(The excerpts below are from WashingtonTimes.com – from wire dispatches and Washington Times staff reports)

UNITED KINGDOM – Britain, France on verge of partnership

LONDON | Britain and France are to announce on Tuesday an unprecedented partnership on defense in a bid to allow two medium-sized powers to remain global players, officials and diplomats said.

Economic austerity appears to have achieved what years of diplomacy have failed to do by forcing the historic rivals to work together.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron have expressed their determination to open a new chapter in cooperation, although officials from both countries stress that national sovereignty will be preserved.

At the Franco-British summit in London on Tuesday, “this relationship will be taken to a new level – the closest it has ever been,” British Defense Secretary Liam Fox wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

DENMARK – Party calls for ban on Arab TV channels

COPENHAGEN | The leader of Denmark’s populist Danish People’s Party, on which the government relies for support, said in a newspaper interview published Sunday that pan-Arab television channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya should be stopped from broadcasting to the country.

Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of parliament’s third-biggest party, accused the channels of sowing hatred against Western society in immigrant communities. The center-right governing coalition said it did not support her views about the stations.

Immigration is likely to become a topic of campaigning for elections due by mid-November 2011.

The minority government has passed tougher immigration laws in return for support from the Danish People’s Party since 2001.

Ms. Kjaersgaard said she would look into reporting the TV stations to Danish regulatory authorities with the aim of getting their broadcasts blocked.

RUSSIA – 2,000 ralliers demand freedom of assembly

MOSCOW | Nearly 2,000 people gathered in central Moscow on Sunday demanding freedom of assembly in a rare sanctioned rally.

The Russian opposition protests on the 31st day of each month are a nod to the 31st Article of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly.

Opposition activists gathered to protest in two rallies Sunday after Moscow City Hall gave a rare approval for the rally but placed a cap on the number of participants at 1,000 people, down from the requested 1,500.

Supporters of veteran rights activist and chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva agreed to the limit. But rally co-organizer Eduard Limonov slammed the decision as a “betrayal.”

Mr. Limonov’s supporters rallied Sunday, separated from Ms. Alexeyeva by a police cordon. Police later allowed them to merge with the sanctioned protest.

CUBA – Canadian detainee gets 8-year prison term

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE | A U.S. war-crimes tribunal Sunday sentenced Canadian captive Omar Khadr to 40 years in prison for charges that include murdering an American soldier in battle, but his plea agreement capped his sentence at eight years.

That means the Toronto native will serve eight more years, in addition to the eight he already has served at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Canadian was 15 when captured in Afghanistan in 2002 and is now 24. He is the first person since World War II to be prosecuted in a war-crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile.

The plea deal calls for him to be sent home to Canada after one more year at Guantanamo, although “the decision on that is solely up to the Canadian government,” the judge said.

Diplomatic notes exchanged between Washington and Ottawa gave assurances that would happen, Khadr’s attorneys have said.

SOUTH AFRICA – Zuma fires 7 ministers charged with aiding poor

PRETORIA | South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday fired seven ministers in what he said was a bid to better meet the needs of the country’s poorer residents.

“We are guided by the mission of our government, which is to improve the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor, working with all our people,” Mr. Zuma told reporters in Pretoria.

Among those axed was communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, a senior official in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) who previously served as the head of the South African National Defense Force.

Also fired was Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, the minister for women, children and people with disabilities, who had faced criticism for failing to get the newly established ministry off the ground.

No changes were made at key ministries, such as Finance, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs.

NOTE: The news blurbs above are from “World Scene” published at WashingtonTimes.com on Thursday, October 31, 2010 and from “Briefly” published at WashingtonTimes.com on Thursday, October 31, 2010.

Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC.  Reprinted from the Washington Times for educational purposes only.  Visit the website at washingtontimes.com. 


1. For each of the 5 countries, give the following information:
a) the continent on which it is located
b) the name of the capital city
c) the type of government
d) the chief of state (and head of government if different)
e) the population

[Find the answers at the CIA World FactBook website. For each country: type of government, capital and executive branch (chief of state/head of government) can be found under the “Government” heading; population is listed under the “People” heading.  Go to worldatlas.com for a list of continents.]

2. For the United Kingdom:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) For what reason have the historic rivals established a defense partnership?

3. For Denmark:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) For what reason did Ms. Kjaersgaard call for this ban?
c) What do you think of Ms. Kjaersgaard’s opposition to these TV Stations if they are guilty of inciting hatred of the West, including Denmark?

4. For Russia:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) This is the first time Moscow’s mayor has given the opposition permission to conduct a protest. Why do the activists attempt to protest on the 31st day of each month?

5. For Cuba:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) Why will Khadr only serve 16 years total?
c) Do you think this is the appropriate punishment for murdering a U.S. soldier? Should the age of an enemy combatant be an issue? Explain your answer.

6. For South Africa:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item

CHALLENGE QUESTION: Choose one of the news briefs above to research. Find articles from at least 3 different sources and write a paragraph providing more details of the how and/or why of the news item.


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