Around the world in five stories

Sandrine Badio

Africa
Madagascar’s president Marc Ravalomanana lost a power struggle for his post as the head of state after the masses became disenchanted with his capitalist endeavours that have tended to enrich a select few while leaving the majority of the populace in destitute conditions. The likely successor is a 34-year-old Andry Rajoelina, a former DJ and businessman.
North America
Sara Jane Olson, a former 1970s anti-government radical has been granted early parole from prison after serving half of her 14-year sentence. Her life as a fugitive came to an end in 1999 when she was captured and sentenced for her involvement in an attempted police car bombing and for a second degree murder. Olson was a member of the militant Symbionese Liberation Army’s whose objective was to fight the U.S government which they believed to be an oppressive governmental regime.

Asia
Laura Ling, a Chinese-American, and Euna Lee, a Korean-American – both of whom work for the California-based online media outlet Current TV – were detained last week by Korean officials after ignoring instructions to stop reporting on North Korean refugees in North Eastern China. This latest event is another blow to international relations between North Korea and the U.S.

Middle East
Appearing in a newsletter published by an Israeli military college were soldiers’ accounts of the senseless killing of Palestinian civilians during the recent Gaza strip conflict. One account covers a close-range killing of a woman and her children who simply misunderstood instructions to leave their home. Another testimonial was of the highly circulated pamphlets describing the conflict as a holy war. Israel’s Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, told the press that the findings would be examined seriously.

Europe
Some 43 years after the late President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of Nato, France’s national assembly voted in favour of President Sarkozy’s government to resume full military participation with Nato. The French press is split over the decision which the symbolize dependence on the U.S on the international stage.