By Katya Slepian
Each Monday, Runner blogger Katya Slepian brings us a run down of the big news stories of the past week
1. The violence in Syria shows no sign of stopping. In the beginning of February, China and Russia vetoed an attempt by the United Nations Security Council to back an Arab League peace plan for Syria, which involved the current regime peacefully handing over power. Bashar al-Assad and his government have taken this as a sign to continue brutally shelling the city of Homs. Unrest in the region has led to many things, from the brutal killing of protesters and journalists, to sky-rocketing gas prices here at home.
2. On Feb. 16, New Jersey’s Legislature passed a bill to legalize same sex marriage. However, to become law, a bill must be signed by Gov. Chris Christie, who has long said that he will veto any such bill. He argues that the people of New Jersey should be allowed to vote on the issue, while the Legislature believes it is a basic civil right and doesn’t require a vote. It’s interesting to note that this is a shift in the way same sex marriage is often treated by politicians opposed to it, as less of a personal vendetta and more as an acknowledgement that it is not up to them alone.
3. When a judge decides that a criminal is best dealt with by serving their time within the community, one assumes that they’ll be closely monitored, right? Well, not always. Most criminals in B.C. serve out their sentence in the community — approximately half of them get sentenced to a rehab program. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, two-thirds of those criminals never complete their rehab program, due to B.C. probation officers being the second-most overworked in the country. These rehab programs serve a vital purpose — to lessen the chance of criminals re-offending, but they only work if done properly.
4. As many of you know, Whitney Houston passed away on Feb. 11. While she was, for many of us, before our time, it is worth looking back and remembering a great entertainer with an amazing voice. Rather than speculate over the what, why and how of her far too early death, let us remember her as she would have wanted to be remembered; for her talent and the great music she brought us. Rolling Stone has compiled a gallery of her Top 10 performances that is definitely worth a listen.
5. This past week, the Conservative government scrapped the long-gun registry and vowed to destroy all data associated with it. This has been a contentious issue in Canadian politics for a long time. On one hand, it’s an incredibly expensive program that has had limited positive impact. On the other hand, it’s used by police officers daily and as a useful tool. CBC did a breakdown of the program by the numbers here.
About the Author: The Runner is owned by students and created for students. We are the premier news and culture source for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
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