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Invisible Children are the wrong NGO to support in the fight against Joseph Kony

I woke up this morning to find my Facebook and Twitter feeds full of links to a video which was made by a charitable NGO called Invisible Children (IC). This video was produced to increase awareness of the war crimes committed by Joseph Kony.  As most people will now know, Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) a guerrilla group which were once based in Uganda but who have now moved on to a number of different countries in Central Africa.

The video outlines the fact that Kony and the LRA have committed countless war crimes and crimes against humanity including, murder, rape as a weapon of war, torture and the use of child soldiers in combat.  The main aim of the video is to increase awareness of Joseph Kony and the LRA and to lobby the US government into military action against the LRA. READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Workfare programmes; slave labour or a helping hand into the job market?

The government’s work experience schemes which are designed to help people stop their reliance on benefits and get back into the job market have been highly criticised recently and have been likened to modern day slave labour.  Critics have blasted them for forcing people to work for big corporations such as Tesco for free.

One source of confusion when debating whether or not these schemes are worthwhile and morally right is the fact that there is more than one scheme.  There are a number of different schemes; each tailored to a different group of people and some are mandatory, some are not.

To fully understand the workfare programme, one must be able to clearly see the facts regarding each scheme. READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Cantona’s bid in the French presidential election was a publicity stunt; but how successful would he have been if he was serious?

This morning Eric Cantona admitted that he wasn’t running for presidency and his announcement was purely a publicity stunt to highlight important issues. But, what if he had run, how far would he have got?

Former Manchester United and French national team captain Eric Cantona declared yesterday that he intended to run in the upcoming French presidential election.  However this morning after much excitement it was revealed that it was a publicity stunt to highlight the housing crisis in France. READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Will we see a Russian Spring in 2012?

The protests in the Arab world in 2011 caused a great change within many countries.  In Libya, a civil war erupted and Gaddafi was forced out of power and subsequently killed.  Other leaders such as Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak, were also removed from power.

In Russia there have been growing protests since the disputed legislative elections.  On 5th December there was public outrage as many people believed that the election had been fixed in favour of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the United Russia Party. The allegations against United Russia were fuelled by claims and rumours that voter turnout had reportedly been up to 140% in some areas and that United Russia had 99.5% of the support in other areas (although these figures have not been confirmed and are unlikely to be accurate). Protests began in Moscow and it is estimated that up to 8000 people protested on the first day. Many people believed that the election had been a sham and called for Putin to step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the United Russia party; some also demanded a re-election.   Since then, there has been growing pressure on the government to step down and annul the election.  Many public figures and governments have called for an investigation into the election, including US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev. READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Will the demise of a tyrant cause stability or uncertainty in Asia?

Kim Jong-Il died at the age of 69 on 17th December; an autopsy confirmed that he had suffered from a fatal heart attack. The “Dear Leader” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine and it was also believed that he had suffered from diabetes and heart disease.   It was also reported that he had suffered from a stroke in 2009.

The news of his death was announced on North Korean state television on the 19th December.  It was also announced that Kim Jong-Il’s third son, Kim Jong Un, will take over as his father’s successor.

The sudden death of such a powerful leader has had an impact around the world and there are many different opinions about the effects of his demise.  Many people think the death of an oppressive dictator, who reportedly had an appalling human rights record and a nuclear arsenal at his command, will cause stability within the country and throughout the region and rest of the world.  However the fact is that his death has caused extreme uncertainty regarding North Korea.  Kim Jong Un is due to take over as Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).  However, there is a possibility of a power struggle and a large amount of uncertainty about how Kim Jong Un will act as leader if he does in fact become leader. READ THE REST OF THE ENTRY

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