World and National Briefs

By Indykids Staff

New Hope for Bolivia

On January 22, Evo Morales was inaugurated as President of Bolivia, a very poor country in South America. He is the first Indian to be elected Bolivia’s president. Morales promises to help the Bolivian people by taking control of the country’s large gas and oil reserves. Many Bolivians believe that foreign corporations make a lot of money from Bolivia’s natural resources instead of providing for the needs of the Bolivian people.

Chile’s President

Chile has elected Michelle Bachelet to be its first woman President. She is a doctor and a single mother with three kids. She was imprisoned and tortured under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Bachelet says she wants to work for equality and forgiveness of the old dictatorship – where only one person, Pinochet, ruled like a king.

Controversial Toons

Cartoons that make fun of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and showed him in a violent way were published in newspapers in Europe. The cartoons caused anger among Muslims throughout the world and led to heated protests in many countries.

Lobby Scandal

In January, Republican lobbyist* Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud (cheating), corruption and not paying taxes. He admitted to cheating at least four Native American tribes of millions of dollars and giving money to government officials in exchange for favors. Abramoff has reportedly agreed to testify against several members of Congress who received these favors or donations. The scandal led to new proposals in Congress to strengthen laws against lobbyist corruption.

*Lobbyist: Someone who tries to convince members of Congress, often through money and gifts, to vote for bills that the lobbyist favors.

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