Week in Review: January 28, 2013

Rachel Alexander

Welcome to our first edition of the Week in Review! Each week, the news staff of The Pioneer brings you a list of the top national and international stories from the past week. If you want to know what you’ve missed, read on. And don’t worry–we’ve linked to longer articles on each subject if you decide you’d like to learn more. This is a new undertaking for us, so we welcome feedback about how to make this more useful to you. Feel free to comment below, or shoot us an email at [email protected] with suggestions.

 

1. French forces re-capture city in Northern Mali

French forces have intervened in the ongoing conflict in Mali, between the Malian government and a variety of insurgent groups who have taken over the North of the country. This past week, French forces pushed insurgents out of Gao, the country’s largest Northern city.

For an overview of Malian responses to French intervention, check out Al-Jazeera’s interactive  graph with responses from people on the ground.

The Washington Post has an overview of the current conflict in Mali for readers who want to learn more about its history and the various groups involved.  More articles and information can be found on the New York Times’ topic page for Mali.

 

2. Women allowed to serve in combat in U.S. Armed Forces

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced this week that the Pentagon will lift the ban on women serving in combat roles. The decision overturns a 1994 rule barring women from small-ground combat units. The Pentagon anticipates approximately 237,000 new jobs will be open to women by 2016.

BBC has written a summary of the decision as well as the New York Times.

 

3. Egyptian president declares state of emergency over protests

President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in three Egyptian cities on Sunday following violence in clashes between protesters and police. Most protests began on Friday, which was the two-year anniversary of the revolt which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak’s government. President Morsi is the political leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Protesters have accused him of being autocratic and failing to protect religious freedom.

For a more thorough summary of the current situation in Egypt, the BBC and New York Times have summaries. Al-Jazeera English has a video of Morsi’s declaration of the state of emergency.

 

4. Washington Senator Patty Murray becomes Chair of Senate Budget Committee

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was appointed Chair of the Senate Budget Committee for the 2013 fiscal year. Murray announced this week that she plans to call for additional revenue by limiting tax deductions rather than raising rates. Murray’s initial budget plan may become the first Senate budget adoption within the past four years.

More information on Senator Murray’s budget plan can be found on Slate and the Washington Post.

 

5. Seattle teachers boycott required state test

Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, Wash. have boycotted the Measures of Academic Progress exam, stating that the tests are a waste of time and doesn’t help students or teachers. In particular, teachers have noted that the gains their students are expected to make on the test are within the margin of error for the test itself. Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda has said that he expects all teachers to administer the test. A statement supporting the boycott has been signed by over 60 researchers and teachers across the nation.

The Seattle Times has covered the boycott and its subsequent support. The teachers also have a Facebook page with news and updates.