Where in the World...?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Zambia: It may be controlled by a “foolish elephant” and a group of “baboons,” but at least the Zambian Supreme Court is intelligent enough to allow freedom of the press.

Roy Clarke, a British writer, published an article in The Post newspaper based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He referred to President Levy Mwanawasa as a “foolish elephant.”

He was originally given 24 hours to leave the country.

The Court has rejected the government’s attempt to deport a journalist for lampooning officials.

Judge Philip Musonda said the author had a right to write satirical pieces and called the deportation order “unconstitutional.”

Brazil: An unprecedented loss of Amazon rainforest has made a hypocrite out of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“Lula,” as he is known in Brazil, announced only a few months ago that his government’s efforts to control illegal logging significantly reduced illegal deforestation.

To the contrary, the rate of forest clearing soared from a monthly rate of 243 square kilometres in August, to 948 square kilometres in December.

According to officials, the rising prices of raw materials and commodities could encourage farmers to clear the Amazon rainforest for a source of cheap farmland.

Alaska: The last native speaker of Eyak, a language indigenous to Alaska, has passed away at age 89.

You would expect at least one of Marie Smith Jones’ nine children to have learned the language, but her daughter said they grew up at a time when it was unacceptable to speak anything but English.

Jones worked with professors at the University of Alaska to create an Eyak dictionary for the preservation of the language.

Eyak is the first of nearly 20 other native Alaskan languages that are expected to go extinct.

Europe: Europe is going green with its new plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the goal is to cut emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 at an estimated cost of €3 or $4.45 Cdn a week for every citizen.

Carbon allowances for companies are decided at the national level, but Barroso’s system would make Europe responsible for designating permissible emission amounts.

Richer nations would have to cut their greenhouse levels, while poorer countries would be allowed to increase their emissions.

The proposal is still awaiting the approval of the Members of European Parliament and member states.

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