New in Brief Dec. 5

Founding dean of  the school of education to step down in June Dean Dennis Sterner announced Nov. 26 that he would be stepping down from his position. Sterner became the school’s dean with its founding in 1991. After a sabbatical, he will return to Whitworth as a professor of education.

Mexico inaugurates a new president

Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was sworn in as Mexico’s president Saturday, Dec. 1. The inauguration took place amid violent protests. Demonstrators were protesting what they viewed as vote-buying by the campaign as well as the PRI’s return to power. The PRI held power for 71 years before 2000, and this is their first win since then. Nieto said his focus will be reducing violence in Mexico.

Egypt’s President sets the date to vote on the constitution

President Mohammed Morsi announced Dec. 1 that a public referendum on the draft of the constitution would take place Saturday, Dec. 15.  Morsi has been criticized for the amount of power he has seized recently.

The United Nations votes to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was successful in his attempt to upgrade Palestine’s diplomatic status. The vote passed with 138 members of the UN assembly in favor of the status change. Nine states, including Israel and the U.S. strongly opposed the decision, and 41 nations abstained from the vote. The Palestinians hope to be able to strengthen their chances for recognition as a sovereign state, whereas officials in the U.S. and Israel said this could prolong the absence of peace in the region.

Study shows increased global carbon dioxide emissions in 2012

A study published in the Nature Climate Change journal and then in Earth System Science Data Discussion showed a 2.6 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions levels from 2011. In 2012, 35.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted. The United States is one of the world’s top 10 polluters.

Sources | www.whitworth.edu, The Spokesman-Review, BBC, AlJazeera