The Inside Agenda Blog

The Story of the Week (Nov. 12 to 16)

by Colin Ellis Tuesday November 13, 2012

Every Friday, The Agenda’s Story of the Week brings you an interview with an expert on the week's top news story. (Read my previous blog post to see how we pick the topic.)

As always, we want your input. This week, a few stories have attracted our attention. We want to hear from you whether one of these stories should be our Story of the Week, or if there's another story out there you think we should profile instead. 

Ontario High School Teachers Protest Bill 115

Talks broke down between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the McGuinty government Monday after both sides failed to reach an agreement over Bill 115, the controversial law that freezes wages and governs teachers' collective bargaining rights. High school teachers in 20 school boards from Durham to Toronto will put a halt to some of their teaching duties, including parent-teacher meetings and filling in comments on report cards.

Many of you have already posted some helpful comments on Steve’s blog post last week on how to push the story forward (we've already Storify’d some of those comments for those interested in seeing what people have had to say).

Some of the comments indicated an interest in discussing whether or not the bill is an infringement on teachers' rights, and whether the powers given to the Minister of Education over the collective bargaining process go too far.

David Petraeus Sex Scandal

CIA director David Petraeus resigned last Friday following an FBI probe into an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The FBI has expanded its probe to include General John R. Allen, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, who is alleged to have shared inappropriate emails with Jill Kelley, a friend of the Petraeus family to whom Broadwell is alleged to have sent threatening emails.

For our purposes, it might be interesting to look into America’s moral outrage at sex scandals, from Bill Clinton, to Eliot Spitzer, and now David Petraeus. Are their personal indiscretions damaging to the nation's interests because those involved hold such important positions of power, or is everyone just overreacting?

Broken Borders

Israel struck an artillery launcher on Monday after a stray mortar shell from Syria hit Israeli-held territory, heightening the possibility of Israeli forces being drawn in to the Syrian conflict. Since the incident comes at the same time as ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel and mounting pressure on Israeli leaders to take stronger action against those attacks, Israel could be drawn into military action on two fronts.

The Syrian civil war also threatens to drag in Turkey, which has felt the brunt of Syrian artillery shells on its border, costing Turkish lives.

The way we would look at this story is to explore these three border areas – Israel/Gaza, Israel/Syria, and Syria/Turkey – to get a better sense of the tensions on each border and what the potential for military action is.

Image credits: John Bonnar,, and The Guardian.