, so if we prevent the good citizen from owning weapons or make it difficult to obtain one, then how could one protect one's self?  The fact is that gun control is not the answer.  In fact, gun control has nothing to do with this.  Politicians and leaders need to leave the issue of gun control behind, because Constitutionaly it is our right bear arms, and to ban guns or to have stricter enforcements will solve nothing.  Instead, politicians and Washington need to develop ways to stop the disconnect that these shooters experience.  These mass shooters all have a social or mental disconnect from reality that cause them to go on these killing sprees.  As a nation we need to fix the mind of the people, not attack our own rights.

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In Cairo, Politics on Screen Delayed by Uprising in the Streets

In Cairo, Politics on Screen Delayed by Uprising in the Streets | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
After going dark last year because of political revolution, the Cairo Film Festival was set to come back in 2012 with a slate of political, edgy movies. But the festival, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday, had to be postponed once again.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Cairo Film Festival has been postponed due to governmental problems.  Egypt's new government was supposed to give back to the people, but it appears that the people and the government are not yet balanced and some kinks still need to be worked out.  The Cairo Film Festival has always been quite politically active and this festival was supposed to have some work about last years revolution, but Egypt's Ministry of Culture is sponsoring this festival.  The problem with this sponsorship is that the festival is for the people, however the government is still in opposition against the people.

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Likelihood of Israel launching ground invasion in Gaza grows

Likelihood of Israel launching ground invasion in Gaza grows | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
GAZA CITY — The bombardment seemed nearly constant: more than 250 airstrikes that blew out windows, peppered buildings with shrapnel and rattled nerves. But Gaza Strip residents said Israel's targets appeared chosen primarily to send a message.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Israeli-Palestinian confilct continues to heat up.  With more missle strikes on weapon depots and Hamas leaders, the efforts of Israel are definitely intended to weaken the strength of Palestinian military and send a message.  However, a ground assault in Gaza is becoming more probable as the days go on.  The problem with a ground assault is that it will produce Israeli casualties which could negatively impact Netanyahu's run for reelection in January.  In addition, if Hamas is to be overthrown then a more radical party or regime could take power and further endanger Israel.  As the pressure rises it is not certain what type of action Israel will take in order to preserve itself and defend from future problems.

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Registration drives outdo vote fraud at polls as election problem

Registration drives outdo vote fraud at polls as election problem | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — When elections officials in Palm Beach County , Fla., checked out a form indicating that Carlos Ferrer, 36, wanted a new voter ID, they knew something was wrong.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Voter fraud has become a very hot topic.  With the election drawing to a close and political activists becoming desperate, the chance of voter fraud or even registration fraud is greater than we think.  Trickery, manipulation, and lies are the name of the game.  From saying something to get people to unintentionally sign up for a cause or party they don't support to making new voter registrations that the actual person has no idea of.  Of course fraud is illegal, but this still continues, because of how hectic elections are.  Party leaders or extreme activists want to win and are willing to do anything.  Regulation of voter registration and voting is increasing, so hopefully fraud will be less prevalent in the future, but someone will always find a way around the system.

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Sen. Rand Paul laying groundwork for possible presidential run

Sen. Rand Paul laying groundwork for possible presidential run | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — If he runs for president, says Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), he wants to be considered on his own merits.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Senator Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, is begininning to lay the foundations of a possible bid for the presidency in the next election.  The Senator used to be greatly overshadowed by his father until his filibuster.  Since then, Rand Paul has been considered a conservative hero.  More interestingly, Rand Paul is not as radical as his father.  In fact, Rand Paul does not believe in abolishiing the Federal Reserve or legalizing marijuana.  Rand Paul is socially conservative, but still appeals to libertarians.  In addition, Rand Paul is asking that Republicans begin appealing to more demographics or else the party's future is bleak.  He also is bringinning out younger voter support as he starts putting his name on the map.

I believe Rand Paul is extremely to Marco Rubio, because both of the senators are relatively moderate, but are still praised by Republicans.  Personally, these senators are leading Republicans into a new age for the party, one that appeals to minority voters and is less partisan.  I can only see good from them, because the less polarity there is in government, then the less divided it is.

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Justices give break to legal immigrants convicted of pot possession

Justices give break to legal immigrants convicted of pot possession | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has extended some leniency to legal immigrants who are convicted of having a small amount of marijuana, ruling that such a crime is not an “aggravated felony” that leads to deportation.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the federal government cannot deport a legal immigrant, unless the crime was an aggravated felony.  More specifically, the government must be sure the accused had a large amount of the drug and had sold the drugs in order to be qualified as an aggravated felony.  The Supreme Court made this decision based upon the Immigration and Nationality Act which states that non-citizens will be slated for deportation if they commit an aggravated felony.

The decision of this case has multiple impacts.  Firstly, possession of marijuana was already a federal crime, so if it is not considered an aggravated felony then is possession of marijuana constitutional?  Secondly, if drug dealers only distribute drugs in small quantities then is it not considered trafficking?  Finally, Georgia treats drug possession as a felony, so does this mean that state and federal laws are unbalanced?  I personally believe that if one has illicit drugs then it should be treated as a felony, because it is outlawed by the fedral government.  Also, if one posses drugs, then that person is in turn part of trafficking, because the U.S. does not legally sell it.  Therefore, I believe that by the Immigration and Nationality Act that possession of any amount of drugs is grounds for deportation.

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Fayyad’s Resignation Means Uncertainty for Palestinians

Fayyad’s Resignation Means Uncertainty for Palestinians | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
The resignation of the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister, Salam Fayyad, adds a layer of confusion to the already contentious Palestinian political scene.
Joseph Gray's insight:

With Fayyad's resignation, Palestine's future is becoming more and more hazy as problem after problem continue to pile on.  Fayyad was the prime minister of Palestine for six years and led the country so that it could develop as a competant and self-sustaining nation that could cooperate with other nations.  However, the people and Hamas are leaning towards Islamic-extremist ideals.  These beliefs make it impossible for any form of ensured peace between Israel and Palestine, thus making aid from the U.S. and the European Union nonexistant.  Fayyad's retirement was caused by relentless criticism from Fatah officials who accuse him of the financial crisis.  

Fayyad's retirement is dark news, because it only means that a moderate and reliable Palestine is still unforseen.  With Hamas being a classified terrorist organization, weak leadership within the Palestinian government, and a strong push for extremism, peace could be just dream, because in order for the violence between Israel and Palestine to end, Palestine needs to start having more moderate views and policies.

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Health Law Provision for Small Business Is Delayed

Health Law Provision for Small Business Is Delayed | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Because of what the Obama administration called “operational challenges,” most small companies that buy insurance through an exchange will offer workers just one option next year.
Joseph Gray's insight:

Healthcare provided by small businesses has taken a hit, so that it will take even longer, possibly till 2015, before employees can choose health insurance programs from their employer.  Currently, only big businesses can provide this privilege to their employees.  The Obama administration had hoped that small businesses will be able to have this opportunity as well, so that employees can have the health care plans they need while also saving employers the cost.  However, small businesses will soon have an exchange program where they will choose employee health insurance and be able to pay for everything in a lump sum to save time and money, but this still does not help the worker.

Small businesses have always had a disadvantage against larger ones and this may cause many workers to leave and start working for big businesses, because they will receive more benefits.  If employees are to start leaving their old jobs then the economy will take a huge hit as many small businesses begin to close down, while at the same time when big businesses reach their maximum employment capacity then the unemployment rate will also rise.  Hopefully all workers can soon have a level playing field.

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Cyber-crime tops threats to U.S., intelligence chief says

Cyber-crime tops threats to U.S., intelligence chief says | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON - Iran has made progress toward developing nuclear weapons capability, Al Qaeda sympathizers are resurgent across North Africa and the Middle East, and the U.S.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The U.S. faces more threats from cyber warfare than from any other attack.  However, these cyber attacks are not likely to come from large countries or powers, butt instead from small interest groups.  The threat of cyber warfare is great in that if one part goes down then a whole domino effect will occur that could cripple many industries within the U.S.  This danger will cause our government to begin to make more safeguards and regulations regarding cyber technology.  The problem occurs when these saftey nets and regulations interfere with the citizen's right to information and expression.  The terrain of cyber technology is largely unexplored and in the U.S. our protections from cyber attacks are not as strong as many would like.

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Republicans revisit Medicare reform to cut spending

Republicans revisit Medicare reform to cut spending | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Fired up as once-unimaginable spending cuts start to slice the federal budget, Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaign — resurrecting the party's cost-cutting plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like...
Joseph Gray's insight:

The budget battle rages on as Representative Ryan begins to unfold his budget plan.  With expected cuts and sequestration, the need for a budget is dire.  However, Ryan's plan goes against the Republican plaform of not messing with Medicare.  This will cause many Republicans to not support the bill.  In addition, Democrats will most likely remain partisan as well.  This is all just another example of partisan politics on both sides as the parties refuse to come together.  With funds running low and time running short, a plan is needed, but not many are in sight.  A Republican move to reform Medicare may hurt them in future elections, by losing the senior vote, in addition to the female votes they have already lost.  Politicians must now choose between the budget and future votes, which only means more stagnant politics.

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Politics in Bangladesh Jolted by Huge Protests

Politics in Bangladesh Jolted by Huge Protests | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Thousands demonstrated again on Tuesday in Dhaka, fueled by anger over a recent ruling by the country’s special war crimes tribunal that they say was too lenient.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Awami League, the leading party of Bangladesh, is facing heavy burdens as protesters demand that Abdul Mollah have a heavier punishment for his crimes.  Convicted of mass murder and rape and sentenced to life in prison, Mollah is a leader of the Jamaat party.  The protesters demand that he have the death penalty, while at the same time the Jamaat party is accusing the government of trying to wipe out their party.  The Awami League is in a difficult situation in that it is facing speculation from all sides no matter what it does.  The protests were fueled by bloggers and social media which caused massive protests for several days.  These protests have the potential of breeding a new view of government in Bangladesh, a more violent one.  It is unclear how the League will react, but it is certain that the country's bloody history still has a strong grasp around its throat.  Another interesting point is that social media has sparked yet another outcry by the people.  As the power of social media affected government in Arab countries, it is now taking influence in Asia.

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The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics

The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
The interplay between politics, the military and veterans is a complicated subject matter, writes Tim Hsia who is in the Army Reserves as an R.O.T.C. instructor at Santa Clara University.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The military is a huge and crucial part of American government, or any government for that matter.  However, veteran involvement in government is dwindling.  In fact, mention of military experience by those who are veterans is not as common as many think.  This can be correlated to fears within the government and public of too much military power, for example Eisenhower's warning of the military industrial complex.  Another factor, is that not many WW2 veterans remain who have a drive to be in politics, but Vietnam veterans can still be found in the House and Senate.  John Kerry is a Vietnam vet who was just nominated to be Secretary of State.  Veterans still have a huge influence in politics though, because of their importance and sacrifice, so they will always be held close to the heart, but whether we will see veterans as representatives in another question.  Maybe when the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan become older we will see a jump in veteran representatives.

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Obama knocks GOP over debt ceiling, says US not a 'deadbeat nation' - The Hill's On The Money

Obama knocks GOP over debt ceiling, says US not a 'deadbeat nation' - The Hill's On The Money | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
President Obama at a Monday press conference demanded that Congress raise the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The debates over the debt ceiling seem to never end.  This is due to polarized politics that have created adversarial government between the branches and withing the legislature.  As Democrats and the President push for a raise in the debt ceiling, the Republicans push against it and demand cuts.  This tug-of-war is only delaying the inevitable of economic failure, because a budget needs to be made in order to sustain a functioning national economy.  The political game has got out of hand and it's time for the federal government to work together.  Divided we fall.

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Drugs and Politics Stoke Ireland Gang War

A well-known crime figure was shot dead in Dublin this week in the latest gangland killing to afflict the Irish capital. Police are linking the murder to an underworld war involving dissident Republican militants.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The drug war in Ireland is heating up as gangs and Real-IRA members compete for power and control of the drug trade in Ireland.  It can be seen that Russian mobsters are starting to become involved in the struggle.  The political significance of this drug war is that the fight for Ireland is still alive and well.  The Republic of Ireland and other countries consider the IRA to be a terrorist organization, yet why do they still exist?  Simply put, problems for independence still exist.  The IRA wants control of Northern Ireland still and the use of drugs to fuel the movement economically could have impacts that cannot be forseen.  As the drug war continues, political tension also increases.  With the rise of violence and a government that can't seem to bring peace, another uprise could be possible.  The effectiveness of the Republic of Ireland is now being called into question.

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Syria Assails Foreign Support for Rebels

Syria Assails Foreign Support for Rebels | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
Syria’s information minister accused France, Turkey and Qatar of supporting “terrorism” in Syria by extending diplomatic recognition to a new opposition coalition.
Joseph Gray's insight:

The Syrian conflict draws more and more people in everyday.  With a death toll of over 40, 000 people the conflict seems as if it will never end.  Syria is now accusing that foreign aid to rebels is the an act of supporting terrorism and the rebel group is not recognized in meetings or talks for an end to conflict.  Syria's constant oppostion to true peace talks is only ruining their own legitimacy as a government and putting more lives at risk.  Iran is continuing support of Syria, while Israel and Syria exchange fire briefly.  If opposition continues this way, the Syrian conflict could become much larger than we can imagine.

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China’s Communist Party Expels Bo Xilai

China’s Communist Party Expels Bo Xilai | Government Timeline | Scoop.it
The party’s Central Committee endorsed the expulsion of Bo Xilai, who had been a contender for one of the party’s highest positions until his spectacular fall this year.
Joseph Gray's insight:

China is starting to take action against government corruption by expelling two party leaders who took part in bribes and scandals, Mr. Bo and Mr. Liu.  As the world now has access to a plethora of information and is able to learn and discover things that many governments want hidden, the governments of the world now need to clean themselves up and storp corruption in order to remain in legitimate power.  China is now on the road towards ending government and business corruption.  In addition, the Central Committee appointed two generals to vice chairmen of the military commission.  As China cleans up politics, we can see they are also becoming more militarized.

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