Author: Lucy Feickert
Britain. The British Chancellor of the Treasury George Osborne announced that unemployment benefits for those who have been jobless for more than two years will end next April. Those claiming benefits and receiving monthly checks will have three choices come April, or the checks will stop. The unemployed may choose to report to a job center every weekday, participate in unpaid community service or undertake a full-time program to address personal issues that are keeping them from getting a job. Osbourne insists that such a program will not leave anyone out but will ensure that no one receives benefits without complying. He also said that he hopes this program will keep students in school since people will no longer be able to drop out and immediately start getting unemployment checks from the government.
National Public Radio
China. Last Thursday, the White House announced that President Barack Obama cancelled an upcoming trip to Asia, at trip that includes China, Indonesia and Brunei. The decision has increased support for China’s president Xi Jinping, who is touring Indonesia and Malaysia, hoping to improve his image within Asia. University of Sydney China expert Kerry Brown said that Obama’s move shows that China does in fact have a functional government and America does not. The White House explained Obama was staying home to work on reopening the government after last week’s shutdown.
The Washington Post
Morocco. A young couple was arrested Friday for violating public decency laws. Their crime was posting a photograph of them kissing each other on Facebook. The two young people were arrested in the northern city of Nador, where they are currently being held in the juvenile detention center. The incident has prompted a reaction from the Rif Association of Human Rights, which organized a sit-in around the detention center in protest of the arrests.
United States. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (Republican) equated gay marriage to marriage between brother and sister during an interview on WHP-TV. The comment was made in correction of a previous comment, in which Corbett’s administration lawyers had likened gay marriage to that between children in a court filing. Corbett’s comment prompted an outcry from his party competitors in the 2014 gubernatorial race.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Russia. The Olympic flame traveled from Greece to arrive in Moscow on Sunday. The flame was briefly extinguished as one of the flame bearers was running through the Kremlin. However, it was quickly relit and the extravagant ceremony proceeded. The flame will make its way through Russia to Sochi, where the winter Olympics will be held, a point of great pride for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Controversy earlier this year over human rights violations have not deterred the plans for the winter games.
The Atlantic Wire
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