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Where in the World

Los Angeles, California-As of right now, the state of California will be the first kind of proof for whether or not President Obama’s healthcare plan can be successful. The subsidized healthcare exchange is known as Covered California and has already received over 16,000 applications, which cover more than 29,000 people. There are also thousands more currently being filled out. One of the main reasons that the federal government is pushing for California to embrace state insurance is because California’s uninsured make up almost 15% of the American population who do not have health insurance. It has been reported that the process to apply for the insurance is somewhat tedious and confusing, but the state of California plans on training 20,000 enrollment counselors and 12,000 insurance agents who will be able to assist citizens with their applications. California’s state officials are hesitant to release demographic information of the participants, but within a short amount of time that information should be available to the public.

London, England- The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was recently announced. Many believed that Malala Yousafzai, the 16 year old girl who had her life threatened by the Taliban because of her work for female education in Pakistan, would win, but it went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.). This little-known organization oversees the end of the previously secret chemical weapons programs that have been implemented in Syria during its civil war. The organization is also backed by the United Nations. Some Syrians have mixed views about the work of the O.P.C.W. because most of the violence enacted on the population of Syria has been through conventional weapons such as bombs, rocket fire, and artillery. The O.P.C.W. continues to do quiet investigations within countries that are reported to have chemical weapons.

Tripoli, Libya- After the overthrowing of the dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, an air of revolution still hangs over Libya. This past week, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped from his bed around 2 a.m. by militiamen. In any other nation, this would seem absurd; however, in Libya the militia holds a high authority and have done much to destroy the country. They recently have hampered the production of oil, cut off water from the capital, and participated in drug trafficking. Shortly after his capture, the prime minister was released, virtually unharmed. It is believed that the militiamen did this as an active show of their desire to have him overthrown. Since the overthrowing of the previous dictator, the militia in Libya hold a strong presence and most likely will continue to do so until the central government is fully restored.

Pyongyang, North Korea- The mother of Kenneth Bae, an American-Korean citizen sentenced to hard labor in North Korea for fifteen years, visited her son in a hospital in Pyongyang earlier this week. Mr. Bae’s mother has repeatedly requested to see her son in North Korea, as it was reported that his health was failing, and just recently the North Korean government approved a five-day visit. It is still unclear whether or not this is a sign that the government is preparing to release him. Kenneth Bae was an official tour guide in North Korea, and was also a Christian missionary in the country. The country states that it supports complete religious freedom, and yet it is reported that it still suppresses Christianity. Mr. Bae was convicted of crimes against the country, most likely due to his missionary work, which is taken very seriously in North Korea. In August, the United States was going to send a diplomat to see that Kenneth Bae was released, but right before the trip, North Korea rescinded their invitation.

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