Don’t have time to read in-depth reports on the major news stories of the moment? Don’t fear! Check the News Blog every Sunday afternoon for a run-down of the top stories that matter to you and where to find out more information.
Saudi women earn the right to vote
Saudi Arabian women were granted the right to vote Sunday by King Abdullah in a move many say was prompted by the Arab Spring. Saudi women are not allowed to drive and do not have equal rights with men, but Abduallah’s decision also allows women to run for public office. It is unclear how many women will take advantage of their new freedoms, as they legally could be denied the opportunities by the men in their lives. The new law will take effect during the next nationwide local elections — in 2015.
Palestine applies for statehood
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas applied for Palestinian statehood and United Nations membership earlier this week amid cheers from many established UN members, despite the United States’ past promises to veto. Abbas said he wants Israel and Palestine to go back to the 1967 borders, but the Israeli government has not accepted the proposal.
Bullfighting banned in Catalonia
Sunday marked the last bullfight ever in Spain’s Catalonia region. While it is not banned in every region of Spain, many have protested, saying it is an attack on liberty. Anti-bullfight activists celebrated at the final fight, and Spain’s leading broadcaster already declared several months ago it would no longer air live bullfights because of the violence it demonstrated to children.
Check back at elonpendulum.com this week to see a photo story about bullfighting in Madrid, Spain, by international correspondent Will Anderson.
American hikers released from Iranian prison
Two American hikers have finally returned to New York on Sunday after two years of detention in an Iranian prison. The two men, Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, were hiking in Iraq in July 2009 when they were detained by Iranian officials for illegally entering the country. Fellow hiker Sarah Shourd was also arrested, but was released last year. The two men were recently convicted of espionage on behalf of the American government, but they have claimed they were detained specifically because of their nationality and Iran’s poor relationship with the United States government. Both Fattal and Bauer have maintained claims of innocence, saying they never intended to cross the border, and did not do so, but will never know for sure whether they actually did.
Made in a Free World has just released an iPhone app for individuals to track the amount of slave labor they support through their daily purchases. The app works based on lifestyle survey that takes inventory of an individual’s belongings and breaks each item down by the materials needed to make it.
A pair of sneakers, for example, involves not only labor to put the product together but also labor to produce the cloth, plastic, rubber, metal and other raw materials used in manufacturing. The app is free in the iTunes store and so many people have attempted to access the site and take the survey that the organization’s servers have crashed, and are currently being upgraded to fifty times their size.