The Rise Of Islamic Forces In The Middle East

Egypt Approves New Constitution, Strengthening Islamic Law
Violent protests erupted before the vote, but the new constitution, which will strengthen the authority of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, passed nonetheless with as much as 63 percent of the vote, according to BBC News.

On the day that voters headed to the polls to vote in a second round of elections considering a referendum that would increase the influence of Islamic law, Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki announced his resignation.

Hamas Sets Its Sights On The West Bank
The rise of Islamic forces is not confined to Egypt as reports emerged that Hamas was planning a takeover in the West Bank, a development which is certain to raise concerns in Israel.

Israel Preparing For Post-Assad Syria
Despite the reality that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has remained in power longer than most anticipated, Israel is reportedly making the necessary plans for potential consequences of his demise.

According to Haaretz newspaper, Israel and the US remain concerned about Assad’s willingness to use chemical weapons, as well as about militant forces which could arise to fill the vacuum created by Assad’s departure.

And In Other News

Looking Back: The Atlantic’s Top Global Stories Of 2012
The Atlantic magazine reviews some of the major events impacting global affairs in 2012 in search of the stories that shaped the world. The magazine, however, acknowledges that world affairs “can take on an abstract and schematic quality when viewed at an extreme distance” and that many of the events that influenced the course of history are not yet finished.

Among the top stories were: the leadership changes in China, chaos in Egypt, and the wars in the Congo and Syria.

Brookings Institution 2013 Forecast For Africa
Brookings Institution’s African Growth Initiative released a new report on the top priorities for the continent in 2013.

Not surprisingly and not unlike other regions around the world, job creation is the number one priority for Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, the ratio of youth to adult unemployment is 1.9 compared to 2.7 worldwide.

The report addresses a range of issues, including the influence of China, the need to expand access to education, and the causes of “discordant development” and how policymakers can begin tackling the issue in order to address broader issues of insecurity.

How Much Is A College Education Worth?
This was a question that government analysts tried to answer in 2005, but to complete the project would have required an act of Congress. So, the private sector moved to try itself. A new website run by a former Education Department official, provides some insight for students about how much money they can expect to earn based on the major and school they choose.

The data is provided by the states that have opted to participate in the project, but there is a plan to expand the program nationwide if concerns about privacy can be eliminated.

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