December 6, 2016
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The Supreme Court in South Africa ruled that it will be illegal to assist patients in death. The argument in the appeal by the government was that there is no legal framework to decide matters of life and death. Last year there was a similar court case where the ruling was that a man’s doctor would be allowed to assist him in killing himself, but he died before the decision was ruled. This new ruling overturns the decision and now Archbishop Desmond Tutu will not be able to fulfill his wishes. Tutu made an announcement in October that he wished to die on his own terms after struggling with prostate cancer for the past twenty years. According to the spokesmen of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services the government is relieved by this ruling because doctors are meant to save live, not take them.
November 28, 2016
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One part of Canadian history that is not commonly talked about is the Indian Residential School system. This boarding school system was in place as a way to try and assimilate aboriginal people into “normal (white) society”. Canada was not alone in this practice
as schools like these also existed in the United States for many years. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was constituted and created by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement. For years the aboriginal peoples of Canada have had to live with the consequences from the residential schools and finally this truth commission worked as a conduit for healing and truth. The goals of the Commission are to acknowledge the schools and their impacts and consequences, to provide a safe and culturally appropriate setting for former students and their parents to come forward, to promote awareness of the IRS system, to create a historical record, produce and submit to the Parties of the Agreement report and lastly to support commemoration of former IRS students. The final report of the Commission is to be released in December of this year. Seeing how the United States system was so parallel to Canada it will be interesting to see if there is a future for a commission here in the states. *Pictured is Commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair shaking hands with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau*
October 6, 2016
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Pictured above is Aleppo in Syria today. President Assad has offered amnesty to the rebel groups and their families who have taken up arms in Aleppo, if they surrender. The rebel groups denied that they have intentions to leave Aleppo and surrender. Claims have been made that the amnesty is just a trick by the government to lure the group out of the last city they have control over at this time. There were also statements from Washington that claimed it is hard to believe that after all the conflict that has happened the government is now choosing to look after the interest of civilians. Sources also stated that due to the bombardments of missiles from the Russian and Syrian forces the rebel forces holding in Aleppo could fall within “weeks if not days”.
September 30, 2016
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Pictured above is a cemetery and memorial for the genocide victims at Srebrenica. Although the Bosnian war ended over two decades ago there are still tensions in the country today. Today intermarriage between the three Bosnian ethnicities is even less common than it was before the war and there is still great segregation. The only thing that the different parties now have in common is the poverty they have been stricken with. In 2010 the men who fought in the war, on both sides, were promised a pension by parliament.These war veterans never received their pension due to the continuing power squabble between the ethnicity and their right to govern the territory. Today the citizens still feel trapped by the grip that their parties have on their lives. It affects their education, their communities and their economic freedoms.
September 15, 2016
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As Genocide was discussed during class it was apparent that the actual definition written for the crime is quite vague. This leaves the crime’s circumstances up for some interpretation, which can allow further discussion top take place about what genocide really is and what events embody the crime. One of these events is the genocide of Native Americans. Before the European settlers arrived to America is it estimated the American population consisted of over 10 million people. The 2010 consensus confirmed that there were only about 5.2 million left of that population today. The rapid colonization along with the rush to find gold and other natural resources by white settlers resulted in blatant racism and oppression towards the Native Americans. Along with the social hardships the Native Americans were also subject to mass illness and the forceful loss of their land. Although civil rights have bettered since the early 20th century for the Native American population, they still face hardships due to the history of attacks from their fellow citizens and even their own government.