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10 Dec 2011 09:53


World: Three women — two Liberian, one Yemeni — accept Nobel Peace Prize

  • Three examples of strong female peace-fighters: On Saturday in Oslo, the three winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Price — from left, Yemeni Tawakkol Karman, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — accepted their honors. The three women were chosen together as a reflection of women’s rights at large. Karman’s case is particularly of note — at 32 she is not only the youngest winner of an award, but also the first Arab woman, one reflective of this year’s Arab Spring movement. Gbowee, meanwhile, led an anti-rape campaign in her country; and Johnson-Sirleaf went a long way in easing tensions by leading the country past a long civil war. Congrats to all three. (Photo via AP) source

07 Oct 2011 12:46


World: Is the Nobel Peace Prize’s approach to the Arab Spring the right one?

  • We have included the Arab Spring in this prize, but we have put it in a particular context. Namely, if one fails to include the women in the revolution and the new democracies, there will be no democracy.
  • Nobel Prize Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland • Explaining how the committee worked the Arab Spring into the Nobel Peace Prize while giving it a broader context — the repression of women. One of the three winners, Yemen’s Tawakkul Karman, has been a leader the anti-government protests in that country. The other two, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee represent different parts of the issue — Sirleaf is Africa’s first freely elected female leader, while Gbowee led a successful campaign against the usage of rape as a weapon during Liberia’s civil war. As the Arab Spring has plenty of moments which might be considered problematic for giving out a Nobel Peace Prize (such as war and violence), this is a compromise that de-emphasizes all that, while focusing on a quite-important issue. Think it’s the right approach? source

26 Sep 2011 10:23


World: Wangari Maathai, African sustainable development advocate, dies at 71

  • She will be remembered as a committed champion of the environment, sustainable development, women’s rights, and democracy.
  • Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan • Speaking about Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, who died Sunday of ovarian cancer at age 71. Maathai, a Kenyan, founded the Green Belt Movement, an organization that encouraged methods of sustainable development. Her work with the Green Belt Movement, which spanned over 30 years, led to her winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. “We need people who love Africa so much that they want to protect her from destructive processes,” she noted in a 2005 speech. “There are simple actions we can take. Start by planting 10 trees we each need to absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale. Get involved in local initiatives and volunteer your time for services in your community.” This world needs more people like her, not less. Based on the strong response on Twitter today, lots of people agree. source

02 Feb 2011 14:16


Politics: Why Barack Obama may not be so happy just now

  • By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes, WikiLeaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Norwegian MP Snorre Valen • As all members of national parliaments can make nominations for the Peace Prize winner, Valen bestowed this honor upon the WikiLeaks organization. The Nobel committee has declined to offer further comment. The news is likely to the intense chagrin of former winner Barack Obama. source

28 Jan 2011 02:32


World: Mohamed ElBaradei on Egypt: “Every demand fell on deaf ears”

  • I wish we didn’t have to go to the street to impress on the regime the need to change. We tried signatures. We tried boycotting the elections. Nothing worked; every demand fell on deaf ears and the young took the credit for going onto the streets and making things happen.
  • Egyptian opposition leader (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Mohamed ElBaradei • Offering his take on the events that led to the current protests. While he’s seen as a possible new leader in the country, he’s not universally loved; others criticize him for choosing to live in Vienna instead of Egypt even after he completed his time with the United Nations’ atomic energy agency. Nevertheless, he’s a symbol to rally around. source

27 Jan 2011 10:54


World: Mohamed ElBaradei: Need a leader, Egyptian protesters? I’m here

  • ElBaradei: ready to take up power for a transitional period if the street demanded it.
  • A message that popped up on Arabic satellite channel Al Arabiya • Informing Egyptians that  Mohamed ElBaradei, a key opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was up for the job of leader if they needed someone to rally behind. He’s returning to the country today after a long time away. So far,  the protests against President Hosni Mubarak have been strong, but not focused. A figurehead like ElBaradei might strengthen the movement with a rallying point. “He has served the country for 30 years and it is about time for him to retire,” ElBaradei said. Will this be the corner-turning the protesters need? source

09 Dec 2010 09:51


World: Russia thinks Julian Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize

  • Public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him … Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate.
  • A source inside Dmitry Medvedev’s office • Offering Wikileaks the kind of head-scratching support that instantly suggests “ulterior motive.” While Russia’s at it, perhaps Russia can go in support of Liu Xiaobo at his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony tomorrow, in defiance of China. That’d really be helpful. This is just gibberish. source

08 Dec 2010 20:48


World: China’s Confucius Peace Prize: More like the WTF Peace Prize

  • Are you asking about the peace prize thing? Regarding this event, our answer is ‘no comment,’ because we know nothing about it. Nobody has ever contacted us on this issue, and we only have secondhand information from journalists.
  • Taiwanese politician Lien Chan’s office manager • Expressing befuddlement at the peace prize offered to their boss by the chinese government. This is strange, because the Confucius Peace Prize was awarded to Lein, along with a $15,000 prize, which he’s supposed to accept on Thursday. If Lein doesn’t want it, we’ll take it. Then, right there, we’ll give the money to the long-suffering spouse of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. source

08 Dec 2010 09:59


World: China clamps down before Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel award ceremony

  • 272 people harassed or jailed prior to the Nobel ceremony source

07 Dec 2010 10:18


World: Le sigh: China gets allies to boycott Nobel Peace Prize ceremony

  • 19 countries will boycott Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony source
  • » Who are these people? Besides China (duh), the countries are Afghanistan, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Ukraine. Most aren’t very surprising, but a couple (The Philippines, Russia) are. So why are they choosing to boycott Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony? Simple. China probably threatened economic retribution against countries that supported the ceremony. And China is powerful.