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Week in Review

  • Negotiations for an agreement for action on the problem of global climate change began as a UN-led summit opened in Copenhagen, Denmark this week. The summit will continue until December 18. At issue is how much financial support wealthy developed countries should give to developing nations to aid their efforts and what the target reduction of greenhouse emissions should be. Summit homepage.
  • Debate continued in the U.S. Senate over a healthcare reform bill. Opponents of healthcare reform tried to insert a provision that would prevent public funds from being used for pregnancy termination but it was defeated, Christian Science Monitor. The Senate will continue debate as they try to get a bill that can be passed. The Senate bill will need to be reconciled with the bill from the House of Representatives and then that bill must be signed by President Barack Obama to be put into law.
  • Students used the occasion of a scheduled state-sponsored day of demonstration to protest the current government on college campuses in Iran on Monday.  The protests are usually brief, but they show that support for he reform movement is still strong, Times Online.
  • Iraq’s government moved to go forward on planning elections for 2010. Opponents of the current government, staged a massive attack on Tuesday, using car bombs to strike 5 sites in Baghdad, including government and military buildings. 127 people died in the bombings and hundreds were injured. Lieutenant General Abboud Qanbar, Baghdad’s security chief, was removed from his position after the attack, Times Online. Who is counting the bodies in Baghdad?, BBC News.
  • In a small bit of uplifting news, the story of a dog that survived Tuesday’s attack despite being chained to the roof of one of the buildings that was bombed, Daily Mail.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama picked up his Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, despite criticism that he had not done enough to earn it. Obama accepted the prize with “humility” and used the occasion to defend war as an instrument in the pursuit of peace.  Transcript of Obama’s speech, Associated Press.
  • Thursday, December 10, was Human Rights Day, a day that marked the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A look back at human rights in 2009 from Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera.
  • After violent protests, India announced that it will separate part of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh into a new state to be called Telangana. Calls for Telangana to become its own state date back 50 years, BBC News.

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