What’s going on in the world?

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 9.30.58 AMAs you read about what is going on here at Jasper High School, in the U.S. or just in Indiana, some of you may wonder what is actually going on outside the borders of the country. Here are some of the latest world news.

  • The Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez passed away at the age of 58 on Tuesday the 5th of March. The former president rose from poverty in a dirt-floor adobe house to unrivaled influence in Venezuela as its president, consolidating power and wielding the country’s oil reserves as a tool for his Socialist-inspired change. He was a dreamer with a common touch and enormous ambition.  He grew up a have-not in an oil-rich country that prized ostentatious consumption. He was a man of mixed ancestry — African, indigenous and Spanish — who despised a power structure dominated by Europeanized elites. He rose to power in democratic elections, in 1998. He was a loved president, and it seems as the whole world is sending in their condolences.
  • Since Benedict resigned on Feb. 28 — the first pope to undertake such a step for centuries — cardinals, the so-called princes of the church, have been gathering in this city-state to formulate their views on his successor at the so-called general congregation, a preliminary to the papal voting at a conclave. Cardinals gathering to choose a pope to replace held a third day of speeches and discussions on Wednesday on their “hopes and expectations” for his successor, but made no formal announcement of a date for their traditional secret balloting to choose a new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. The conclave usually begins with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and a procession to the Sistine Chapel, followed by one round of voting in the afternoon. The voting then proceeds in rounds of two in the morning and two in the afternoon, for a total of four a day, or until a pope is chosen. The winner needs a two-thirds majority, which in this case will be 77 votes if all the expected 115 electors participate.
  • North-Korea threatened for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea, issuing the warning as the United Nations was preparing tough new sanctions over its nuclear program. The threat from the North Korean Foreign Ministry came hours before the United Nations Security Council was scheduled to meet on the sanctions, which are  aimed at squeezing the international financing of the already isolated regime in Pyongyang. Calling such sanctions “an act of war,” North Korea has sharply escalated its threats against the United States and its allies in the last few days, declaring the 1953  armistice that stopped the Korean War null and void and threatening to turn Washington and  Seoul into “a sea in flames” with “lighter and smaller nukes.”
  • The former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, was sentenced to 1 year in prison by a Milan court on Thursday over the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap in his brother’s newspaper, the Italian ANSA news agency reported. Berlusconi can appeal the ruling. Berlusconi, who resigned from his prime minister’s post in 2011 but ran again in the recent Italian elections, has been previously sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion but has since appealed the verdict. He also went to trial for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute known as “Ruby the Heartbreaker,” who was 17 years old at the time.
  • The Champions League is now going on for full in Europe, and several of the favorite teams are doing great. The Champions League is an annual soccer competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European soccer. There are 8 groups consisting of 4 teams that compete in getting to the final. Teams such as AC Milan, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern München, Barcelona and Manchester United are leading in their groups.

That is it for now, but come back next week for more World News. Let’s hope they’re not so depressing..

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