July 10, 2010

Comparatively speaking, this second full week of July was a little calmer than previous weeks. Maybe the scorching heat wave on the east coast, maybe the distractions from the World Cup (or at least Larissa) or maybe just the calm before the storm (there is that Sarkozy scandal brewing in Paris). In any event, the world still had its share of dramas and no doubt there will be more, as there always are.

(Everyone, it seems put in their two cents for the Polish elections)

Recovering from the shock the tragedy in April, which took the life of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and most of the Polish government, elections were held this past week. The winner was Bronislaw Komorowski, defeating the bid of Jaroslaw Kaczynski (twin brother of the late President) to take over the top spot. Polski Radio's Overseas Service offered a breakdown of the election returns - July 5th.

(first China, now Turkey . .will the wonders ever cease?)

The latest Government versus Internet fracas is taking the form of a squabble between Turkey and Google. Hot from their skirmish with China, Google are now dealing with a rather cantankerous Turkish Parliament who feels that Google, who have been available to Internet users in Turkey, should set up shop in Turkey and pay Turkish taxes. BBC Radio 4's Today Program ran a report on the latest rundown on July 5th.

(oh . . .the Euro again!)

It seems this 8 year old experiment in monetary stability isn't destined to last much longer. As was pointed out in this episode of the BBC World Service's Analysis Program from July 5th, the fallout from the current financial crisis has put quite a dent on the stability of the Euro. Despite proclamations to the contrary, it wouldn't surprise me at all if mattresses are stuffed all over Europe with Pounds, Lire and Francs - just in case.

(Denial on de Nile)

When Mahmoud Taha Swellem told his employers masked gunmen came aboard the bus he was driving in a Cairo neighborhood and started shooting, killing 6 and wounding at least 12, they believed him and quietly said nothing to anyone for the next seven hours. It was only when police started wondering what all the body bags were doing did the story begin to unwind and Mahmoud was accused of mass killing in the deaths of six construction company workers. As the BBC Africa Service' Africa Today program explained on July 6th, part of the denial came as a result of the shock over the unusual nature of the crime.

(In lieu of the Lovefest . . . )

This week also saw the return of Bibi Netanyahu to the White House and a considerably warmer reception with President Obama than just weeks before. What all this means can be taking a million different ways, and Israel National Radio's Tamar Yonah wasted no time speculating. This broadcast from July 8th features a lengthy and very interesting interview with American Journalist Edwin Black on just what might be in the cards in the coming weeks. You can grimace, shrug your shoulders or place bets - it's up for grabs like that.

(Larissa Riquelme - singlehandedly responsible for the massive rise in interest in football among teenage boys)

And finally, with the final of the World Cup set for Sunday, Spain is now poised to pull off a first. Whether it happens or not is purely up for speculation. The real winner is the game itself, having made millions of new converts to a challenging and rewarding sport that's been around for a long time, but just coming of age here in the States. With Larissa Riquelme around, the sport may never be the same again. Here is a wrap up of the Spanish win from Thursday Juuly 8th by BBC Five Live's World Cup Daily.

And then there's next week . . .

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