Emily Tysinger
British Airways Braces for Second Strike
British Airways continues a walk out over poor pay and working conditions. The walk out was started by the union Unite however the Union did say that they were “open to talk to B.A. anytime, anyplace, anywhere” and without any conditions. British Airways said the first walkout had required it to cancel more than a third of its flights at a cost of around £7 million, or $10.4 million, each day. The strikes continue with as of yet no end in sight, if anything the workers are becoming even stronger in their disatisfaction and will continue until they have what they want.
This is occurring at the same time that Gordon Brown is dealing with the rail strikes. As the strikes continue the Airway companyy continues to loses money. They cannot afford to lose money because tehy are already facing troubles because of the reccesion.

Emily Tysinger
Gordon Brown intervenes to put brakes on rail strike
The two major railway stations in Great Britian found themselves at odds causing great worry in the eyes of Gordon Brown. Brown urged the two railways to come to a resolutiuon inorder to prevent the first major railway strike in 16 years. Railway workers have already announced a four day strike starting April 6th, which will leave millions of commuters out of luck of transportation. The railways are frustturated at the pay and benefit cuts and want the people resposible for such things to know about it. Edmund King, the AA president, said: "The day after Easter bank holiday Monday would normally be one of the busiest days on the road and this strike threatens to add to congestion and chaos." A spokesman for Network Rail said all 3.5 million rail passengers would be adversely affected by the strike, with commuters in London and the south-east worst affected.
Annalysis: This article shows how important transportation is to the running of the country. Transportaion also effects the econmomy. Millions of people use the britsh railways to commute every day. If the railways are shut down then people cannot get to work which effects their pay as well there is less productivity. Also blocked railwyas would lead to congested road ways which would also have an adverse affect for workers.
This is comming at a crucial time because great Briatin has been hit hard by the reccession and cant afford to threaten anything remotley todo with the economy.
Emily Tysinger
Britain Expels Israel Diplomat Over Fake Passports
Britain officials expelled an Israeli diplomat due to the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used
12 fake britsh passports which are linked to the assasination of the Hammas leader in a Dubai hotel earlier this year. The British foreign secretary David Miliband said that Israel was behind the misuse of passports and commented that the actions of Israel were "intolerable." Israel was surprised and shaken at the expulsion but only made a small stament of regret. There is some evidence though that the diplomat in Britain was infact involved in the murder, and is a member of the Israeli overseas spy agency.
Annalysis: This could be potentially very harmful and British Israeli realtions are important to both the U.K and Israel. However this was not the first tricky spot that Israel has been in this month. Earlier in march Netanyahu embarassed VP Biden on his visit by announcing 1,600 new housing developments in Eastern Jerusalem.
Emily Tysinger

British Plan to Raise Taxes and Debt Sets Off Political Sparring
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has laid out a plan for more than $1 trillion in deficit spending which would increase taxes and public debt. Economist predict that the British economy will sink lower then it has since 1945. Britain continues down in the recession. The GDP debt will rise to 68% in 2010 and 70% by 2013, while this is not as sever as the United States some think that if the resession continues longer then the plan can sustain teh Britain faces a run on the pound. This plan has led to political sparring between Gordon Browns Labour party and David Camerons Conservative party, which comes at a very crucial time because elections are to be held this spring. Cameron described the Brown cabinet as “a government of the living dead,” and said it was “running out of money, moral authority and time.”
This is similar to what the United States is going through. We are facing even greater debt but people begin to freak out when teh threat of rising taxes knocks on their doors.
It is also interesting how this gives Cameron another way to get even further ahead in the poles. While Brown hasto make important and difficult desicions that are often unpopular, Cameron is able to build off of those desisions and spin them in his favor.

Hailey Johnson
Britain expels Israeli diplomat over Dubai passport row
The British foreign secretary David Milliband believes and is willing to act on allegations that British passports were forged and made to look like real British passports for Israelis who apparently were directly involved in the murder of the Hamas leader, who was murdered in a Dubai hotel in January. Israel still claims that they had nothing to do with the murder, but Milliband says that it was highly likely that the Israeli secret service was involved and that there is evidence that real passports of actual British citizens were copied, forged, and replaced with pictures of Israelis. The British are currently investigating and looking into how the passports were obtained. On the other side of the conflict, a spokesman for the Palestinian Hamas group said it welcomed the decision to expel the diplomat but wanted international efforts to track down the killers stepped up.
The British government is taking this matter very seriously. This is a huge issue for them. Not only were British passports forged, but these British citizens whose passports were used for the cloning have been violated. It will be a very long time before the issue is straightened out and before they can use them again. But most of all, Great Britain was taken advantage of and used for another countries' dirty business where they had in know way ever wanted to be.

Alexis Xenakis

NHS in confidential data blunder in Cambridgeshire

Summary: Recently the NHS sent out letters to patients 15 and a half years of age and older in England in a plan to inform patients about the Summary Care Record programme. Some NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have made aware that, in a small number of cases, more than one patient letter has been placed in an envelope. These letters contain information about which surgery the person attends and their NHS number. Although some people may recieve a letter belonging to somebody else, the NHS "would like to reassure people that the letters contain no medical information. Furthermore, it should be emphasised that no-one will be able to accesss medical records a a result of this issue". A review is now taking place as to tighten procedures and implementation of further "safeguards".
Analysis/Comparison: This is a matter of lack of careful procedural following. Although some workers of the NHS made a mistake, the NHS "remains committed to patient safety" thus it is "taking all data security breaches seriously and encouraging organisations to report any breaches to them". All those whose NHS numbers were sent to another patient will recieve a letter of apology and reassurance that nothing will happen as a result of their numbers being leaked. The NHS is acting with "good practice".

Alexis Xenakis
Police 'took time examining baby' at Stoke mosque
Summary: Early Saturday morning, March 6, 2010, somebody put a baby on the front steps of Makki Masjid mosque in Shelton, Stroke-on-Trent. When police arrived they were greeted with a package. Officers neglected to examine the package. They later discovered the package was actually a baby placed inside a newsagent's carrier bag. The newborn was believed to be premature, between 36 and 38 weeks, and has a Staffordshire Newsletter newspaper wrapped around him. He was also wrapped in some white cloth and a t-shirt with a note tucked inside that read "please help bury him. Shukran". Shukran is the Arabic word for thank you. A trustee of the mosque, Mohammed Akhbar said that when police arrived they began cordoning off the street. It was only fourty-five minutes to an hour later that the package was examined. Because there was no movement, officers stated, it was assumed the baby boy was dead. Police were called at about 10:30 am. The baby boy was taken to University Hospital of North Staffordshire at about 11:30 am. An hour after that, at 12:30 pm, the child was pronounced dead, dispite tremendous efforts of the hosital's medical teams. "They just took it as fact that he was dead" Mr. Hussain, a religious teacher at the mosque and initial discoverer of the package, said. "Nobody pulled back the cloth from the face of the baby for about 45 minutes. They didn't call an ambulance or a coroner or anyone to check. They were too busy closing off the road and asking people if they had seen anything".
Analysis/Comparison: The state the baby boy was in when police entered the scene is questionable. He was left with a note that said "please help bury him" and the child did not move in his package during the 45 mintue time span police did not examine him. However, the child was officially pronounced dead after 2 hours of police observance. The police are reluctant to admitting their mistake of not examining the mysterious package left on the steps which turned out to be a newborn child. They instead are being investigated to see if their inital actions followed procedure. It would not be surprising if after this incident, police procedures in Stroke changed so as to not experiance another saddening experiance like this one.

Hailey Johnson

Gordon Brown Apologises to Child Migrants Sent Abroad


The years between the 1920s and the 1960s many child orphans who had lost their parents were shipped off to various countries of the Common Wealth of Nations. These children were told that when they got to these countries, mainly Australia and Canada, that they would have a better life. 130,000 children between the ages of three and fourteen left the United Kingdom. Many of these children were lied to about their parents and were abused physically and sexually by the people who were supposed to be taking care of them. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK has finally made an official apology to all child migrants for the first time in British history, "We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back."And we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard, their cries for help not always heeded. And we are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved."
The United Kingdom is the only country with a sustained history of child migration. Nick Clegg and David Cameron both commented on Brown’s apology and agreed that Brown spoke for all of the British government and members of the house and were very proud that someone finally apologized. Until now, no British prime minister has ever delivered an official apology, despite repeated demands from victims' groups. Most Commonwealth countries have already apologized to the child victims for their country’s part of the immigration.

Hailey Johnson
Pupils Fall Below Writing Targets

A Scottish Survey of Achievement results show performance steadily declines after primary three when almost all are achieving what is expected at that age. Schools in Scotland up until grade 5 are at or above their reading and writing levels. But after this grade, the test scores are beginning to decline and even worsen, and now only about one third of the students in grades after 5 are meeting expectations. Researchers said reading levels had been largely static since 2005. The survey also shows that girls are performing better than boys in reading generally.The study also found that pupils from less deprived areas were about twice as likely to be at the expected by grade 2.
The Scottish government is saying that their education system is working, but the survey shows that they need to give attention to particular areas of study. Statistics like this are becoming more common throughout the western world. Children are spending more time with television and computers than reading.

Hailey Johnson
Hydrogen taxi cabs to serve London by 2012 Olympics

London's deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse, announced that by 2012, in time for the summer Olympic games that the city will be hosting, there will be hydrogen powered taxies and buses running through the city. There are plans for at least six hydrogen filling stations that the buses and taxis will use. The hydrogen taxis will look exactly like a typical black London taxi cab. The newly devoloped taxi gets to it’s top speed of 81mph, and has a range of more than 250 miles on a full tank of hydrogen. Like all electric vehicles, the new taxi does not produce any emissions from its tailpipe but, unlike battery-electric cars, it will only take a few minutes to fill up from empty. People will not be able to tell the difference between the traditional London cab from the new cab, other than there will be no emissions from it, it is only different under the hood.
Hydrogen cars, cabs, and buses have been a dream of many vehicle manufactures in the past. With the promise of the cabs and buses in time for the 2012 Olympics and technology at the time, major car companies such as Daimler, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota are making a deadline for themselves to have their hydrogen powered cars on the market for sale by 2015, with Lotus leading the way in technology.

Alexis Xenakis
Government loses torture appeal
Summary: In 2002 Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, 31, was captured in Pakistan and sent to detention. Mohamed was held by Pakistani interrogators at the behest of the United States, who suspected him of having received firearms and explosives training from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. While in detention Mohamed suffered treatment ruled by the Court of Appeal judges in England and Wales as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” even though the government stood firmly against torture. Mohamed was intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation, threats and inducements, including playing on his fears that he would be passed on to another country. Judges ruled Mohamed’s case to be released as public record despite efforts made by the foreign secretary to stop the disclose of this secret information relating to Mohamed’s torture. The seven paragraph summary of what the CIA told their British intelligence officials about Mohammed’s treatment is now published on the Foreign Office website.
Analysis/ Comparison: One of the main concerns about Mohamed’s case was the discrepancy over whether or not the United Kingdom has permission to reveal intelligence that the United States passes on in confidence. There were two determining factors linked to the release of this information. First, the courts held that the seven paragraphs described criminally ill-treatment, rather than critical matters of national security. Second, the Obama White House has been declassifying material that covered United States actions after September 11, 2001. The question that lies in the hands of lawyers now is: What were the rules in 2002 for British intelligence officers who discovered a terrorism suspect being ill-treated in another nation.

ID Cards in London
Cullin MoranSummary: 16 to 24-year-old Londoners are being offered the opportunity to purchase a identity card for £30. When traveling within Europe, the card can be used in place of a passport. It can also be used at shops and bars as a proof of age. 3,500 people have signed up so far. By 2014/2015, 90% of foreign nationals in the country will be required to carry an ID card issued by the British government. London is home to about one million non-EU residents, and approximately 1 in 7 people in London will be forced to carry a card. Analysis/Comparison: Though the card does provide the bearer with many conveniences, it also lets the government know all about them. This reminds me of how the American government forces people to register for selective service if they want federal student loans. In fact, I just signed up for it (ugh). Once you register for something like this, the government knows a lot about you (where you live, if you are fit to serve in the military, etc), which is a bit of a scary concept in my opinion.

UK Economy Emerges from Recession
Jacob Carl

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8479639.stm
Summary: What started out as the longest lasting recession in the Uk since 1951 ended this year. It had grown by a mere 0.1% in three months. The country was one of the last major economic powerhouses to pull itself out of the recession. All the major powerhouses including France, Germany and the US were able to come out of the recession some time last summer. The country took a major hit towards its use of the pound. The recession had begun in April of 2008 and was said to be the longest recession in recorded history. The country is planning to help boost the economy by helping to preserve interest rates and reinforce the consumer confidence. However the country is in no way doing well and Chancellor George Osborne stated that a " new model of economic growth" will be needed in order to completely recover from this recession.
Analysis/Comparison: It is a good sign that the UK has finally come out of the recession. The EU will be able to advance much better now that one of their biggest memebers is improving. This will help promote the world economy due to the fact that the EU makes up such a huge piece of the world market. This is a good sign that the world is finally coming out of such a long recession. The US will see better times due to the fact that the UK will be able to work together to promote a greater economy from now on.

Britain Moves to Ban Islamic Group
Caitlin Condina
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/europe/13britain.html
Britain recently decided that it was going to outlaw a radical Islamic group called, Islam4UK, for planning a protest march through a peaceful town. The town is famous for its ceremonies that honor British soldiers which died in Afghanistan.The ban was announced one day after a court found five British Muslim men guilty of harassment and using insulting language during a protest they had staged at a separate parade welcoming British troops home from Afghanistan. The men had shouted slogans describing the soldiers as “murderers,” “rapists” and “baby killers.” Alan Johnson, the British home secretary, said that criminalizing memebership of this group was a "Tough but necassary power to tackle terrorism." The ban also outlawed other names used by the organization. British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said he was “personally appalled” by the group’s plans to march through Wootton Bassett. This is a town about 70 miles west of London where residents have lined the streets for more than two years to pay respects to the passing hearses carrying the coffins of British soldiers flown home to a nearby military base. On their website the group said that the banning of the group was “a clear case of the oppressor and tyrant blaming the oppressed.” The march was basically to highlight the "atrocities" committed by British troops in Afghanistan. The group later scrapped their plans for the march, but they describe themselves as a platform for promoting the views of an extremist Islamic group, Al Muhajiroun, which praised the hijackers of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States as heroes, but disbanded in 2005 in response to a British government order banning it. Islam4UK claims to have never advocated or been involved with violence.
Analysis: The group claims to be a platform for promoting the views of an Islamic group, which praised the hijackers of Sept. 11, attacks. And yet this group also claims to not advocate or involve themselves in violence. It seems to me as though, promoting views of a group which SUPPORTED the Sept. 11th attacks on the U.S., is the same thing as advocating violence. Britains move to ban this group, was a reasonable move, which any country would have done. A group which supported the violence of Sept. 11th, would have trouble keeping the trust of the government, and with every right for the government to not trust them.

**Brown to Face Iraq Inquiry before General Election**Bradli Crump
Summary: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been called in by a special government inquiry to give evidence to why the decision to go into Iraq with English troops was approved and how it happened. Prior to a few weeks ago, the inquiry was looking to ask for evidence after the election date was set and passed by the Prime Minister to eliminate pressures for reelection and manipulation of the truth for public viewing. If Gordon Brown were to say something remotely embarrassing, it may damage his party's chances at the polling booths. This inquiry is also calling in former Prime Minister Tony Blair to speak and give evidence as to why he orchestrated and allowed UK involvement in Iraq. The Inquiry panel will not be issuing civil liability or punishment, as no laws were technically broken, but it will be giving out reprimands and giving the public the truth about where their sons and daughters went to fight and why. This, apparently, is the talk of the tiny island over teatime, because in truth, they have nothing better to do than waste money to find out things people already know.
Analysis: Really, UK? You all know why you went to war. The US was really mad with Saddam Hussein, and like most in NATO, you decided to help out your big-former-colony-economic-partner by pansying up with troops to the wants of the enraged American population. Though you were also the victim of many terrorist attacks orchestrated by the administration in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, you've always been involved in the affairs of the Middle East, because at one point you controlled most of it under your queen. Remember Israel? Yeah, you gave them their land pretty much, and irritated the Palestinians to no end back in the 50s and 60s. Now, you have to find someone other than your public to blame for what really you see was a bad idea. (Hindsight is always 20/20) I think its a shame you waste your time on such things, rather than taking it for what it is, taking the blame maturely, and moving on.
Comparision: Sadly, this seems like the kind of thing we would do in America. At the time, it seemed like a good, morally justified idea to go into the Middle East in the first place, to act as the police of the world. If you could prevent something terrible from happening, why wouldn't you? As with Iraq, we looked for nuclear weapons, but finding none, maddened the peoples, who started a movement called 'Anti-Americanism' and then led to problems like insurgent Taliban bombing some of the greatest American symbols. Now that the war has been demanded to end, the American public will look for someone or something to blame, and they've for the most part found it. In former President George W. Bush. My opinions vary on whether or not we should have gone into Iraq or Afghanistan, mostly because my peers are likely to not respect my views on either case, but using taxpayer dollars to make a formal-sounding 'inquiry' seems right up Political Backslidder Alley.
Wow. Re-reading that, I sound like Andy Rooney.
For this, I apologize most sincerely.

Alexis Xenakis
Title: Iraqi Killer Who Killed Two Doctors Wins Right to Stay in UK
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8477346.stm
Summary: In 1990 Laith Alani stabbed two NHS doctors, Kenneth Paton and Michael Masser, to death at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. 19 years after receiving his “command from Allah” the 41-year-old paranoid schizophrenic now poses a danger in his homeland. In 1991 Alani was sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment in a maximum-security unit at Rampton Hospital. He since then appealed the courts decision to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) where a panel led by senior immigration judge Lance Waumsley ruled he could remain in the UK.
Analysis/ Comparison: The reasoning for Alani’s rule to be allowed to remain in the UK was due to the fact that deportation would breach his human rights. If Alani were to be sent back to Iraq, BBC reported, he would unlikely receive the medication he needs to keep his mental illness in check. In the UK Alani will continue to receive his medication. And although he was discharged he will be under “intensive supervision” and care by doctors and mental health professionals. If Alani were to danger anybody around him, “the Secretary of State has the power to recall a conditionally discharged patient to the hospital immediately”. This article relates to the discussion we were having last Friday in class about human rights. The UK is upholding its signature on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, giving Alani, although a killer, the right to security of person (article 3) and recognition as a person before the law (article 6).

Iran rethinking relations with Great Britain

Summary: Teheran says "the ongoing attempts of Great Britain to affect the internal affairs in Iran," is greatly affecting their relationship with Great Britain. A draft bill is moving through Iran’s parliament that calls an end to relations between the two countries. It has already been signed by 36 Iranian parliamentarians and is now being looked over by the Iranian Parliament committee on foreign relations and security. Britain officials and diplomats have been expelled from the country.
Analysis: Iran is taking a significant and definitive step severing ties with Great Britain. They are, and always have been, a world power. The last six months have made Iran rethink their relationship. "Until now we cooperated with Great Britain in 10-12 different spheres. Currently we are scrutinizing this cooperation with the magnifying glass considering the events of last six months," said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Compare: In the recent past, Great Britain has made some controversial decisions along with the United States that have sparked some strong opinions from other countries. Iranian officials accused the West, and specifically Great Britain, of getting too involved in Iran’s internal affairs and overstepping their boundaries. In my opinion, most Western countries have overstepped their boundaries at some point, and often many times. Now, Great Britain is being accused of being behind demonstrations.

Laura PC
"Under starter's orders"
Summary: Preparation for Britain's elections are underway for 2010 and the actual vote for this year is most likely to take place in May. However, politicians have been campaigning for the upcoming election since last fall. At this point, campaign tactics and opinion polls are dominating the political discourse between the two major parties (Labour and Conservatives). There is a serious prospect of a hung parliament this year, as Labour is currently in control and the Conservatives needs a swing of seven percentage points in its favor. The majority parties are divided on the problems that the currently is dealing with, particularly those that are economic and fiscal. There is also uncertainty pertaining to the party leaders - David Cameron is able to shift the spotlight to some of his colleagues when representing the party, but Gordon Brown, the leader of Labour, has awful personal ratings and is viewed by many of the people as hopeless. Gordon Brown has had a hard time throughout his time as prime minister because his leadership has been threatened in numerous ways. He will be able to choose when the election takes place, and before that, there will be televised debates between Brown, Cameron, and Nick Clegg.
Analysis: Britain used to be known for its brief election campaigns, but obviously times have changed. Particularly recently, prime ministers have become more presidential and the general elections of Britain have evolved to be a lot more like ours. According to the article, the last time that the likely election outcome was this inconclusive was in 1974, when Britain was facing another economic, and also political crisis. Perhaps the reason for the change has to do with the current economic recession, but regardless, the election process is unfolding much differently from before. The two parties have naturally always been divided – they have different platforms and it is to be expected. However, at this point, the government itself is also divided about regulations and strictness when it comes to the elections. It’s hard to say what the outcome will be – I suppose we’ll all just have to wait until June.
Compare: Like I previously said, the election conflict in Britain is very similar to those that we have in the U.S. Our election tactics and campaigning methods have clearly rubbed off on other countries, including Britain. Additionally, both countries have been suffering from the economic recession. The divisions between the two parties are not uncommon, and are also manifest in other countries like Mexico, which has a large split between the PRI and the PAN parties. The Conservatives were in charge for a long time until Labour rose to power and took over with Tony Blair. Similarly, the PRI ruled for decades until Vicente Fox and the PAN took over in 2000. Only time will tell the outcome of Britain’s election, so one can only hope that the process isn’t too painful.

Kendyl Cole
UK shared intelligence in US airplane bombing
Summary: On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bomb the flight he was on from Amsterdam to Detroit. After further investigation into the case, it was discovered that Umar had been attending school at University College London. During his time in the UK, it was documented that " Mr Abdulmutallab had "multiple communications" with Islamic extremists in Britain during his student days". Despite opposition from the Prime Minister, UK officials claim that Umar's contact was known, but not shared with US officials. Abdulmutallab was put on a terrorist watch list and refused a visa in May. It has been confirmed that though Abdulmutallab made contact with radical Muslims while in the UK, he was trained once he arrived in Yemen. Gordon Brown defended his country saying, " There are a number of individuals who try and reach out to radicals and others, It does not necessarily mean they are going to be planning any specific action. Whatever he decided to do, he decided to do whilst he was out of the country". The UK has closed it's embassy in Yemen.
Analysis: I believe that this event occurred due to a failure in communication and airport security in both countries. Though Abdulmutallab tried to contact radical Muslims in the UK, I don't believe that the country can be blamed for this event. There should not have been such a lack of communication between the US and the UK, which further allowed this bombing to occur. If this man was on a terrorist watch list, it's nearly impossible for me to imagine how he was able to get through the airport with bombs strapped on him.
Compare: My last article was also about Muslim activity within Britain. Before this event, there was much animosity towards Muslims who lived in the UK. Even Muslims were having conflict with each other over who was representing their people the best. Now that this attempted bombing has occurred, I believe that the opinion towards Muslims in the UK will become much worse. Because Abdulmutallab came to the UK and attempted contact with radical Muslims, a new wave of fear will spread across the country. This event is only going to worsen the already controversial topic of Muslims in the UK.

George Beatty
Copenhagen climate summit: Gordon Brown demands 'highest possible level of ambition'
Summary: Thursday December 17, Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with world leaders to discuss the growing climate problem in the world as a cause of pollution. The leaders outlined plans in reducing emissions but there was no finalized plan. Gordon Brown told the British press that plans could take up to a year to be finalized before any official regulations are made to reduce pollution. One of the biggest concerns was the amount of pollution that is currently produced in the industialized world, especially china india and the united states. Al Gore was also at the summit to try and push the efforts on pollution control into effect. Unfortunalty the verdict remains that it could take a year to finalize plans
Analysis: The article went into detail about Gordon Brown and the role that he plays in contolling the pollution. A large portion of British citizens view Gordon Brown responsible for the difficulties that exist in the pollution and the climate. Great Britian was not on of the major contributers to the problem, but the people of Great Britan still want to see the problem disappear. Unfortuantly that will not happen if there isnt regulations placed on countries.
Comparison: Great Bitian compared to the rest of the 1st world is ahead on pollution control and the people emit less carbon then a majority of the countries that attended the summit. At the same time the entire first world creates almost all of the pollution that is hurting teh planet. This meeting was crucial to help solve the problem, but leaders can never agree so they push back plans to make a treaty and most likely will continue to do so for the ime being.

Jordan Thomas
UK Government Appeals to Not Allow Guantanamo Testimony to be Published
Summary: Binyam Mohamed, a former prisoner of Guantanamo bay, is requesting that the summary of how he was treated in the prison be released in the UK. He is claiming that UK assisted in his torture by providing questions and materials for the investigation. He and his lawyer are stateing that the world has the right to know what the government it really doing to it's detainees in secret prisons. The UK government's, mostly UK Foreign Secretary David Milliband's, argument is that releasing that summary would "seriously damage national security" by hurting the US's trust in the UK for releasing secret documents. David Milliband also said that it was beyond the courts power to to release the documents because it needs the US's permission.
Analysis: I find it interesting that, after the UK has existed for so long as a democracy, the powers of branches of government are still not concrete. However, even when there is a clash between governmental branches, both sides are approaching the issue democratically. The UK government is formally appealing to the Supreme Court instead of flat out not allowing the releasing of the documents. And the Supreme Court is hearing the government's appeal in a fair trial, instead of going against the government's will. This issue also brings up the issue of whether greater value should be placed on national security or human rights. Should Britain risk losing the US's confidence to reveal to the world the extent of torture in Guantanamo Bay? Britain's relationship with the US could be greatly hurt by the UK releasing secret documents without the US's permission, and I think this should be avoided, and the torture summary should be published informally through a testament by Binyam Mohamed.
Comparison: I think that an issue like this would not be as large a problem in Mexico. This is because the executive branch has enough power over the courts to out right not allow the summary to be released. Also, being less democratic, the Mexican government could more easily silence Binyam Mohamed's case against the government.

Tony Blair Attacked Over Iraq War ‘Justification’
Max Lewis
Summary. In recent news, there has been criticism over ex Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In an interview, Blair is asked about the war in Iraq. When discussing the the 2003 invasion, Blair expresses that he would still have invaded Iraq regardless of whether or not it was threatened to have weapons of mass destruction. He justifies this in a number of ways, with one of them being that the situation with their government would still be horrible. Leader of the UN search team for WMD Hans Blix says that "Saddam's removal was a gain but it's the only gain that I can see from the war.” This, he explains, was what he assumed was Blair’s ”convenient justification” for the invasion. Also, Blair is criticized with tailoring his arguments to fit the circumstances. Many people are upset with Blair’s comment, thinking that he is "struggling to find some moral high ground in order to justify the total farce of the Iraq invasion", as one father of a soldier puts it.
Compare/Analysis. This shows that there is still debate over the invasion in the UK, as there is in the United States. Also, it seems that this interview surprised a lot of the people in the UK, meaning there is still a lot of contraversey on the topic. In the United States, it is a very similar situation. However, it seems that there seems to be a greater feeling against the war and the invasion. Many people who are for the war also justify it by explaining that had we not invaded, we would not have captured Saddam Hussein.

Carolyn Motta
No arrests at anti-mosque protest
Summary: Protests have been formed against the presence of mosques in Great Britain as well as against the general Islamic faith. A new five story mosque is being designed and constructed and will be built next to the Station Road mosque. The SIOE, Stop Islamification of Europe, planned a peaceful protest against this constuction. Another 200 members of Unite Against Fascism also attended the protest. Luckily police were present to prevent them from approaching the mosque. In September, ten people were arrested on this site for protesting the same exact thing, but this time, there were no arrests.
Analysis/Compare: This story is pretty related to other stories in recent news. There have been many cases where Muslims have been discriminated against, especially in Europe. Other stories include the protesting of building minarets and mosques in Scotland and England, among other places. Although, this story does seem to be the cleanest of them all, as there was no violence and the protest seemed to actually be a peaceful one. The protest "passed without incident" according to a spokeswoman. The secretary general of the mosque urged Muslims not to respond to the protests and discrimination and "not to fall into the trap from those who clearly want to provoke you into an angry response".

Amelia Fisher

France Joins Britain in Move to Curb Big Bank Bonuses
Summary: France has agreed to join Britain in levying a tax on banking bonuses in a combined attempt to increase pressure on other nations, including the United States. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain met to discuss this bilateral agreement. They discussed issues of executive compensation with analysis and timelines. They tax would be the same as a 50 percent levy in France and Britain, but the tax in France might be slightly lower.
Analysis: This tax increase should increase pressure on other nations as well. Hopefully this could include Wall Street. Some major U.S. banks have been moving forward to change the way they have been awarding bonuses. This tax is intended to discourage the banks from issuing large bonuses in light of the harsh economic situation.
Comparison: Brown and Sarkozy’s relationship has been strained recently, so this is a sign they are moving on and making an effort to work together on a joint approach over bonuses. This issue has been on Sarkozy’s mind since last August. These bonuses were earned by government money intended to prop up banks and promote lending.

‘Lost Decade’ Feared for British Economy

Max Lewis

Summary. Britain’s economy is improving as time goes on, however, it is predicted that numbers will fall even lower in a few years. This is a pattern that has been seen with other countries as well, like Japan. Because of rising debt throughout British consumers, it is said that the tax base could collapse, which could further hurt the banking sector. Also, the banks have not been showing signs of profit throughout the year. It is called a Lost decade because, parallel to Japan’s economy, there was a decade of profit and growth, which was followed by problems with declining banks, meaning everything that was gained in the previous decade was lost. As the banks borrow more and more, it is predicted that the 175 billion pound of borrowing will be exceeded by next year, which would create dent of 13% in the GDP.
Analysis/Compare. With the high rates of people borrowing, and with the banks borrowing a lot of money as well, it can be seen that the British economy will fall over time. While this will wield short-term growth an prosperity, the long-term effects will be much worse, and to a much greater degree. With this ‘lost decade’, England will lose more than what it has gained within its ten years. Comparing this to Japan, like in the article, this lost decade situation is clearly not good. To this day, Japan is having problems with its banks, and still has not healed from their lost decade situation. I do not see the British economy getting better in the next few years; it says in the article that this type of situation has occurred for every 15 years since World War II. While it hasn’t gotten out of hand, it is something that needs to be handled before the situation flips and gets even worse.

Lindsay Kornegay
Tony Blair attacked over Iraq war 'justification'
Summary: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is being attacked for his recent statement on his entry into the war in Iraq. He said that he would have gone to war even if he had known there were no weapons of mass destruction there and that it was the possible capture of Saddam that ultimately pushed him to war. Various critics of Blair are outraged. Hans Blix, who was in charge of the UN team searching for the WMD said that Blair used them as a "convenient justification" for war. Others say that it is a mere ploy to soften up public opinion.
Analysis: I personally think it was very unprofessional of Blair to handle the situation in this way. Even a former leader cannot change his opinion on such an important matter. It will make the people doubt both him and the current prime minister and lead to a general distrust in the British government. One would think as a person of such a high role in British society he would have more common sense than that.
Comparison: The war in Iraq is a touchy subject for many of the world's leaders. They are constantly criticized for whatever they do, whether it be taking action or not taking action in the war. The decision to go to war is complicated and it is understandable that a leader may have difficulty in deciding what to do. However, once a leader makes a decision they need to stay stick with it and not make up excuses to make themselves more popular.

Laura PC
"UK boat crew held by Iranian navy"
Summary: Five men from the UK who were on their way to take part in a 360-nautical mile Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, were caught and detained by the Iranian navy. They were traveling on a yacht called the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Foreign Office says that they possibly "strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters." The British Embassy in Tehran is currently demanding that the five men be released but the Iranian navy continues to hold onto them. Also recently, the UK rejected Iran's plan to extend its nuclear program and Iran has felt "beleaguered over Western concerns about both its recent elections and its nuclear program." FCO officials are currently trying to resolve the issue and free the men as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Analysis: The most interesting point of this article is that the UK recently rejected Iran's plan to develop its nuclear program. It is quite possible that Iran had hard feelings about this incident, and ended up taking it out on the UK by detaining some of their citizens. According to the article, the five men were innocent and were just trying to get to a race, and they weren't trying to do anything illegal or suspicious. However, they seemed to get a little bit off course and end up somewhere they probably didn't mean to be, and it resulted in repercussions for them. Additionally, there have been other similar incidents to this in which people from the UK were held by Iran's Revolutionary Guard and other groups. In both incidents, the Britons were accused of being in Iranian territory, although both groups claimed to be in Iran's. It's clear that there's some tension between the UK and Iran, and it will be interesting to say how this plays out in the future.
Countries all over the world have to deal with tension and conflict between themselves and other countries, neighboring or not. I've never heard about any sort of conflict between the UK and Iran, but there obviously is some and it seems to have stemmed from the UK not allowing Iran to do certain things. This can be compared to Turkey's control over Cyprus, a territory that Turkey is insistent on controlling. Turkey has prevented Cyprus from fully being its own country. This has created a lot of resentment from the small territory of Cyprus and in turn, problems and tension between the two countries.

Kendyl Cole
Tory Muslim peer pelted with eggs
The Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury was named Britain's most powerful Muslim woman by the Power List. In her recent visit to a majority Muslim part of Lutton, she was confronted by a group of Muslim men and argued with. The Baroness had a film crew with her at the time when a group of men vocalized their problems with her. They believed that the Baroness was " not being a proper Muslim and supporting the death of Muslims in Afghanistan". The men then threw eggs at her.
These men seemed to believe that the Baroness was not a proper Muslim, and did not agree that she should represent the British Muslim's as a whole. Obviously, the most logical way to show their true feelings was to throw eggs at her. I believe that in fact, these men are the ones causing much dispute against Muslims in Britain. Baroness Warsi told the BBC that the men were "idiots who did not represent the majority of British Muslims". I think it's very honorable that the Baroness did not simply walk away when the men began to confront her, but she argued with them and didn't back down. The simple fact that people have regressed to throwing food at other people they dislike, religion put aside, is very concerning to me. Acts like these have previously occured in Britain, but not since the Middle Ages. The role of Muslim's in Britain is a very touchy and controversial subject these days, and this event may have made it even worse. The act of these men may have further fueled anti-muslim feelings in Britain.

Amelia Fisher
'Lost Decade' Feared for British Economy
Although it appears Britain is emerging from its recession, some people fear it is not as stable as it might appear. The monetary policy committee of the Bank of England is expressing concerns that Britain’s economy could follow in the footsteps of Japan’s economy during the 1990s. Nonetheless, there has been an increase in retail sales, less unemployment, and an increase in exports. There are worries that these are just cover ups of a more flawed economy that first realized.
Analysis: Better safe than sorry is the motto here, in that Britain cannot be too cautious when it comes to their economy. They should not act like they are out of the recession and take precautionary steps in case things start to go downhill again. Just because the economy is recovering, doesn’t mean it is even close to being fixed. The banking sector is still weak, as well as taxes. The policy of quantitative easing can help this transition to “inject liquidity into the economy.” There is still potential for stagnation.
Comparison: Britain had over 10 years of booming growth, just like Japan, which was led by real estate investments and bank lending. Because these comparisons have been made, policy makers in Great Britain have been using fiscal and monetary levers to prevent what happen to Japan during the 1990s. Comparisons with Japan have been made in the United States as well, but it seems Great Britain is mirroring the economic events almost exactly, especially in the banking sector.

Jordan Thomas
Schools Secretary Wants to Reduce School Spending
Summary: British Secretary of Schools Ed Balls is pushing schools to reduce energy use in order to save the country an approximated 75 million pounds. He proposes school do this through the decreased use of energy on heating and lighting. The new “smart meters” he hopes to install at every school would tell people how much electricity the building is using at that moment so that they can judge how to change their energy use. The state would also provide free advise on electricity use to permanently change the peoples’ electricity use behavior.
Analysis: In general I think this is a good idea for Britain and would also benefit America if implemented here. It would help the taxpayers by reducing the amount the taxes they pay for public schools. Also, it would greatly reduce Britain’s carbon footprint by decreasing the burning of coal to create electricity. The best part is that the schools aren’t losing much at all with the decreased use of electricity. They are just going to learn not to waste electricity, not go to a cold and dark school. That is why this would benefit American schools as well because American school often waste a lot of energy, increasing their need for funding,
Comparison: Because the American economy is facing many the same recession as Britain is, many companies and people here are also trying to streamline their expenditures. For example, there is a high demand from the public for a cheap and environmentally friendly car. This is because many can’t afford luxurious cars, and also want to face the problem of global warming.

Carolyn Motta
Vigil after Muslim graves damaged
Summary: Sometime between November 20th and 23rd, about 20 Muslim graves were damaged, most likely because of racial issues. In September, more graves and headstones were vandalized and destroyed on multiple occasions. Many people were affected by these devastating acts across Manchester, where the graves are located. In response to this more recent attack, a vigil was held in Manchester for those people that were most upset about the graves and headstones. About fifty people attended this vigil, in hopes to "build unity and solidarity" in the community. Mark Krantz, from the Chorlton Unite Against Fascism group, said that these acts were committed to stir up hatred and anger among the Muslim community, but the vigil was started to create the opposite reactions. Another person from the Chorlton Central Church expressed her disbelief and discontent with the occurrences: "When you go to visit loved ones at a grave you are already in a distressed state. Even worse to then find the desecration."
Analysis: I think the response taken by the community of Manchester after these attacks were a step in the right direction. It was terrible that this has happened at least three times in the past two months, but things are getting done in order to repair the situations. I think a lot more could possibly be done to prevent these types of things, like increasing security around Manchester, especially around the cemeteries and such, but until then, holding vigils is a good way to improve the relations with the Manchester natives and the Muslims. The vigils and other response ceremonies are a way of uniting against hatred and racism, and hopefully, the vandals will realize what effects they are having on the community.
Compare: There are acts of racism all over the country, every single day. It's really sad how unaccepting people can be to other races of people, religions, affiliations, or sexual preference. However, nonetheless these kinds of things happen everyday, especially in the United States. The US has been known for its cultural diversity, but sometimes even more known for its racism and discrimination against other races and religions.

George Beatty
Rwanda joins the Commonwealth
Summary: This sunday Rwanda was officially exepted into the Commonwealth by the United Kingdom. They had been lobbying to become apart of the commonwealth for the past several years and they were finally recognized. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has lobbied hard for his country to join the Commonwealth as part of a policy of moving towards the Globalizes world and away from the influence of France. They are only the second country in history to be excepted in the Commonwealth that was not at one point under British rule. After the official announcement France and Rwanda agreed to resume foreign relations with one another, according to a spokesman for France's President Nicolas Sarkozy. Relations between the two countries have been difficult since the 1994 genocide that French forces carried out the killings, but Paris has repeatedly denied the charge. The Commonwealth faced criticism from Freedom Right activists, who claim that the this promotes further mistreatment of the local population.
Comparison: There is no organization in the world quite like the Commonwealth, which ties countries together based on the colonial history of a mother country. It is an extremely controversial group that some say promote British ideals on smaller countries. Regardless, Rwanda asked for the acceptance into the large group of nations mainly to help stabilize its economy by increasing trade options and military ties. Now that it has recieved admission into the group there will be many benefits to follow since Rwanda is a third world country, any aid from a country such as the UK would greatly benefit its people. This is the best option for the Rwandan government since it promotes ties to other developed nations rather than the AU which is all within Africa. There will be more opportunities given then with other alliances, which will positivly influence Rwandas quality of living.
Analysis: The United Kingdom upholds its history and culture by providing for the countries that it once ruled over. Upholding a commonwealth has promoted the alliance between the United Kingdom and the countries that it has influenced throughout history. Presently this alliance has benefited the developing countries more so than the United Kingdom, but at the same time the UK feels responsible for the hardships that many of the countries are going through and the Commonwealth isnt necessarily a way out, but it is a sign of stability for some of the more fragile countries.

Kendyl Cole
Afganistan 'not war without end'
Summary: The UK's foreign secretary, David Milliband, has recently said that he believes the war in Afghanistan will be fought and won. Despite his optimism on the subject, he urges NATO to keep this war as a high priority, because if it is abandoned than the Taliban will easily regain power. The foreign secretary said that, "military and civilian resources had to be aligned behind a clear political strategy", in order for more forces to be sent to the middle east. There is hope that an increase of soldiers in Afghanistan will boost the hopes of the people living there, encouraging them to resist Taliban influence. Many Afghans fear that the world will tire of their war and the Taliban will gain power once more, punishing all of those who "collaborated with the government". The UK is willing to send 500 more soldiers, on top of the 9,000 that are currently deployed, if other NATO countries send in a collaborative 5,000 soldiers.
Comparison/Analysis: In the past, citizens of the UK have not been very supportive of the war in the middle east. Tony Blair lost a lot of favor during his term because of his decision to involve the United Kingdom so heavily in the war. Since then, the UK has taken many troops out of Afghanistan, only 9,000 currently deployed there, but will this new request for more soldiers cause controversy? Are 500 soldiers even worth having a possible conflict over? I believe that this decision could possibly effect Gordon Brown's chances of re election, even though they are already rather slim. The war in Afghanistan does need to be fought and the Taliban be destroyed, but are the citizens of the UK happy with this fact? I don't believe so.

Lindsay Kornegay
Commonwealth leaders back climate change fund
Summary: Various Commonwealth leaders recently agreed to back a multi-billion dollar plan to help developing countries deal with the current environmental crisis. The Commonwealth hopes to begin the funding next year and accumulate ten billion dollars annually by 2012. The money would go to dealing with climate changes and cutting back on greenhouse gases. The efforts would be mainly focused on the poorest and most vulnerable countries in what is called "fast start funding." Prime Minister Gordon Brown believes that half the ten billion should be used to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of small countries and the other half to help them adapt to climate change.
Analysis/Comparison: This is yet another example of a way the world is trying to deal with our excessive environmental impact. Major organizations like the Commonwealth are realizing and trying to make up for the mistakes that we have made over the last hundred years. However, it may or may not be too late to begin this process. Only time will tell. Personally, I think the Commonwealth is overconfident in their abilities to make such a drastic difference in the way these developing countries are run. It can take decades to change how things are run in a country and this is made especially difficult as these countries have unstable governments as well. I think that at this point the members of the Commonwealth have underestimated the task at hand.

Laura PChttp://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8359336.stm
"Clashes after rival city marches"
Summary: A few days ago, Scotland United, a group of anti-racism protesters, marched through Glasgow in opposition to the Scottish Defence League. The Scottish Defence League was formed in opposition to Muslim "extremists" and "jihadists," according to members of the group. The Scottish Defence League claims that "Islamist assault" is threatening the culture of the UK. About 1,500 members of Scotland United and about 80 members of the Scottish Defence League gathered in Cambridge Street. The members from Scotland United were supported by trade unions, politicians, and faith groups. The SDL protesters sang songs and chanted "SDL", and some of them even covered their faces with scarves. A large amount of the police force was sent to handle the rally, but a couple of skirmishes still occurred. Five men were arrested for being in connection with breaches of peace. According to a Chief Constable, Fiona Taylor, "When planning for a day like today, we always have to strike a balance between protecting people's right to peaceful protest and ensuring that the city continues to operate with the minimum of disruption to the people who live and work here. I believe we achieved just that."
Compare: Personally, I think that this is kind of ridiculous. The Scottish Defence League, according to people that are in the actual group, was formed in opposition to Muslim "extremists," and even though that's the technical way that they put it, it does not necessarily mean that those are the only "kinds" of Muslims that they oppose. It was brave and courageous of Scotland United to stand up in the way that they did and it was also impressive that skirmishes were mostly kept to a minimum. The protest potentially could've gotten quite out of hand, but it didn't. However, the SDL didn't need to mock Muslims the way that they did, by wearing scarves and such, and chanting. In this day and age, it's downright sad that there are still racist groups present throughout the world.
Analysis: This conflict somewhat parallels to the conflict between Britain and Northern Ireland. There has been a huge amount of tension between the two regions for a long time now, and riots have broken out in the past because of protests and opposition. The people of Northern Ireland are predominantly Catholic while the people of Britain are predominantly Catholic, and this has led to a lot of religious tension and problems. Similarly, the main issue between Scotland United and the Scottish Defence League is related to religion - in this case, Islam. One can tell from propaganda and other forms of protest that the Catholics and Protestants don't agree about religious issues, and this situation definitely parallels to the opposition between Scotland United and the Scottish Defence League.

Max Lewis

Harder-Edged Warnings About Britain’s Economy

Summary. Great Britain’s economy is currently not in its best shape. The graph at the beginning of the article compares the economic crisis in the 1970’s to the crisis today; the budget deficit percent of GDP of today is more than twice that of 1976, and unemployment is almost twice as much as the earlier crisis. Inflation, however, was extremely high in the 1970’s going on 26%, while inflation today is only at 3.2%. Because of this severe economic downturn along with a steep debt and weak banking sector, Great Britain is considering receiving financial aid from the International Monetary Fund, just like in the 1970’s, in hopes of improving the economy. Also, it has been stated that Great Britain must handle this downturn more independently than those who have joined the European Monetary Union and adopted the euro.
Analysis. I was unaware at how bad the economy has gotten for Great Britain. Seeing the charts and statistics and comparing it to the crisis in the 1970’s is a good way to express where the British economy is today. Unemployment is at one of its highest points, and so is the budget percent of GDP. Seeking financial aid from the International Monetary Fund seems like a last resort, and it is predicted that they are going to use it. The economic downturn and the statistics both prove that Great Britain would not be in as much of a crisis if it adopted the euro, and could provide great evidence to joining the European Monetary Union.
Compare. Comparing this situation to all other countries of the European Union, it is evident that the euro is much more stable than Great Britain’s pound. In the current state of the world and the European Union’s economic conditions, it seems smart to join the EMU and stabilize Britain’s economy.

Carolyn Motta
Admissions of Guilt
Summary: Parents have always tried their hardest to get the best for their children. A lot of parents in Great Britain are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that their children are getting a good education. Lying to the government is a very common theme for these parents. Whether it's lying about their place of residence, or even their faith and religion, parents are doing it for their children. Some parents have also faked divorces, claimed a grandparent's house as their own, and rented an extra place just so they use that address on official forms. These desperate parents either can not or will not pay independent-school fees, so they are taking these extreme measures in order to get their children into state schools. However, most of the time, this does not go unnoticed. Some school administration has hired detectives to spy on parents and usually the parents that do get caught in these lies are punished. The government is taking action too: although they disapproved of criminal prosecutions of parents, some children can still be kicked out of schools if their parents are caught.
Analysis: I think it's really interesting to see how far parents will go to get an education for their children. Obviously an education is important, but I never thought people would like about things like marriages and religion for the sake of it, although it does make sense. This does seem to be a big problem in Great Britain though, as it does constitute as fraud. The article went on to say that most of these parents are being tried for fraud or perjury, and some people believe that a whole new, more specific criminal offense should be made in order to punish these parents. The article also said that the Conservative Party has a plan that will hopefully cut back on the cheating and lying that is occurring. They hope to be able to model after Sweden and provide money to parents in order to create entirely new schools. This is an interesting idea, although I'm not sure how well that would work.
Compare: I have heard of cases similar to this happening in the United States, so Great Britain is definitely not the only country experiencing problems like this. Although it is interesting to compare this situation to that of lesser developed countries, where parents would consider themselves and their children lucky if they could even have a school to go to in the first place.

Jordan Thomas
British National Party on its Way to Accepting Non-White Members
Summary: The voting membership of the British National Party (BNP) has recently voted that non-white people should be able to become members of the BNP. The BNP opened the issue to be voted upon because The Human Rights Commission recently ruled that if the BNP did not allow non-whites to join, it would be an illegal party. However, this does not mean the party will drop all white favoritism. Party president, Nick Griffin, said that they plan to make sure the new party constitution still primarily represents white interests. He said that having assimilated minorities in the party will “actually help”.Soon, the entire membership of the party will be allowed to vote on the issue.
Analysis: I was very surprised to hear that a well established British party had been allowed to discriminate against non-white people up until this point. Not only does the BNP not allow people of non-white ethnicity to join, but it says that white people have been “grotesquely discriminated against”. It uses this statement as an excuse to support the stopping and reversing of immigration of non-white people to the UK. One of its stated goals is to restore the overwhelmingly white majority found in the 1940s. The party goes as far as encouraging the repeal of all antidiscrimination legislation. Upon viewing these facts on the BNP, the acceptance of nonwhite as members of the BNP seems like a small step forward in eliminating the racism in this party. The step forward looks even smaller when you realize the party could just be doing this so that it is not declared illegal.
Comparison: This contrasts amazingly to the presidential election of 2008. Not only was an African American part of the Democratic Party, he was elected president. Also, like Britain, America has been having a problem with immigration. However, as far as I know, there is no party devoted to ending all, legal and illegal, immigration from Mexico (and any other non white country) completely.

Amelia Fisher
Gordon Brown demands NATO backs Karzai with troops
Summary: Prime Minister Gordon Brown is pleading with other Nato countries to produce 5,000 additional troops in Afghanistan to support Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai’s main goal is to end corruption and needs the extra troops to support the US troops already in Afghanistan. This decision is not backed with public support, but Brown is unwavering. “There will be periods you go through when people question whether the strategy is right,” he said.
Analysis: This reminds me of how Tony Blair’s popularity fell and lead to his eventually demise. People generally don’t support sending more troops into war, especially a controversial one like the one in Afghanistan. It is still being questioned if President Karzai is going to stand up to corruption like he is claiming. Also, it has been vague whether President Obama will back Brown. Brown said he felt“very much in line with what President Obama wants to achieve,” but the verdict is still out. The decision will be made soon.
Compare: Germany just announced that they would send just over 100 additional troops in January. They are focusing their troops in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, an area that has seen an increase in Taleban activity recently. Most of the almost 5,000 troops that Germany already has in Afghanistan are stationed there.

Lindsay Kornegay
Superfast train set for departure
Summary: Currently, Britain has just 68 miles of high-speed rail compared to the thousands in France and Spain. There is rising pressure on the British government to install these faster railroads. The supporters believe that the new high-speed rails will make for faster journey time, decrease carbon emissions and boost the economy. On the other hand, refuters think the new system would not reduce enough carbon emission to be worth the taxpayers' money. Also, not everyone will be on the route so Britain is split in two.
Analysis & Comparison: I believe that this is a perfect example of globalization. Countries like France and Spain have seen success with the high-speed railroad system and other countries have taken note. This is a cycle that has been repeated again and again throughout history. Also, Great Britain is one of the only members of the EU not to switch over to the Euro. This could perhaps be a way they believe to better integrate with the rest of Europe and prove that they are up to standards with the other member countries. This issue all comes down to money and competition. Whoever has the most successful economy and efficient country feels that they are the best.

George Beatty
Ministry of Defense officials paid 47 million pounds in bonuses
Summary: This figure, which covers the first seven months of the current financial year, has been revealed as the Government faces charges of failing to provide British troops with adequate support and equipment on the front line in Afghanistan.Additional bonus payments for the rest of year could take the total above the 53 million pounds paid out to MoD officials in 2009. The money would also pay for 47,000 sets of body armor, 26,111 SA80 A2 assault rifles or 156 Ridgeback armored vehicles which help protect troops against roadside bombs. The number of support money given by the government to support the military efforts in Afghanistan is expected to rise within then next year.
Analysis: 47 million pounds is a significantly smaller number than the support that the United States gives to its defense efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the news comes at a time in which the public is not supportive of the actions that PM Gordon Brown has taken. This news that more money has been given to troops who are not supported by the public in being there is going to further upset the public and potentially eliminate any chances that Mr. Brown had for re-election. At the same time the number is necessary and the aid is complementary to the valiant effort that the British troops are making in Afghanistan.
Comparison: This news comes in no shock to much of the public, but the actual figures do put the war in prospective of the amount of funds that are being given to the efforts in the Middle East. The British people are aware of the tension in the Middle East, but are against the governments position of aid to go and liberate the country and fight terrorism. The western crisis that has arisen in the Middle East has forced countries to participate and fund expeditions such as the ones that the MoD are partaking in. The trend is projected to continue with aid and troop number for the next several years.

Max Lewis

URL. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/business/global/24euro.html
Britain Still in Recession, as Euro Bloc Improves
SUMMARY.In recent news, the British economy has remained steady in a recession throughout the third quarter. This is is relatively bad compared to the countries who have been using the widely accepted euro, where reports indicated that their economies have been steadily improving. There apppears to be a larger debt burden for the British consumers. This downturn for Britain is the longest they have experienced since the mid 1950's. This is largely due to the pound, for as it weakens, the euro strengthens. Britain is now further lagging behind euro-using France and Germany.
ANALYSIS. This article is a perfect example of why the European Union had created the euro. It is also a great illustration of the issue with Great Britain and whether or not it should join the European Monetary Union. Although this is not good for Great Britain, it will serve as a good argument for the EU trying to get the UK to join the EMU. While the economy is steadily weak in the UK, business confidence and GPD is on the rise in the countries of the EMU.
COMPARE. Within the article there is much comparison with the UK and the other members of the European Union. Since the UK is not a part of the European Monetary Union, they are still experiencing an economy that is independent from the other members of the EU. Germany's and France's economies have greatly improved over the last few quarters, while the UK economy has stayed roughly the same. I am sure that consideration for the euro will increase throughout the UK, and maybe even sway some opinions as well.

Jordan Thomas

Herman van Rompuy is Favored to be EU President
Summary: Belgium’s Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, is said to be the favored candidate for the upcoming EU Commission presidential election. However, his support is for an interesting reason. He hasn’t been part of politics long enough to do anything that offends or upsets another EU country, so he is the least disliked. Other candidates for the presidency have enemies for things like being involved in Iraq (Blair) and being linked to Afghanistan (Dutch candidate). However, he is not completely non-negative. His positive work includes decreasing Belgium’s deficit and helping their transition to the euro.
Analysis: I think this way of choosing a leader reflects the divisions between EU member countries. They can’t find a leader that everyone supports. Instead, the winner of this election will be the one that is the least hated. In a way, this could provide for good leadership. A majority of countries would probably support his decisions, providing for better unity. However, just because a leader isn’t disliked, it doesn’t mean he or she will be a good and wise leader. In the case of Herman van Rompuy, he just hasn’t had enough time in politics to demonstrate his beliefs and decision-making skills. The EU would be drawing a wild card by electing him because the only know he hasn’t done anything bad yet, not whether he’ll do good things in the EU. I think that the UK needs to step into the situation and exercise it’s influence in the EU. Electing a “harmless” president for the EU could make it ineffective during a crucial year of implementing the Lisbon treaty. Blair, the candidate for the UK, has a bad reputation for his involvement in Iraq, but should call to the EU’s attention what they need in a leader. Many of those qualities, such as experience in foreign affairs, he has.
Comparison: This situation is very unique to Europe. Most other countries do not have such wide spread and diverse unions as the EU. Also, in most other elections, candidates are evaluated by their past performance, not their lack of performance. I think that this type of evaluation is unique to the EU because of its diversity amongst member countries, and, hopefully, won’t be seen in other elections around the world.

Laura PC
"Darfur survivors to get UK asylum"
Summary: Survivors of the crisis in Darfur who sought refuge in the UK are to be granted asylum under new rules by the UK Border Agency. The UKBA decided that it would continue to consider applicants based on merit, but it would also grant protection where it is needed. Many people that had sought asylum from Darfur were deported back to the region and were then tortured again. The Home Office has finally made the decision to change this. According to the U.N., the conflict in Darfur ended in August, 300,000 have died, and 2.7 million fled their homes. This new asylum rule is great news for victims that managed to escape from Darfur. One asylum seeker added that “Now, we can start to rebuild our lives here.”
Analysis: It’s really great that the UK is opening up to the victims of Darfur. According to the United Nations, the conflict there came to an end this past August, but that’s not entirely true. Just because the United Nations declared the ending doesn’t mean there’s still violence going on in the region. It’s going to take some time for the conflict in Darfur to heal, and in the meantime it’s important that the survivors have a safe place to go and restart their lives. A member of the UKBA said that “The British government takes its international responsibilities seriously and we will grant protection to those Sudanese nationals that need it.” It’s good that the UK is taking a stand and providing protection for these people. they are still making decisions based on merit, and although that may prevent perfectly eligible people from coming because of supposedly better-qualified people, it’s also a good system because it should prevent most undeserving people from seeking asylum in the UK over the people that really need it.
Similarly to the UK, many countries have to make decisions about foreign relations. One aspect of this is the asylum that a country provides. It is something that the EU discusses on a more international level, and it’s something that the U.S. discusses on a more national level (e.g. concerning immigration.) It’s really important to have good international relations, but I personally think it’s even more important to not only cooperate but also help other countries in times of need. In the case of Darfur, the survivors don’t really have a safe place to go but because the UK has opened its doors, there is hope for the victims.

State School Fail to cater for religious needs
George Beatty
Summary: The Children who transfer from religious based primary schools "middle school" to secular secondary schools "high school" are often forced to "compromise parts of their everyday religious practices" according to Ofsted. Many parents felt schools were reluctant to provide a place for student to worship. One parent asked why a state school could provide a space during Ramadan, but not the rest of the year?" The debate has been going on for several years since england is a country with an established religion, but schools still feel that it should be seperate from education.
Analysis The issue on relgion is a much more difficult one in the United Kingdom since it is a religious based country with main core values and governing values that are based off of Christianity. The schools are trying to modernize and more away from any rellgious sect, but the parents still want recognition from teh school to allow students to continue their practices. The school is handling it the best way possible by not recognizing any religion. There is still tension that will always is present since religion is a major contributor to the culture that surrounds the UK
Compare The issue that is being debated in the school system is much different than if it were in teh United States. Relgion and education has gone hand and hand for most of the countries history. People are reluctant to change and dont want to realize that they are living in a modernized country. Relgion often deflects from the problems that need to be solved and religion should be handled outside the classroom.

Lindsay Kornegay
Gangs eradicated 'in three years'
Summary: Tom Coughlan, an officer in charge of street gangs in the city of Birmingham, England, believes gangs will be removed within three years. Since the peak of violence in 2003, the number of gang-related murders has significantly declined with the help of working with the young early to prevent later gang involvement. However, Dr. Derrick Campbell, a government advisor on gangs, disagrees. He believes officials are nowhere close to solving this problem.
Analysis & Comparison: I believe that Coughlan has too high hopes for the gang situation in Birmingham. It is impossible to predict what will be going on in the city three years from now. For all he knows, there could be a sudden uprising, and gang-related murders could peak once again. It Is also impractical to believe that one can change the culture of an entire city in only a few years. Campbell discussed that unless factors like poverty, alienation and poor housing are dealt with there will be no hope for the removal of negative gang culture. Those are not problems that can be solved easily; they take a great deal of time and money to fix. For example, eastern St. Louis is known for its high crime rate and concentration of gangs. If the police of St. Louis were to try and completely remove this problem, it could take years, even decades to fully take care of it.

Kendyl Cole

David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, has made a promise to the citizens of the U.K. He has said that if his party is elected in the next general election, he will allow the people a referendum. This referendum would be concerning the Libson Treaty, which has not yet been passed yet. He believes that the Britain citizens should have the right to vote on this major bill, considering that, “The Lisbon treaty is effectively a constitution for Europe”. The Conservative Party will keep this promise if all 27 countries still haven’t ratified the Lisbon Treaty when the general election occurs.
Considering that the U.K has had previous issues with the EU, this new statement from David Cameron could be very beneficial. The U.K has been very reluctant to switch to the Euro, and are still wary towards the proposed EU Constitution. The citizens of the U.K want their sovereignty and are very dedicated to ensuring that it stays that way, no matter what the EU does. Promising a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty could possibly win the Conservative Party much praise, and later, the general election. The problem with Cameron’s plan is that all 27 countries might ratify the Lisbon Treaty before the general election. If that was to happen, there isn’t anything he could do to prevent it.


Postal Strike Expected Next Week
Audrey Fisher

Summary: The Communication Workers Union has threatened to strike against the Royal Mail. The union seeks to improve job security, work levels and pay.
Demands from the Union include a long term business plan for Royal Mail, agreed (not enforced) changes, a direct correaltion in business success and wages,
and independent inquiry for bullying and harassment. Dave Ward secretary for the Communication Workers Union said that workers were hesitant to strike but
would not stand to work under the current conditions. ( 61,623 out of a total of 80,830 workers who voted said they wanted to strike) The Royal Mail and the Union have yet to reach any compromise and insist "my way or the high way" claiming that neither is in the wrong for sustaining such demands.
Analysis: The conflict of strike and tension between a major business such as a mail carrier is very dangerous. Customers rely on this business for communication and a strike would damage not only the communications aspect of British society but hurt the financial/ economic sector as well- leaving mail and postage undelivered and many people out of a job! The Royal Mail and CWU need to reach a compromise or neither will be happy with the outcome of their disagreement.
Comparison: In any state this would be a serious problem. The US needs a postage system to ship packages, communicate, and more. This type of business is vital is a stable functioning society and without it, it is fair to say that any nation as developed as the UK would see
drastic changes in communication and an economic downfall.

Great Britain Current Events

Carolyn Motta
Call to improve sick baby units
Summary: There has been a recent concern about the lack of adequate health care for special needs new born infants. Many proposals have been made to improve the quality of neonatal health care. The problem starts with the amount of women having babies at an older age, and having multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.). Both of these conditions increase the risk of birth complications. Another contributing factor to the increase in need for neonatal care is the fact that more and more premature babies are surviving after being born. This also causes for greater risk of complication. The Department of Health has suggested that there be a more structured ratio of nurses to babies. For intensive care, a 1:1 ratio, for high intensity, 1:2, and for special care, 1:4. However, this calls for a lot more nurses to be employed, and there just is not enough money in the budget for that, although the NHS budget has been increasing in recent years.
Analysis: We talked in class about how the NHS is somewhat inefficient. This article shows many people's discontent with the NHS, but it also shows how it is changing and improving. The budget for the NHS is increasing, which means that more can get done, which includes better neonatal care. I think it's very important to consider the infants in the NHS budget and actions, so the fact that more people are getting involved in this and actually doing something about it is good.
Compare: There are health care problems in so many countries. However, in developing countries, they are much more serious, such as millions of people going without any sort of health care.

Royal Mail faces legal challenge over plan to recruit 30,000 temp staff

Tess Micheli
Summary: Britain's national postal service, Royal Mail, is currently being criticized for hiring 30,000 temporary workers after the Communication Workers Union called a strike for Thursday and Friday. Billy Hayes, leader of the CWU, is outraged at the actions of business secretary Lord Mandelson. Lord Mandelson in turn is furious with the union for calling a postal strike, since he believes that it is vital to have a running postal service in the United Kingdom and that that service should not be disrupted by strikes. More than making the unions angry, Royal Mail's actions may well be illegal. Britain has laws stating that a company cannot pull in temporary employees during a legal trade dispute. This is probably why Royal Mail hasn't openly admitted to hiring more workers because of the strike - they claim it's just for the holiday season when there is almost more mail, although they usually only hire 15,000 temporary workers.
Analysis: This is an example of a variety of rights pitted against one another. On the one hand, workers, especially in the United Kingdom, have the right to strike and negotiate with employers. On the other hand, postal service is considered a right of the people. This issue is especially significant in Britain, where trade and labor unions play such a huge role in government and are actually more or less part of it. This sort of dispute suggests that Britain may be continuing to move away from such heavy union control as it did under Thatcher and Blair. There is also a concern that protests will become violent, in which case you have another tough situation: people have the right to protest, but other people have the right to be safe in the streets.
Compare: All nations have unhappy workers, but how they react to them varies. In China, for example, there would be much less tolerance for postal workers on strike than in the UK - in fact, it very likely just wouldn't happen. Also, this has a lot to do with the economic recession which is affecting all the countries we study. There is simply less money and employment to go around, and that leads to tension.

'Swine Flu' closes second school

Adam Smith

Two primary schools in Carmarthenshire have closed due to staff sickness and pupils suffering flu-like symptoms. There are increasing numbers of swine flu cases throughout Wales and the UK overall. There are now 2 schools officially closed in Wales and they come as the first swine flu vaccination program was launched in Wales, with 750,000 seen as priority cases. Currently priority cases for the vaccine include the pregnant, those with chronic diseases and health workers. The number of people in Wales suffering from flu-like symptoms continues to rise with nearly 2,000 people contacting their doctors in the last seven days. This is reflecting the global illness pandemic as many more cases are being reported in 6 continents. The vaccines aren't being produced fast enough for public consumption which has created a burden on health care and medical systems around the world. The worst part is that the poorer countries can't afford any vaccine and the small supply will likely force them to be one of the last to receive the vaccine.

Government's £16bn sale of assets

Tyler Oleski

Summary: A new decision to cut spending by PM Gordon Brown will be revealed to the public later this week. Brown's actions include the sale of many superfluous assets to the government. Some of these deemed unnecessary assets include the Tote, the Dartford Crossing, the Student Loan Book, the Channel Tunnel rail link, property investments, and the government's stake in the uranium company Urenco. Brown declared all of these funds to be unimportant and intends to sell all of them in the coming months. The Conservative opponents feel that this plan is only a short-term excuse, and that it will not be beneficial to the country's economy in the long run. They feel that bigger, more substantial policies must be enacted at this point in time, as opposed to just freeing up some of the money in government assets.
Analysis: Once again, Gordon Brown is in the "hot seat" in British politics. He is hard-pressed with the seemingly impossible task of curing Britain's economic troubles. With the general election looming ahead, Brown's every move is being scrutinized by the public eye, as well as the eyes of his opponents. Conservatives have become particularly vocal about his latest decision to sell government assets. This plan has been torn apart by Conservative representatives who say that it simply does not provide for the country's future. Others believe that this plan is a good step forward and out of the recession. Selling the unnecessary government assets to create a larger public store is always a beneficial move. Only time will tell if Gordon Brown's newest plan of action will help the economy or even help his chances of winning the public's vote in the upcoming general elections of 2010.
Compare: Like the many other nations facing economic crises, leaders must make hard decisions to ensure the sustainability of their country's economy. Often times these decisions are tough to make because the reality is there is not a "magic cure" to end all the problems. There simply is not a plan that is going to be beneficial to every person. Many times small sacrifices have to be made now to ensure a promise for the future.

UK Population to rise to 71.6m

Adam Smith

If current trends in growth continue in the UK, the current UK population of 61 million will be at 71.6 million by 2033, says the Office of National Statistics. In addition, If the projected increase actually occurs as projected, the population will have grown at its fastest rate in a century. This will put incredible stress on the Welfare state and increase the working class, also creating a more stress on creating jobs in the United Kingdom. This is a common problem among the superpowers of western europe with the influx of immigrants and refugees recently. There will be a fair amount of pressure to enact policies to accommodate these changes and events but it is predicted that the population increase won't stay a constant due to the current policy enactments and recent immigration influx.

PM to fight anti-social behaviour

Tyler Oleski

Summary: Gordon Brown, with his popularity consistently declining in recent weeks, is all set to give a speech on "anti-social behavior." Deviant groups, rebels, and other law breakers will not be tolerated, according to Brown. This speech is being given in possibly Brown's all-time low in the rankings. With an impending general election in 2010, it would be an understatement to say that everything rides on this speech for Brown. Formal Conservative-Labour debates will follow the speech in the coming months, meaning that if Brown can orchestrate a well-received speech now, it will prove to come to his advantage later in the debates as well as the election. His new policies concerning the combating of social crime offenders are likely to be received well by the general public.
Analysis: As we have studied in class, the extent to which politicians in Great Britain debate and fight each other is tremendous. It is a constant battle for popularity, credibility, and support from the people. For Prime Minister Gordon Brown, often criticized for being "too smart" for the British people, the time to start gathering support for Labour is now. A few controversial decisions have left him in a low-popularity status among the general public. Conservative David Cameron, having already called for a general election, is vying for a chance to swing the party representation in Parliament. Gordon Brown's time is extremely limited, considering the extent of the dilemma which he now faces. In the next few weeks he will be giving a monumental speech, as well as going head-to-head with Cameron on live television. If there were ever a chance to gain back some credibility and take hold of the Labour party, no time would be better than now for Brown. Only time will tell how Brown will approach these opportunities to achieve success in Parliament.
Compare: It is hard to compare this situation to many others because the British Parliament is so unique. Elections in the United States are indeed competitive and intense, but the level of urgency and frenzy of Great Britain is much higher. Gordon Brown now faces potential doom for his political career. Unless he can deliver a groundbreaking speech full of meaning and purpose, it seems he will no longer be in a position of power. Not many other governments have such competitive, extensive parties and elections.

Cameron promises Scots 'respect

Adam Smith

David Cameron, UK's Conservative party leader, announced that if his party were elected he would govern Scotland with respect. This would include meeting with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond yet he opposed the idea of a pre-election debate with the Scottish leader. Cameron stated he wants the UK government to work for all of the UK in an equal and fair manner. He is quoted in saying "I want it to deal with the devolved administrations with respect and in co-operation and that's exactly what you would get." The impact of this is significant because it shows the government in Westminster to be on the potential verge of further devolution and marks the controversy over rule in the UK. There are still multiple parties that want independence from Great Britain including Wales, Scotland, and Ireland yet England is still struggling to retain power. It also may be shocking to Americans that the "Conservative" leader in the UK is making such progressive steps and instating a more liberal ideal than stereotypically expected. This could set the stage for other countries vying for independence and possibly allow more co-operation between governments and nations.

New laws to end 'rain tax storm'

Emily Jackson

Summary: Under the advice of Ofwat (the UK's Office of Water Services), four companies that deal with water drainage- Yorkshire, United Utilities, Severn, and Northumbria- changed their policies on charging for surface water drainage. According to Ofwat, it costs around £700m per year for surface water drainage in England and Wales, and the new charges would force companies and organizations to pay their share. However, it could spike water bills as much as 1300%, and seeing as the tax is based upon the total surface area of the roof of a group's building, including those used by non-profit organizations, such as churches, many groups lashed out, including the Scout Association, the Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union and the Church of England. Now Environment Minister Hilary Benn says that the government has intervened and the companies will now offer concessions for surface drainage. The protesting organizations have been delighted in the public statements that have been issued, especially the Church of England; with over 16,000 parishes and cathedrals in England and Wales, the Church was looking at a several hundred million pound increase in water bills.
Analysis: This government intervention shows a departure from the Thatcherism that we have been talking about, but it also shows some of the flaws in the former Prime Minister's system. When businesses, especially businesses that serve hundreds of thousands of people, are privately owned, charges and tariffs are made at the discretion of the people who are running said business. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it does make tariffs and changes rather difficult to control. While those being taxed will appreciate government intervention, the water companies will not, because it means that they are losing money. To compensate, they will have to charge more from commercial shops and factories which turn profits. When companies as large as these four water firms- Severn alone serves over eight million people- or even smaller companies such as petrol stations and supermarkets suffer, the economy suffers. But the Church of England and the Scout Association, the two biggest protestors of the 'rain tax', are non-profit organizations and lack the funds to pay the tax. So what to do: take money from the people who don't have it, or take money from the companies whose business will suffer? The more in depth you go, the more dicey the issue becomes.
Comparison: It is difficult to compare this situation to any we are familiar with because the economies of the United States and the United Kingdom are so different. Most mass services in the United States operate under public enterprise, whereas in the United Kingdom, 80% are privately owned. As a result, state and property taxes in the US cover the costs of surface water drainage, but in the UK the companies pay for the service with limited government assistance, making it much more expensive for the business and making the business much more prone to increasing rates. It is almost guaranteed that the water companies will have some harsh words about the government's interference in media articles to come.

David Miliband backs change to voting system

Tess Micheli

Summary: Great Britain's Parliament is debating whether or not to offer a referendum on the subject of electoral reform. The referendum would be open for the public to vote on during the next election. Even among those in favor of electoral reform, such as the Liberal Democrats, there is a concern that there shouldn't be a referendum tied to an election in which the party in power might be voted out, as that would set things back. David Milliband, the Foreign Secretary, favors an AV or Alternative Voting system. He was not formerly in favor of it, but these days the two major parties have a lot less of the vote than they used to, so he thinks it's necessary to have a more pluralistic system.
Analysis: This article is all about what we learned concerning voting systems. In an Alternative Vote, voters list candidates in order of preference, not just voting for their favorite. This theoretically allows a more accurate representation of what the public wants. In Britain at the moment there is a lot of support for more a more pluralistic system and less of a "first past the post" system, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the current system makes it difficult for small or new parties to break into the system. For this reason David Milliband supports open primaries. He also supports an AV+ system, which is a much more proportional form of representation and would be a compromise between the current system and the kind of system parties like the Liberal Democrats want.
Compare: The UK's current voting system is somewhat similar to that of the US, but if it does decide on electoral reform it could become a lot more like countries such as Nigeria and other relatively new democracies, which tend to favor multiparty systems. This kind of reform could lead to more representation of the what the people really want in Great Britain, and allow new parties to break into the elections. On the other hand, it could lead to a fragmented, complicated, uncooperative system.

Audrey Fisher

Baroness 'did not see passport' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8276954.stm

Summary: A accusation has been made against Britain's Attorney General. General Baroness Scotland is suspected of hiring an illegal British immigrant without asking to see see documents of legitimacy. The immigrant in question is Loloahi Tapui, who claims that Baroness did knew she was an illegal immigrant but still hired her as a maid after a short interview. The General has stated that she did see a passport when she hired Tapui. Trials were quick and speedy, the charges were dropped without a testimony from Tapui. Now the question arises was Baroness' case dismissed unfairly, was her place in government the sole reason for decided innocence? Analysis: I think that cases like this show just how much power the government holds. To me it seems that Baroness' case was easily dismissed because of her high place in the British government. It is very possible that she is truly innocent and the charges were made under false pretenses but it is unfair to rush through a trial like this that deals with a legitimate argument. Enforcing legal immigration has been a problem for the British government and the even the question of an attorney general knowingly allowing or aiding an illegal immigrant to work in the UK is very controversial and does not look good to the public eye. The fact that this case even arose and then was quickly reviewed indicates that the British government is abusing its power to some extent. Compare: I have read about cases like this one before in the US and other leading countries and although there has been many a time when a government official has been quickly pardoned for a charge I still think it is very immoral. The government is in place to make and enforce the laws- when the people in charge of government cannot follow their own laws there is something amiss. Though the British attorney general may in fact be completely innocent other cases such of Dick Cheney and Halliburton have proven that at times it seems that no matter how guilty or innocent a suspect maybe, they are above the law just because of their connections in the governmental system.

Carlyle Phipps

Summary: Studies have shown that mothers that work full or part time typically have children unhealthier than children with stay-at-home moms. This includes eating less fruits and vegetables and drinking more soda and spending more time watching television. The research was done by comparing children all around the age of five with mothers that worked varying hours. The studies confirmed that the least-healthy children were those whose mothers worked full-time, followed by those whose mothers worked part-time. Other studies have shown that children at the age of three are more likely to be overweight if their mother works. This is challenging because one would assume that a mother should stop working if they want to have a healthy child, but the also want to give their child the best life possible. Having to work is the solution to this in many cases.
Analysis: I believe that these results are somewhat related and are definitely a problem. The toughest part about it is that you cannot expect mothers to just quit their jobs in order to ensure better health for their children. Especially because of the economic recession the world is seeing. These mothers are working because it is necessary in most cases and people are just going to have to teach their kids to make better health decisions.
Comparison: This is very similar to the United States health crisis. I cannot be sure if similar tests have been done, but I do know that the amount of working mothers has increased in the past few decades, which is true for the amount of obese children as well. I’m sure this is a similar trend, occurring all over the world, as recent economic recessions have called for many more mothers to find jobs. The results may not be related, but the fact is that childhood obesity is increasing throughout the world. This is a problem that needs to be resolved.

Emily Jackson

TUC warns of four million jobless

Summary: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is planning to cut public spending to divert funds to where they are needed most and attempt to halve the UK's £175bn budget deficit in the next four years. However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Brendan Barber warns that making the budget deficit a priority and not focusing on reducing unemployment rates could push unemployment over the four million mark and send the economy on an even more rapid decline. This could prove to be near-suicidal for the Labour Party in the upcoming general election, as its approval rating is dropping and the TUC predicts that if public spending cuts are indeed enacted, areas like Liverpool, Leicester and Middlesbrough could suffer an unemployment rate increase of 40%. Additionally, the Labour Party could lose its biggest financial backer.
Analysis: Brendan Barber's fear of a "double-quick, double-dip" recession counters Gordon Brown's statement that the economy is "on the road to recovery." In this situation, I have a tendency to agree more with the leader of a group of fifty-eight major trade unions, whose job is to monitor and foster economic stimulus, than the government leader, whose job is to run all aspects of the country- and make decisions based on the opinions of experts like the leader of a group of fifty-eight trade unions. I would guess that the conclusions that Barber and the TUC have drawn are more substantiated than the ideas behind Brown's public spending cuts. According to a TUC report analysing the effects of public spending cuts on unemployment, a 10% cut in public sector staff could lead to up to 700,000 people being laid off. Last time I checked, people getting laid off did not boost the economy. In fact, it worsens it. If these reasons enough aren't enough to convince Brown that his priorities are out of order, Unison, the largest trade union in the UK and major financial backer of the Labour Party, has stated that Labour party MP candidates who are supporting the privatisation of public services- another form of public spending cuts- will not receive any more money from them. This could majorly hinder the Labour party in the upcoming election and uproot their dominance in the House of Commons. Sounds to me like Gordon Brown should start paying more attention to the statistics provided by those whose jobs it is to improve the economy (aka his financial backers) and less to Alistair Darling and his resource-shifting, tough-choice making ideas.
Compare: I think that this issue pertains to all countries undergoing an economic recession, but this article shows a major difference between the US and the UK concerning the relationships between politicians and trade unions in times of economic recession. Here in the States, we rarely hear about labour unions and their backing of political candidates, although most labour unions do back candidates who support their causes. In the UK, however, the support of unions can make or break a political party's dominance. With 1.4 million members, Unison is Europe's biggest public sector union and the Labour Party's largest financial backer- meaning that any public spending cuts made by Gordon Brown, the leader of the Labour Party, will directly affect Unison's members. While labour unions do still exist in the United States- about 12.4 percent of workers are union members of some sort- they do not publish nationally syndicated projections as to the future of the economy. I find it interesting that unions still seem to have a much stronger presence in Britain than the United States, despite the fact that membership in both countries has declined at a similar rate since the 1980s.

Audrey Fisher
Who are the English Defense Leauge?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8250017.stmSummary: A group of extremists has emerged in England, they call themselves the English Defense League. This is an anti-Muslim organization and it has begun to worry the British government as well as the citizens of England. BBC anonymously interviewed several of the groups leaders, they spoke out against terrorism an related the present of Muslims in Britain. The EDL has already held violent demonstrations in places like Birmingham and influenced cities and towns like Luton, north London, Bristol, Portsmouth and Southampton, Derby, and Cardiff. A racist group the EDL seeks to force muslims out of Great Britain for fear that they plan to instigate terrorism.
Analysis: I think the EDL has over stepped it's boundaries but causing violence in a democracy and openly opposing diversity. The group cannot accurately assume that all terrorist are branded by the Islamic religion. I also think the government of Great Britain needs to take role in subduing if not eliminating the EDL, it is most unfair to have racist enforced in a democracy and by the inaction of the government they are allowing this too happen to the people Of Islamic faith living in their country.
Compare: This formation of a racist group like this one is definitely not the first but there is no reason it should exist especially in democracy as strong an free as Britain's. The comparison of this type of group in the UK to groups in unstable countries such as Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan should come as a warning sign to Britain that the government needs to enforce the democracy they have built.

Adam Smith
Key gene 'controls disease fight'

In the UK, scientists have discovered a key gene that controls the mobilization of the body’s immune system. It triggers stem cells in the body to become disease fighting “Natural Killer” (NK) immune cells. The new discovery is thought to aid in the recovery of cancer, type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis for patients suffering these and other similar diseases. During lab testing in mice there is prospect for curing female infertility as well with this gene and multiple other autoimmune diseases. If drug production for stimulating these NK cells increases then it is believed that the problem of donor incompatibility could be erased especially in cases of childhood leukemia.
This is a huge advancement in medical technology, which can help world medical issues. The U.S. also discovered a bacterium that hinders bacterial immunity from antibiotics which, coupled with this new discovery in the UK, could be a fearsome duo for disease and illness. There will be a great division though like what is seen in Nigeria because the rich can afford the medication, yet the poorer countries that may need the medicine more won’t be able to afford it. However, only time will tell how the world will even this issue out.

Tyler Oleski

Economy shrinks less than thought


Summary: The second quarter in the UK's economy proved to be a slight turning point in the recession that has plagued the nation. The small upward shifts have surprised economists, who believe that the improvements have come from smarter government spending as well as less importing. This slight relief is expected to become even greater in the Q3 of this year. It is important to note that this is merely a small improvement in the UK economy, and the financial situation is in no way back to normal.
Analysis: Relating this to the discussion we had in class concerning the "Rise of the Rest," it is possible that we are overplaying the extent of globalization in the other parts of the world. Numerous nations are experiencing financial trouble in recent times just like the United States. In all cases, this leads to more strained government spending and budget cuts. The nations in economic turmoil are under the same pressure that the United States is, meaning that they are not any further along in modernization and globalization at this point. It's just interesting to note that maybe the "rise of the rest" argument might have been slightly overdone.
Compare: This story can be related to all of the other nations experiencing an economic recession at this time. It also mirrors effects that the UK's recession has on global trade. Less imports have given the United Kingdom a small surplus of funds, but what kind of effect does the lack of imports have on the rest of the world's economies?

Tyler Oleski

PM Calls On Unions To Back Government


Summary: Great Britain, which is believed to be on the road to recovery from their economic downturn, is currently debating which policies to implement concerning economic stimulation. The nation is already 175 billion euros in debt, but future plans propose borrowing another 30 million for stimulus. Other plans call for increased taxes as opposed to more government spending, but the consumer sector is not inclined to favor this position. Cutting the stimulus package down would leave an estimated 4 million unemployed. No matter how the economy is going to be dealt with, it will be a risky and fragile process. Leaders are calling upon the labor movement (unions) for support in their plan. The tough choices in public spending will bring disappointment for many consumers so the Prime Minister called upon the unions to support these budget cuts. Parliamentary leaders who have a harsher outlook on the recession are quick to cut many government programs, while others are more conservative. Now the battle continues as a balance is needed between the two points of view on how to mend Britain's economy.
Analysis: This situation deals with the ideas of political systems, institutions, and political parties. Currently Britain is faced with a monumental economic recession and there is an ongoing debate on what to do to pull the nation out of this situation. New political policies are being proposed, as the government attempts to gain public support for these programs. This deals with the issue of legitimacy, or the acceptance of a government and its actions by the public. Faced with this crisis, Parliament in Great Britain attempts to strike a balance between government spending and helping the consumers and property owners. This conflict has caused a schism between the party that supports more government spending, and the party that proposes a higher tax for the public. Each side tries to gain legitimacy for their argument through public support and appealing to specific groups, such as labor unions.
Compare: This article can be compared to the economies of the world that are suffering at this time. A damaged economy causes problems for the entire nation, which is clearly seen in this article. The British government is up in arms on how to go about fixing this recession. Not only are there questions about what to do, there is division between political parties with opposing viewpoints on resolution. This unfortunate turn of events is inevitable in conditions such as these, where countries are forced to make hard decisions concerning their economies. Consider the debate going on in our country today, concerning Obama's plan for healthcare. While many agree with his proposed plan of action, the opposition is also very large due to the fact that it is a multibillion dollar project. The debate has gotten more intense in recent days as each side builds up their justifications further. So it is clear to see that the issues of political discord and economic conflicts go hand-in-hand, no matter what country it is.

Labour set to target middle class benefits
Tess Micheli

Summary: The currently ruling Labour party is discussing cutting universal benefits to try and reduce the national debt, which is a major goal in the UK right now. While Britain wants to keep programs like child benefits available for the poor, the Labour party believes that it might be a good idea to remove them for the middle class, particularly senior citizens who aren't short of money but enjoy a lot of government benefits. Most British citizens are actually in favor of this sort of method to cut spending rather than higher taxes or something similar. Some middle class families feel that they don't need government services like the "winter warmer" fuel payment. The general consensus, at least within the Labour party, seems to be that it's best to use the country's money more sparingly and for those who really need it, at least until the recession scare is completely over.

Analysis: You could apply this article to a lot of the things we've learned in class so far. It's probably best as an example of the different types of democracies: while the US is much more capitalist and "ever man for himself", the UK has definite socialist tendencies. It's a completely different way of running things, but clearly the UK still has competitive elections and is one of the world's foremost democracies. On the other hand, faced with economic recession, Britain is beginning to realize that the government may simply not be able to maintain certain public services and cut down the national debt at the same time. By considering cutting spending on the middle class, the Labour party may lose some middle class voters, but since the British people overall seem to be in favor of taking money from them rather than the very poor, they may be making a smart decision.

Compare: The problems Britain is experiencing right now can, of course, be related to just about any country in the world due to the economic recession - but in particular, it's actually pretty relevant to more developing countries like Nigeria that are still building democracy and trying to make it work. Issues like how much money the government will give back to the society, and how much money the government will spend, and who the money will be spent on, are crucial to the way any democracy functions. There is no one "right answer" that every country agrees on, and even long-established democracies disagree about what's best.

Carlyle Phipps

Families 'kept in the dark' as doctors make life-or-death decisions
A national audit recently discovered that somewhere around twenty-five percent of all life-or-death decisions are not revealed to families in hospitals. This means that the families are not consulted in anyway, and the doctors make the decision with no regard for what the families might believe. Because of guidelines set by government organizations, doctors and nurses are trained to believe in some situations there is no possible way of recovery for the patient. Once a collective decision is made, then the doctors withhold food and beneficial medicines and also sedate the patient. One of the main worries is that elderly patients that are diagnosed with diseases such as Parkinson's are dismissed as dying, when in reality they could live for many more years, although they will eventually die. This procedure was used on many patients, thirty-nine percent of which had cancer and sixty-one percent had other conditions. The idea that this practice is actually being used, is somewhat unbelievable.
Analysis: I cannot believe that this is being done in a country such as Great Britain, which is supposed to be one of the leading democracies in the world. The standards for health care are also supposed to be high here, and to think that
this many people are allowed to die is outrageous. I think it is very important that information like this is reaching the public because I feel like many people will not allow for these procedures to continue. The press should be a useful tool in the fight against these protocols. Also it was good to hear that many health experts in Great Britain have become aware of the situation and are trying to contain it. The fact that most people are told the truth though is of course a good thing, but until everyone is given the same information, there is much room for improvement.
Compare: This is somewhat similar to the health care crisis in the United States, although the issues are very different, I feel that it is somewhat comforting to know that we are not the only country in the world struggling to fix our health care system. The problems are not the same, but the fact that the system is somewhat flawed is very similar to the United States.

Hanna Miller
Threat of strikes underlines TUC warning over spending cuts
In Leeds, England, workers for the postal service and waste management went on strike after public spending cuts were discussed. The TUC conference of union leaders met and warned the Prime Minister that he must protect jobs and help the lowest-paid, or face further industrial action. Job cuts in the public sector could leave four million unemployed and lead to “riots in the streets,” says the General Secretary of the TUC. Unemployment exceeding four million would take years to return to normal, and would “scar generations of young people.” The TUC is a huge supporter of the Labour party, and the strikes could negatively affect the upcoming election.
Two weeks ago my current event was about the UK stating they would do everything they can to keep people in their jobs. The government stated that the recession would be over within a year and that they would spend whatever they needed to keep the people of the UK in their jobs. While this article does acknowledge the presence of slight economic growth, the government is now discussing city budget cuts. This week shows a severe change from that state of mind. Four million unemployed is a huge number, and it would take years and years to repair the damage. More and more young people will face an even more competitive work environment, with most unable to find jobs. With more people finishing school and looking for work and fewer people retiring because of loss of retirement funds, the unemployment rate will continue to skyrocket. And the unemployment will be reflected in the economy, and people spend less and less because they do not have a source of income. It’s a vicious cycle, and we don’t quite know how to deal with it, as every possibility has its own risks and negatives.
The problem of unemployment is seen all over the world in this global economic crisis. The UK and the US are both suffering from it. Both are also plagued by the problem of economic stimulus. Every option leaves someone unhappy, and it’s a struggle to know how to deal with a receding economy in a divided nation. Both are expected and pressured to boost the public sector, but it’s impossible to do that without spending even more. In turn, the public meets this spending with resistance and criticism. This issue is not going to be resolved quickly or painlessly.

Savannah Guild
Darling has Praises for Labour Party while others question Brown's health
Chancellor, Alistair Darling, spoke out in praise of the Labour Party in a speech this week. Darling stated that the party should be proud for keeping the recession from turning into a depression. He went on to say that things will not go back to normal for the banks and new legislation will soon be passed. Darling continued warning banks and then turned onto the Tories saying their policies were dangerous. Then, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Philip Hammond, stated that Darling said nothing positive in speech, only talk about negatives and legislation that is not already passed. Later in the article the question of Brown's health was brought up. On a well-known BBC program Brown was asked how he was feeling due to his lackluster appearance. Also, Brown was asked if he used pain killers to "get through". Brown replied "no" and clearly wanted to get on with less personal questions. However, he was then asked about his eye-sight, which is a sensitive subject.
Brown had a polo accident when he was younger, resulting in the loss of sight in one eye. On the BBC program Brown was asked if his sight in the other eye was failing. This show brought up many personal jabs, perhaps to throw Brown off-guard or to create an "out". Some say Brown could step down before a general election due to his health, this questioning could bring the perfect time. On the opposite side, with Darling's pleasant remarks this could also be a good time to call for a general election. The public has currently heard what a good job the Labour party has done and that they will keep a watchful eye on the banks. Darling also clearly diminished some of the head way the Tories might have made by calling their legislation dangerous. This week's gossip over health and Darling's speech could either create a perfect time for an election or a resignation.
Interestingly, some columnist have said that the recession is over in the United States and the economy is improving. In the U.K. officials have said that the country is still in a recession and new legislation will soon be passed. It will be interesting to see how each country comes out of the recession and when each country will announce their recovery. The U.K.'s approach could keep citizens cutting corners to save a few pennies, or in the long hall could immensely help the country.

Savannah Guild
Clinton brings attention to Northern Ireland
summary: Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, payed a visit to Northern Ireland and met with the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) about the policing of Northern Ireland. She also met with Gordon Brown about working with Sinn Fein and the DUP over the violence in the territory. Mrs. Clinton stayed positive and believes the country will soon met all of the Good Friday Agreement's wishes. She made sure to praise the soldiers' efforts in Afghanistan and clear the air that the violent groups in Northern Ireland were receiving weapons from criminal groups. The visit was overall a success as some say the situation in Northern Ireland is already better.
analysis: I thought it was interesting that Clinton ensured that she mentioned the U.K.'s and the U.S.'s special bond to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She also referred to the violence in Northern Ireland as terrorism, which most call a civil war. She also commented on how the government would make certain that the citizens of Northern Ireland who are living their day to day lives would not be disrupted by any violent groups or outbreaks. Clinton said that it was "imperative" that the Good Friday Agreement be followed through until the end. She was adamant at the fact that rumors, and only rumors, had been circulating that the U.S. was supporting violent groups. She said these evil groups are being supported only by criminal gains. Mrs. Clinton also called such an "evil enterprise" as out of date. Interestingly, the violence has been occurring for hundred of years. One has to wonder if the citizens will ever let the rivalry go or if it will further create violence for a hundred more years.
comparison: Mrs. Clinton seemed positive that the violence in Northern Ireland could be resolved, which a history old battle. Most United States representatives speak of how issues will be solved and how peace will soon be attained rather than the attempt to solve the problem. Representatives also say the atmosphere in Northern Ireland has calmed since hearing of her visit. While some would like to celebrate and view this as progress other as mentioned in the article point out that if a family member visits everyone is on their best behavior. Whether or not the Catholics and Protestants were just putting on a show or are truly making progress is something only time will tell.

Savannah Guild
Economy should be recovering by 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised the UK that their economy will be in recovery by next year. This statement was produced after Gordon Brown received news that the economy was still in a recession. The Prime Minister stated he would not create bank bonuses and stop increasing interest rates on existing debt. One of Brown's main concerns is credit card companies and making sure deals are fair. The conservatives want to cut spending, and Brown went on to talk of its effects being "suicidal" since families depend on such money and the economy is just now beginning to pick up. Ken Clarke, the shadow business secretary say that while a huge leap by next year is "not encouraging" a small incline will happen. He agrees with the Conservatives, saying the recovery will be weak.
While Prime Minister Gordon Brown has not seen an immeasurable recovery in his term, he has said that his administration has prevented the second Great Depression. While this is a wonderful accomplishment voters want to see growth, not prevention. As of now voters are becoming more positive, and polls might strengthen from Brown's announcement. However, if the economy does not start a recovery by 2010 Gordon Brown could lose all strength and recognition. The Prime Minister has promised a large quantity of change in a small amount of time in hope of winning votes, but if he does not succeed he will have an even larger chance of losing the next election. Also, an election will have to be held by 2010, so if the economy does jump back by next year Brown will have a chance of winning the election. If the election approaches and no changes have been made the Conservatives will have a large chance of winning.
comparison: During all campaign candidates make promises of what they will accomplish, but most do not make promises of such greatness while in office due to the uncertainty of what will happen in the following years. PM Gordon Brown is taking a chance on "hope" since the motto worked so well for US President Obama. Obama made promises of what he would accomplish and gave voters hope in a dismal time. Gordon Brown is now saying he will accomplish feats out of his control. This is risky and could easily backfire and cost him re-election.

Allison Shaheen
More Rain for Britain After Floods: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/world/europe/24flood.html?sq=great%20britain&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=print

Summary: Great Britain, alongside Ireland, have recently experienced severe as well as deadly storms. Residents, by the mass, have been asked to leave their homes, and are limited to the amount of belongings that they are allowed to bring with them. Just days after citizens throughout Great Britain were permitted to return to their homes, others storms quickly resurfaced. Many citizens are becoming worried as to how the government is going to handle the reparation process that is in the near future.

Analysis: I think that this article is interesting for it directly affects the people of Great Britain, as well as incorporating the government. From the ora of the article, it was implied that the preparation and fair warning that storms were going to be hitting the area hard. I also find it interesting that the citizens are so apprehensive to the fact of whether they are going to be taken care of.

Comparison: This issue is very comparable to the Hurricane Katrina situation that the United States faced. After these severe storms, the US, like Great Britain, saw limited and slow-reacting assistance from the government.

Allison Shaheen

Summary: The attempted Nigerian bomber has be