News Politics

The World Gets A New Country

The most recent country to be formed in the world is called the Republic of South Sudan. It was formed on July 9, 2011.

Before July, South Sudan was part of Sudan, a country in the north-east of Africa. (Sudan itself used to be part of Egypt, but became independent in 1956.)

South Sudan was formed following two civil wars, one in the 1970s and—following an 11-year ceasefire—another which began in the 80s. The southern part of Sudan demanded independence.

When the new country’s independence was declared, its citizens took to the streets of Juba, the capital, to celebrate.

Salva Kiir Mayardit (pictured here) is the president of the new country, which has 10 states.

Health Politics

We Are Turning Seven Billion Strong

The population of the world is about to hit a new milestone.

As of Oct. 31, demographers say there will be seven billion people living on earth.

Back in 1804, we hit the one-billion mark. It took another 123 years to reach two billion.

By 2083, the population rate could be much faster or slower, depending a few factors including average life expectancy.

It is the poor who are always hit hardest by population increases, researcher John Bongaarts told The Globe and Mail newspaper.

There are more people drawing on the earth’s resources—food and energy, for instance.

More than 900 million people in the world don’t get adequate nourishment.

Breaking News Politics

Former Libyan Dictator Moammar Gadhafi Is Dead

The former leader of Libya is dead.

Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, had been forced to step down from office when Libyans took to the streets in protest of his brutal dictatorship.

For months, he and his followers fought off the rebels. He maintained to the end that he was still Libya’s ruler.

Then, he disappeared. No one could find him.

All that ended Thursday, when rebel forces shot him to death in his hometown, Sirte.

Gadhafi’s reign over Libya was at times colourful and brutal.

He often acted like an arrogant celebrity, having meetings with dignitaries in an enormous white tent which he set up wherever he went including large cities like Paris and New York.

He had female bodyguards who wore camouflage and high-heels and carried machine guns.

Breaking News Politics

Protesters Have The World’s Attention (Editorial)

There is a park in downtown Toronto called St. James Park.

This week it is filled with “campers.”

Colourful, domed vinyl tents crowd next to each other in the mud.

The campers are cold because there is no heat at night, there is no electricity, and winter is coming. But they persist.

Why are they there? They are camping in St. James Park in Toronto for the same reason they are camping in Zuccotti Park in New York, or outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England.

For the same reason people are camping in 80 other cities around the globe.

It is a protest.

News Politics

Occupy Wall Street Heading To Toronto

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is heading for Toronto and 950 other cities around the world.

In September, a poster in Adbusters magazine called for people to gather in New York to protest against big companies that make a lot of profit.

Although the protest was rather vague and unfocussed, young people came – and they kept coming.

They met in the “financial district” in New York, NY. The financial district is where many big companies have their headquarters, and where many stockbrokers (people who trade stocks) work.

It’s where a lot of profit is made.

Wall Street is a famous street that defines New York’s financial district.


First Female Premier For NL; Liberal Majority In PEI

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has its first female premier.

Kathy Dunderdale made history on Tuesday as she led her Progressive Conservative party to its third majority in a row.

A “majority” means the PCs have more seats in the legislature than the other parties combined.

A majority means that if there is a vote in the legislature, the PCs will win it (assuming all of them vote, and vote the same way) – even if everyone else in the legislature votes against it.

Having a majority often lets a government do more of the things it wants to do, because its projects won’t get voted down by the other parties.

Dunderdale has been Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador since Dec., 2010. She is only the sixth female premier in Canada’s history.

News Politics

Ontario Students Elect The NDP (Adult Voters Re-Elect Liberals)

If it was up to Ontario’s students, the province would have woken up to an NDP minority government.

More than 321,000 students under the voting age, cast ballots in a “parallel election.” In that “election,” the NDP won, with 26.6% of the votes and 41 seats in the legislature.

The Liberals came in a close second, with 39 seats (25.8%), the Ontario PCs third with 24 seats (21.1%) and the Green party took fourth place with 3 seats (16.6% of the votes cast).*

Across the province, candidates had dropped in on classrooms to talk about the issues and present their platforms to kids.

One grade 5 student in Toronto said he enjoyed listening to the candidates, learning about the electoral process and voting.

“It was great,” he said. “I now know what they stand for and why they’re politicians. I feel like I understand the parties a lot better.”

News Politics

Fourth Straight Majority For NDP In Manitoba

Manitoba had a provincial election on Wednesday.

The province’s New Democratic Party made history yesterday by winning its fourth straight majority.

A “majority” is when a party has more seats in the legislature than the other parties combined. (Seats in the legislature means the number of Members of Provincial Parliament, or MPPs, in the provincial government.)

Greg Selinger, the leader of the Manitoba NDP, will remain the province’s premier, a position he has held since 2009.

Selinger defeated the Progressive Conservatives. Its leader, Hugh McFadyen, said he will step down as soon as his party can find someone to replace him.


Alberta’s First Female Premier

Alison Redford will be Alberta’s first female premier.

Her political party, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, voted her in as their leader on Sunday.

She replaces Ed Stelmach, who had stepped down. He was the leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party, and the premier of the province.

By replacing Stelmach, Redford will not only be the party’s leader but the province’s premier as well – at least until the next provincial election (likely in 2012) when the public will help to choose who the premier will be.

Until she is sworn in as premier, her title is Premier-Designate.


Young People Can Get Involved In Upcoming Election

Ontario, like four other Canadian provinces, will hold a provincial election this fall.

Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and the Premier of the province will be chosen.

Depending on the province and district, other positions will also be elected.

In one of Ontario’s districts, Scarborough-Agincourt, Soo Wong is running for MPP.

TKN asked her what young people can do to feel part of the political process when they’re not yet old enough to vote.

“It is the responsibility of every Canadian to understand what elections are about,” she said. “All of the young people will sooner or later become adults. It’s not just about today, but about moving this province forward.”

She said that young people need to be knowledgeable about the candidates and the issues so that when it is their time to vote, they are prepared.