International News (January)

Hope Sanders, Graphic Editor


The Qatar-based international media outlet Al Jazeera is planning to purchase Current TV, the news channel co-founded by Al Gore in 2005. The move is an effort to increase Al Jazeera’s U.S. audience. A representative for Al Jazeera recently told PBS that both the organization and Current TV share the common “mission to give voice to those who are not typically heard.”




Recently the UN has announced that an estimated 60,000 people have died since the beginning of the Syrian uprising against current President Bashar al-Assad. The revolts began in March, 2011.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Naiv Pillay explained that the statistic may not be entirely accurate because the situation in Syria is complex and “we have not been allowed inside Syria since…March 2011.” Furthermore, Pillay noted that the high death count should be regarded as a “minimum” number of casualties, and that it should be assumed more have passed due to the unrest and violence.



South Korea

South Korea has recently elected its first female president, Park Geun-hye. France 24 reports that she intends to “heal a divided society.” Park is perhaps best known as the daughter of the nation’s former military ruler, Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country for 18 years.




In an effort to support domestic adoption, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning United States citizens from adopting Russian children. According to the Human Rights Watch, the law also “imposes new restrictions on nongovernmental organizations…that have certain ties to the United States.” In accordance, Putin has also approved an order supporting adoptions within Russia by “simplifying adoption procedures” and improving the foster care system. Putin’s initial law banning foreign adoption has not been well received by internal officials. Olga Golodets, Russia’s deputy prime minister on social issues, claimed that the law “violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international treaties.”



Saudi Arabia

In an age where technology has become a symbol of freedom and civil disobedience, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken advantage of such innovations to further suppress women’s rights. The country now uses a system that automatically sends Saudi men notifications via text messages that their wives leave the country. This is an expansion of current regulation mandating that women must have permission from their husbands to travel abroad.




Recently French troops have entered Mali in coalition with local troops in an effort to combat Islamist rebels. The Malian Captain Monate recently told FRANCE 24 that “French and Malian troops…will move into Tumbuktu and continue retaking the North of the country.” The French militant campaign in Mali began on January 11 after “Islamists captured a central town and threatened to advance on the capital, Bomako.” The rebel group in question has been identified as the Movement for Unification and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which has been linked to Al-Qaeda.