Obama voices support for peace talks between Tibet and China
In a statement released by the White House last Friday, Obama voiced strong support for Tibetan human rights and peace between Tibet and China. Obama recently visited the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, despite warnings from China that his visit would threaten relations between China and the United States. Peace talks between China and Tibet have long been on hold, and Beijing maintains that Tibet is plotting a separatist movement. Obama’s statement encouraged China to revitalize peace talks with the exiled prime minister of Tibet and refuted claims that Tibet wishes to separate from China. President Obama has met with the Dalai Lama twice before, in February 2010 and July 2011.
Arizonans protest bill supporting discrimination based on sexuality
Multiple constituents and groups have pressured Jan Brewer, Republican governor of Arizona, to veto the bill, which would allow business owners to refuse service to individuals on the basis of sexuality. Demonstrations took place over the weekend to discourage this legislation, whcih many protesters insist would legalize outright discrimination against homosexuality. Both state congressional houses passed the bill last Thursday. John McCain and Jeff Flake, Arizona’s U.S. Senators, tweeted their hopes that Brewer will veto the bill. Executives from Apple and American Airlines sent letters stating that the bill would jeopardize Arizona’s economic progress. Republican Senators in defense of the bill have stated that those against the legislation have hijacked the discussion through personal attacks and bad reporting. The passage of the bill would potentially harm Arizona’s opportunity to host the 2015 Super Bowl since the N.F.L. might host elsewhere.
Legendary drug lord, El Chapo, captured in Mexico
The Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo,” was arrested on Feb. 22 in a condominium in Mazatlán, Mexico. Loera’s cartel, Sinaloa, is considered to be the largest drug trafficking organization in the world, and has ties to Europe and Asia in addition to providing much of the cocaine and marijuana found in the United States. Mexican officials have been attempting to apprehend Loera for thirteen years, since Loera supposedly escaped from prison in a laundry cart. Mexican police and marines were aided by intelligence from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, immigration and customs officials and the U.S. Marshals Office. It is still unclear whether the arrest will stall drug trafficking or if Sinaloa will simply appoint a new leader.
Ukraine focuses on EU integration
Oleksander Turchinov, interim president of Ukraine, stated that Ukraine would like to improve its relations with Russia, but has prioritized European integration. Ukrainian protesters ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday. Yanukovych is now wanted for the mass murder of protesters that took place amid the violence that surged in the country last week. After the former president fled last Friday, government officials grappled with economic and political challenges. Eastern Ukraine has long supported integration with Russia, while western Ukraine prefers integration with the European Union. A campaign for presidential elections on May 25 was launched yesterday. Former Prime Minister and archrival of Yanukovych, Yulia Tymoshenko, was freed on Saturday after two years of imprisonment. She has not decided whether or not to run for presidential office, but polls have ranked her as the top contender in the upcoming elections.