Leaders in Peace: Nobel 2011
Three female leaders share this year's Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in Liberia and Yemen. Many say the Nobel committee has returned to its roots after years of controversy.
What's the Latest Develoment?
Three female leaders share this year's Nobel Peace Prize for their activism in Liberia and Yemen. "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and Africa's first female head of state, shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with fellow countryman Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman, the committee's solitary nod to the Arab Spring." Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf is credited with rebuilding her nation after a devastating 12-year civil war. In a break with tradition, her political allies have not recognized her as deserving.
What's the Big Idea?
Tawakul Karman has campaigned against injustice in Yemen for years and observers say her award is the Nobel committee's nod to the achievement of the Arab Spring. "Mrs Karman yesterday dedicated her prize to 'all the activists of the Arab Spring', saying it was 'a victory for the Yemeni revolution and the peaceful character of this revolution.'" This year's prize has attracted fewer opponents than in recent years, with China leading a 19-state boycott of the 2010 ceremony for dissident Liu Xiaobo and the controversy over Barack Obama in 2009.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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