Politics

Image: Pete Souza
News Politics

Obama “Officially” President Again

Barack Obama was “sworn in” as president of the United States on Sunday.

It’s his second term as president. A term is four years; because he won the election in November, he is slated to serve another four years.

Obama was sworn in by taking an “oath of office.” An oath of office is a promise he makes in accepting the job of U.S. president.

In taking the oath, he promised to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States so help me God.”

Remy Steinegger
Politics

New Rules For Foreign Ownership Of Canadian Companies

Recently Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, has been facing a lot of questions about how other countries invest in Canada.

A Chinese company made a bid to buy a Canadian oil and gas company.

The bid had to be approved by the Canadian government.

This was an important decision for Canada because it would be another country owning a major Canadian resource company and Canadians are protective of the country’s natural resources.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; Image, Stefan Rousseau
News Politics

New Egyptian Leader Backs Off On Strict Controls

In 2011, during what was called Arab Spring, protests in the Middle East showed that many people were fed up with their dictator leaders.

One of the largest countries in which people opposed their leader was Egypt. 

The protests ended when President Hosni Mubarak was driven out of office and put on trial.

Last June, Egypt’s first freely elected president took office.

But instead of trying to get everyone to agree on how to run the country, President Mohammed Morsi decided to give himself complete power over all laws and all the people.

He said this was the only way to get things done.

Again the protests started as people streamed into the streets because their rights had been removed.

Their message got to Morsi and he cancelled his plans for complete power.

Classroom
News Politics

Ontario Teachers’ Strike Actions May Escalate In December

The “strike actions” that teachers are taking in Ontario may escalate in December.

In this case, “strike actions” refer to things the teachers and their union are doing to bring attention to the issues that are important to them.

In order to get that attention, many Ontario teachers have already chosen to not participate in extra-curricular activities as well as other things on certain days of the week.

Rob Ford when running for mayor in 2012
Breaking News News Politics

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Removed From Office

A judge has ruled that the mayor of one of the largest cities in North America has to step down.

Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, has been removed from office–in other words, forced to stop being the mayor.

The judge’s decision takes effect two weeks from now. That’s when Ford must be out of his office.

Ford was elected in 2010 and had another two years to go, in his term as mayor.

Ford was found to have violated “conflict of interest” laws.

That’s because when Ford was a councillor, he raised some money for the football team he coaches, using City Hall stationery.

The city’s integrity commissioner — the person who advises elected officials about ethics — told Ford he had to give the money back. Ford refused.

When he became mayor, Ford asked council to reverse the decision.

In other words, he asked councillors to vote to let him keep the money and not have to give it back. Ford also voted in that vote.

The judge said that the mayor voting in this way was a conflict of interest.

Turkey
News Politics

PEN Gives Support To Jailed Writers In Turkey

In some countries, people aren’t allowed to say anything bad about their government. They don’t have “freedom of expression.”

Some writers who have spoken out against their governments have been put in jail by those governments.

Fortunately, there is a group called PEN International, which defends freedom of expression. PEN International fights for the rights of writers around the world.

Last week, PEN International went to Turkey. The group was led by Canadian author John Ralson Saul, the president of PEN International.

They met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül to show their concern for writers and journalists in Turkish prisons.

PEN asked the Turkish government to consider shortening jail time for prisoners before their trials. This period can often last for years.

Another problem is that prisoners aren’t able to see their lawyers quickly. According to one report in The Toronto Star, one man has been kept from talking to his lawyer for over a year.

The Flag of Europe
News Politics

EU Donates Peace Prize Money To Children Affected By War

The European Union has decided to put all of the money it won for the Nobel Peace Prize towards projects that help children in war zones.

The EU includes 27 countries in Europe that are closely tied in business and politics.

The EU was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts in keeping the peace in Europe for more than 65 years.

The Peace Prize is a very prestigious honour; the winner receives a medal and eight million Swedish kronor—about $1.18 million.

That money will be put towards projects that help children who live in areas of the world that are experiencing conflict or war.

“Children are the future of any society and at the same time the most vulnerable,” the European Commission said in a statement about the prize money.

What those projects will be, and how the money will be divided, will be decided in the next few weeks.

Rob Ford
News Politics

Toronto Mayor In Another Unusual Situation

Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, is in the middle of another controversy.

It happened last week. He was on the field with the high school football team he coaches, the Don Bosco Eagles.

The coach of the other team got into a confrontation with the referee.

Police were called in to deal with the situation.

That’s where the situation gets confusing.

The police called the Toronto Transit Commission. Police asked the TTC to send a bus to the field to pick up Ford’s team.

Unfortunately, that meant kicking passengers off two buses—stranding them in the rain—and sending those then-empty buses to the field to pick up the high school football team.

The mayor said when the buses didn’t show up promptly, he called the head of the TTC and left him a message.

Image: Pete Souza
News Politics

Barack Obama Wins Second Term As President Of The United States

Barack Obama won yesterday’s U.S. election, becoming the President of the United States for the second term in a row.

It was a close and hard-fought election.

In the end, Obama and his Democratic party won about 50 per cent of the popular vote, to rival Mitt Romney’s approximately 49 per cent.

Obama comfortably won the “electoral college” votes he needed to retain his presidency.

By early Wednesday morning, with votes still trickling in, the Democrats had won 300 electoral college votes. Two hundred and seventy were needed (out of 538) to win the election.

Romney had 206 of the electoral college votes.

In the days leading up to the election, opinion polls in the U.S. showed Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama as neck-and-neck.

It wasn’t clear who would win.

Lincoln Alexander; Image courtesy the Lieutenant Governor’s Office
News Politics

Lincoln Alexander Was A Model For Young People

Lincoln Alexander was the lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991.

He was the first black person to hold that post in the country’s history. He was also Canada’s first black Member of Parliament.

Lincoln Alexander died on Oct. 19, at the age of 90. He was given a state funeral, which is a high honour.

Alexander died in Hamilton, Ont., where he had lived for many years.

Throughout his career, Alexander supported youth leadership and he fought racism.

Alexander, born in 1922, was the child of a railway porter and a maid who came separately to Canada from the Caribbean to find a better life.

Their son, Lincoln, became one of Canada’s most inspiring leaders.

His firsts were many. He was the first black person elected to Canada’s House of Commons and the first black person to be named a lieutenant-governor.

He was the first black partner in a Canadian law firm and first black Minister in the Federal Government.