Dispatches > Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Issue: "Crossing the Rubiocon," Aug. 14, 2010

Rwandan elections

More proof that all politics are local: Rwandan President Paul Kagame is widely expected to win another seven-year term on Aug. 9 despite suspicions and accusations from the West. At home, the Rwandan leader is known for helping the central African nation experience economic growth and stability after the 1994 genocide. But Western human-rights watchers have accused Kagame of shutting down dissidents. The Economist magazine compared him unfavorably to Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe in terms of allowing press freedoms.

Rifqa Bary turns 18

The Ohio teenager who ran away from her Muslim parents in 2009 after fearing reprisal for becoming a Christian becomes an adult Aug. 10 as she turns 18. Rifqa Bary fled Ohio to Florida to live with a Christian pastor and his family after meeting them on Facebook in 2009. But eventually, both Florida and Ohio officials decided she should be returned to Ohio. Earlier this spring, doctors diagnosed Bary with advanced uterine cancer.

Nightingale century

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It's been a century since Florence Nightingale, the celebrated English nurse, died in London on Aug. 13, 1910. Nightingale became famous for her medical stations during the Crimean War: Before she arrived, the medical barracks were haphazard, dirty, and disease-ridden. Her common-sense reforms of sanitary practices led to a dramatic decrease in the mortality rate and a key discovery of how important hygiene is to medicine.

V-J Day

What started on Dec. 7, 1941, finally ended on Aug. 15, 1945. In between, hundreds of thousands of soldiers, marines, sailors, and civilians lost their lives in the Pacific conflict during World War II. Most of the fighting came to an end when officials from the Japanese government finally announced Japan's surrender just days after the United States dropped its second atomic bomb on the island nation.

Colonial Canada remembered

In 1610, Englishman John Guy established a British colony in what is now known as Canada. Four hundred years later, Cupids, in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador province, is our northern neighbor's oldest colony, hanging on with a population of 790 at last count. However, on Aug. 17, when Canada celebrates Cupids' quadricentennial, the fishing community's population will swell as dignitaries like Prime Minister Stephen Harper flood into town.

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