December 27, 2012
By Shannen Hill
L.A. Watts Times Intern
Syria’s civil war has lasted the entire year and their vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, believes that it will end in a stalemate. The war started as a result of protests against the government’s violent treatment of 15 students who wrote anti-government graffiti on a wall last year. The Syrian rebels have already seized military bases in Syria and battled some of the best armed forces near their president’s powerbase. They also expect to receive military help from Gulf Arab states.
The president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, has been promoting a new constitution for the country. There were many mixed opinions about the new constitution, resulting in protests and Morsi permitting the army to arrest citizens. However, after gaining the support of The Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptians are beginning to support the ratification of the constitution. Last week, millions of Egyptians voted peacefully on the new constitution.
Palestine has made great advances towards becoming an independent country. One of their greatest achievements this year was receiving a non-member, observer state status in the United Nations. While they have yet to gain independence, Palestine is gaining recognition from their international peers.
There have been growing conflicts between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group. This conflict resulted in the killing of Ahmed al-Ja’abari, the chief of Hamas’ military wing. The current leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, has recently been giving a series of speeches threatening to destroy Israel. Palestine, along with the countries of the United Nations, has chosen to ignore the statements made by Mashaal, leaving the prime minister of Israel angry with the international community, claiming that they use double standards.
A United States ambassador, along with three other Americans, was killed in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. This attack became a subject of debate on how effective the United States Army is. While the F.B.I. has identified several suspects, none have been arrested and some have fled Benghazi. This was the first time since 1979 that an American ambassador had died in a violent assault.
Obama Re-Elected: President Barack Obama was re-elected the 44th President of the United States of America.
Jackie Lacey elected D.A. of L.A.: Jackie Lacey became the first woman and first African-American to be elected the District Attorney of Los Angeles County.
Councilman Herb Wesson makes history: Herb Wesson became the first African American to be elected as the President of the Los Angeles City Council.
Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas: Supervisor Mark Ridley – Thomas became the first Black Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Nolan Rollins: Rollins replaces Blair Taylor as the Los Angeles Urban League president.
Maxine Waters vindicated: The House Ethics Committee cleared Rep. Maxine Waters, of wrongdoing following a two-year investigation into allegations that she improperly helped out a bank in which her husband was an investor. Later, House Democrats appointed the congresswoman as the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, which deals with national banking issues.
Herman Cain came to the top and flopped: Initially thought to be the Republican frontrunner for the 2012 presidential election, Cain dropped out of the race amidst accusations of sexual harassment and a 13 year extramarital affair.
TRAYVON MARTIN: The Black teenager who was gunned down by George Zimmerman — a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida — and captured national attention and garnered universal outrage. Martin was gunned down near his father’s home, wearing a hoodie and armed with little more than an iced tea and Skittles. He was 17.
ANTHONY DUNN: Anthony “Tony” Dunn was a mail carrier, who died after having his legs severed by an unlicensed driver while delivering mail in the Boyle Heights area of East L.A. He was 31.
KENDREC MCDADE: Kendrec McDade, a young Black man, was killed in Pasadena, CA. by the local police, and the community raised many questions about the circumstances surrounding the seemingly senseless killing. An attorney for the family filed a lawsuit against the police in the U.S. district Court. The police officers involved were acquitted of any wrongdoing. He was 19.
FREDRICK MARTIN: Fred Martin was a young father and husband who was gunned down in a heroic effort to save his 8-year-old the son from gunfire. Martin was shot twice in the chest and stomach after pushing his son to the ground at the last second — ultimately saving the kid’s life. He was 28.
BRANDON WOODARD: L.A. resident Brandon Woodard, 31, was shot and killed in Manhattan in what New York police suspect was a professional hit. They are still investigating and have a suspect on camera.
Victor McClinton: Victor McClinton, 49, was fatally shot in Pasadena on Christmas morning. McClinton is a graduate of Verbum Dei High School and attended Pasadena City College, majoring in recreation and administration of justice. He was an 18-year law enforcement technician in addition to serving as director of the Brotherhood Crusade Pasadena youth sports program. McClinton is survived by his wife, Shelly, and two adult sons, Kristian and Kameron.
December 20, 2012
Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is spending a twelfth day in a South African hospital after being diagnosed with a lung infection and undergoing gallstone surgery.
South Africa's government has said the 94-year-old Mandela was admitted Dec. 8 to a hospital in the country's capital, Pretoria. Officials said Mandela underwent an endoscopic surgery to remove gallstones Saturday after doctors treated him for a recurrent lung infection.
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said in a statement that Mandela required "extraordinary care" due to his age and could spend several more days in the hospital recovering.
Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa, serving 27 years in prison for his beliefs. He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.