Five Things to Watch This Week

Friday’s tragedy will monopolize the attention of the media and the government in the coming week. It will however, not be the only important thing to watch this week.

The Discussion on Gun Control that will follow the Newtown Shooting

The tragedy that happened on Friday in Newtown sparked discussions about gun laws in the US once again. Voices throughout the country, especially on social media platforms, demanded the Obama administration makes the issue a priority as no new gun laws have been approved by Congress since 1994.

Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein said she will  introduce a new bill next week. She was already the author of an assault-weapon ban that failed to be adopted in 2004.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will have to decide if he wants to sign into law a bill passed by the state legislature last Tuesday on concealed weapons. The law would allow some people to carry concealed weapon in places that currently prohibit guns such as schools, churches, day care centers, and stadiums.

Fiscal Cliff Talks will accelerate as the deadline approaches

Speaker of the House, John Boehner, offered the White House a compromise with regards to raising taxes on top income earners. He said he’d agree to raise taxes one households that make more than $1 million a year.

As of Friday, the Obama administration has not accepted the offer. It remains to be seen if this proposal, which remains far from Obama’s first request of $250,000, will result in concessions by the Democrats on entitlement programs. With just two weeks before automatic spending cuts begin to take effect and and taxes go up on most American households, the fiscal cliff will remain at the center of political news.

The nomination of John Kerry as the Secretary of State

Senator John Kerry is likely to be nominated to replace Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State sometime this week. The current Senate Foreign Policy Committee chairman is now the front runner for the job after  Susan Rice withdrew her from consideration.

John Kerry remains the ideal alternative choice for President Obama since he has been a leader on foreign policy in Congress and would be easily confirmed by members of both parties.

Egypt is voting on a new Constitution

A new Egyptian constitution is set to be approved by the Egyptian population, despite critics saying that the document is poorly drafted and favors Islamism. Cairo, Alexandria, and 8 other provinces have already voted on the referendum and voted in favor of the new constitution by a slim margin. The rest of the country will vote next Saturday.

Cairo has, according to non-official results, rejected the text. The low turnout, the small percentage of the victory, and the number of irregularities is not likely to silence an opposition that has been growing and will certainly contest the results.

African National Congress (ANC) will elect its leader

The ANC, which has been in power since the end of Apartheid, is hosting a conference to elect its leader, who will likely become the president of South Africa until 2019.

Current president of South Africa, Jakob Zuma, is favored to win re-election despite his involvement in financial scandals and the incapacity of his government to address South Africa’s economic problems.

However, his challenger, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe –who only officially declared his candidacy last week — was nominated by three of the nine provinces of South Africa and is hopping for a surprise win.