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What in the World is Going On?

1              It has been reported that a U.S. solider in Afghanistan has been involved in the killing of 16 Afghani civilians. In what has been described as a tragedy by the Pentagon, the solider, who has not been named, was said to have “left his base in the southern province of Kandahar in the early hours of Sunday,” according to the BBC. While many details about the incident are unclear, it is known that his victims were mostly women and children. No explanation has been offered by officials, but reports suggest the soldier may have either been intoxicated or suffering from a mental breakdown. This incident comes on the heels of the Koran burning incident at a NATO base in Kabul last month, adding to anti-U.S. sentiment in the region.

2             On Monday, Syrian forces were accused of the deaths of at least 45 women and children in one of the worst actions committed in the nation since the beginning of the uprising. Many civilians were reportedly hacked or burned to death in the city of Homs, in what has been called a “massacre” by both sides, although opposition activists and the Syrian state media have disputed responsibility for the event. The timing of the atrocity has coincided with failed peace talks in the region and other attempts at resolving the situation.

3             On March 11, the people of Japan mourned their losses in remembrance of the one year anniversary of the infamous earthquake and tsunami that hit the country. The natural disasters killed over 19,000 people and set into action one of the most terrifying nuclear crises since Chernobyl. People across Japan paused at 2:46 p.m. — the moment the magnitude-9.0 quake hit — for moments of silence, prayer and reflection. While much still must be done to fully rehabilitate the nation, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda took time to remind the Japanese people of their persistence and ability to overcome  disasters in the past, pledging to rebuild the nation so it will be “reborn as an even better place.”

              On March 5, United States-based Invisible Children Inc. released a 29-minute video entitled “Kony 2012.” The film’s goal is to promote the charity’s movement to stop Joseph Kony. Kony is the Ugandan war criminal that the nonprofit wants to make “famous” in order to have him be arrested and taken to trial by the end of 2012. Having reached over 70 million views on YouTube, as well as being linked to on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the film has received much criticism regarding the simplification of the issue in the African region and troubling information surrounding the business aspects of the organization as a whole, specifically how much of the donated revenue goes directly to victims suffering in the country.

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