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Far away? Stay local. Spotlighted here are some of the current events happening during the week of Jan. 19 to 25, 2014, along with links to local ...

Jan 25, 2014

Far away? Stay local. Spotlighted here are some of the current events happening during the week of Jan. 19 to 25, 2014, along with links to local sources. All intended to bring you up to speed with the inside story.
Tunisia: The National Constitutional Assembly has finished voting on all of the articles of the new constitution, three years in the making after the toppling of former ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. A vote on the full charter will happen in the coming days. Read local at Tunisia Live.
South Sudan: A ceasefire agreement has been signed between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition, which supports the former vice president. According to the agreement, they are to stop firing for 24 hours. Read local at Radio Miraya.
Central African Republic: The country has elected a new interim president after her predecessor resigned in early January. Catherine Samba-Panza has some heavy lifting to do, as the C.A.R. has been in a state of unrest in the past few months. Read more at AllAfrica.
Mexico: A new set of regulations in the country’s Armed Forces will allow for greater equality between men and women. Specifically, from this year onwards, women will be permitted to enroll in the Military College and join the Mexican army. Read local at The News.
United States: New America Foundation, a U.S. American watchdog, released a report and concluded that the work of the National Security Agency is against the law and should be terminated. Read the report.
Colombia: The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continue to clash violently, agreeing to and breaking a ceasefire. Both sides accuse one another of breaching the ceasefire. Read local at Today Colombia.
Thailand: The Constitutional Court has voted unanimously to permit the general election to be delayed. The Election Commission, holding that the country’s political instability would not guarantee safe elections, asked for this ruling. Read local at Bangkok Post.
Kazakhstan: A discussion on bride kidnapping has been opened in the Lower Chamber of Parliament. The disagreement lies on whether bride kidnapping is against human rights or the event, when consensual and known to involved parties, is a cultural tradition. Read local at Tengri News.
Korean Peninsula: North Korea has offered to hold an event that reunites families divided by the Korean War (1950-1953). South Korea had sent a similar request in early January but was rejected. The last time such an event happened was in 2011. Read local at The Korea Times.
Ukraine: Protests escalate into violence this week, as President Vitktor Yanukovych first refused to respond to protestors’ demands and then met with opposition leaders and announced several concessions. Catch a summary at and read local at the Kyiv Post.
Turkey: The Parliament is creating a bill to reform the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors after a corruption scandal surfaced last month. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan just announced that he will freeze certain articles in the bill. Read local at Hurriyet Daily News.
EU: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he wants the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union. At the same time, he is also under pressure  from groups within in the U.K. to exit the EU. Read local at Reuters UK.
Middle East
Lebanon: In Beirut, protesters are staging a sit-in to block garbage trucks from dumping trash in the Naameh landfill. A member of the Parliament and the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblat has agreed to close the landfill within the year. Read local at Naharnet.
Yemen: After 10 months, the National Dialogue Conference has completed its Solutions and Guarantees Document, which allows the current president to remain in office another year and help draft a new constitution. The country will also shift to a federalist system. Read local at Yemen Times.
Syria: It remains uncertain if the Syrian government will continue to participate on the Geneva II peace talk and if the opposition will take part in face-to-face meetings with the regime. For comprehensive information on the Syrian conflict, check out Syria Deeply.
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