In the past, Lawrence students have been somewhat isolated from the outside world when we become busy with classes and daily life. Lawrentians are continually out of touch with current events as keeping up with news is less of a priority that studying. The events of Sept. 11th seemed to change that, at least a little bit. The gravity of the situation found students making time to read the papers and check Internet news sites. But along with U.S. news, many other important world events that would normally be on the front page are pushed into the background.For example, BBC News reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a landmark speech last week formally apologized to South Korea for the brutality suffered by its citizens during the thirty five years of Japanese colonial occupation. The speech comes at a time when tensions are high between the two countries. South Korea is angry at Japan for supporting U.S. attacks on Afghanistan.
Another UK news source, The Guardian, reports that a British woman has traveled to Chicago to use in vitro fertilization technology that is not legal in Great Britain. The reason behind this is to genetically alter her pregnancy to possibly save the life of her four-year-old son who is recovering from Leukemia. If the IVF is successful, the baby’s bone marrow would be an exact genetic match to that of its brother, allowing a possibly life saving bone marrow transplant. This ground breaking, controversial technology could be used in other cases to fight more life threatening diseases.
In Montreal, Canada, The Gazette reported that many officials are angry that Canada’s trade minister is allowing the U.S. to divide up to deal with the negotiations of the soft-lumber market, a product that can drastically affect the economies of both countries. The U.S just put a 19.3 percent tariff on Canadian soft wood that enters the U.S. with the exception of the Atlantic provinces. Most Canadians are worried that decisions will be made without the consent of most lumber share holders if the U.S. is allowed to deal directly with the provinces instead of the central government officials.
None of these stories ran on the front page of any major U.S. newspaper.
The new stories associated with the events of Sept. 11 are very important, but we must remember that they are not the only important stories. We encourage Lawrence students to utilize the newspaper exchange program and read beyond the front page. The use of international web sites can also allow access to news that would not otherwise be read. Some possible web sites to try are www.bbc.com, www.state.gov, www.reuters.com, and www.salon.com. Keeping informed of international news is very difficult, especially at this time. We feel that it is not only possible, but also essential.