Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catching Up with the News

Some recent news out of Africa and elsewhere:

Osama bin Laden and the Sahel: From Al Jazeera, on how bin Laden has internationalized the situation in the Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, but can also include Burkina Faso, Senegal and even Morocco) with video messages supporting kidnappings and condemning Western influence in the region, while the European Council has attempted discretion over the matter. The "situation" refers to the kidnapping a French national in July and the nine hostages currently being held by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM), a creation of the Algerian DRS, a strong "terrorist" influence in the region. I can't go into details because I admit a high degree of ignorance concerning the Sahel in particular and North/ West African in general - it's not my area - but I recommend it because one, it's a reminder of just how large Africa is that a situation involving several African nations and France is considered "obscure" and two, it's healthy to have some understanding of the current events, obscure or not. For background on AQIM, the hostage crisis and why the European Council is involved in what originally were France's solitary actions, read the articles here, here and here.

Facebook, You're So Naughty: an employee was fired after posting disparaging remarks about her supervisor on her Facebook page, a post which prompted additional caustic remarks from co-workers. The employee is claiming unlawful termination. Will be interesting to see how this plays out and how much control companies will lose (or gain!) over their employees.

And check out Scocca on Slate: funny, relevant, biting - everything I wish I could be.

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