Must-Reads from Around the World

India is suspended from the International Olympic Committee, activists argue that the Arab Spring has failed to advance women's rights in the region and Greece gets dubbed the "most corrupt" country in the E.U.

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Saurabh Das/AP

Lalit Bhanot, who was recently elected as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), casts his ballot for the election of Vice President, Joint Secretary and Executive Council members of IOA in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

Sports Suspension – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended the Indian Olympic Association for violating the Olympic Charter, reports the New York Times. IOC guidelines ban national sports leaders from serving in leadership positions for more than eight years or after they reach the age of 70, but, according to the Times, most sports leaders in India are politicians who are too old or have been in office for too long to meet IOC requirements. Indian leaders have been warned for years and the only way for them to meet IOC standards is to step down from office, but that hasn’t happened, writes the Times. Indian athletes will not be able to compete under the country’s flag in Olympic events until the suspension is lifted.

Women’s Rights – Activists claim that the Arab Spring has failed to give more political power to women in the region, reports Reuters. Women’s rights activists hoped women’s involvement in protests that overthrew the governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen would bring more power and better protection for women in Arab countries, but progress has been minimal. Even so, female-friendly reform is expected in the long run “as the Arab revolutions had mobilized women in the region for the first time, with technology and social media dramatically increasing their access to information,” writes Reuters.


Haiti’s Orphanages – The New York Times notes that the Haitian government is trying to close the country’s orphanages, where roughly 80% of the children are believed to have at least one living parent. Many parents in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation are unable to pay for basic schooling and food for their children and end up sending them to orphanages. “To reduce the number of orphanages, the government has begun inspecting institutions in the capital and in the far-flung provinces and trying to close those in the worst shape and reunite as many children as possible with their families,” says the Times.

From Bad to Worse – Greece has been dubbed the “most corrupt” E.U. country in a new survey by Transparency International, the BBC reports. The Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) gathered views from 176 countries and found that the nations hit hardest by the eurozone debt crisis are viewed as the most likely to be corrupt, the AFP mentions. The study “called for Europe to make tackling corruption a top priority in its battle against the crisis,” according to the AFP.

Long Game – Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley urges the United States to exercise “strategic patience” in dealing with Egypt’s current political quagmire, in an opinion piece for the BBC. Crowley claims that events in Egypt — Morsi’s constitutional power grab, escalating protests, strikes by Supreme Court justices — are a sign that a transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time.

Struggling Army – Major advances by rebel forces in Syria may be an indication that two years of conflict have left the Syrian army vulnerable, the Washington Post reports. Analysts said that the opposition’s success reflect a “degraded state of the Syrian army,” which struggles to keep supplies in tow and morale high. In recent months, rebel forces have taken control of bases and airfields, often forcing Syrian army units to “retrench behind defensive lines in major cities,” the Post explains.

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