Five Stories You Might Have Missed

Beginning Sunday, I’ll be providing a regular feature entitled “Five Stories You Might Have Missed.”  The entry will highlight five important news stories from the previous week which, while important and interesting, may not have received much attention from the media.  But until next Sunday, here’s a short sample of what you can look forward to:

1.  Tensions in France over the status of the country’s Muslim minority and the position of Muslims in French society continue to intensify.  On Friday, the highest court in France rejected citizenship to a Muslim woman from Morocco claiming she was “insufficiently assimilated” into French society (LINK THIS).  She has lived in France since 2000, and her husband and three child children are already French citizens.

2. A report prepared by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released on Thursday projected global demand for oil will increase by 50% between 2008 and 2030.  The main cause of the increase: lots of new cars, especially in the developing world.  With oil prices hovering around the $135-140 per barrel range, such an increase in demand could drive oil prices much, much higher.

3. On Wednesday, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested on charges of sodomy.  According to the Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party, the arrest was retribution for the party’s success in the country’s March elections.  Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, is under pressure to resign in the face of strong opposition and poor election result.  So far, Badawi has declined to step down, but has promised to leave office in 2010.

4. Talks continue between the government of Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai’s opposition party in Zimbabwe.  After Tsvangirai was forced out of the run-off election for the country’s presidency as a result of political violence last month, South Africa’s leadership has tried to broker a compromise government which would see political power shared between the two rivals.  The one sticking point: Mugabe does not want to share power.  That’s a tough position from which to negotiate a power sharing agreement.

5. And finally, in other news of political instability, Turkey’s government has charged 86 people with plotting to overthrow the government.  Turkey’s historically secular government was replaced by a conservative religious government after the elections last year.  The military, however, remains largely secular and suspicious of the government.

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