Your World This Week, Volume V

Published July 20, 2015

No Surprises In North Korea’s “Elections”

North Korea Voting Lines

Source: TIME

Every four years, they come out to vote (or else it’s treason), cast ballots (that don’t actually offer a choice), “elect” local representatives (that don’t actually hold any power), and even sing and dance in celebration along the way (or else they’re in serious trouble). This is the “democratic” process at work in North Korea.

Over the weekend, 99.97% of North Koreans went out to the polls, with those out of the country the only ones not casting their votes. While the local leaders are largely powerless and pre-selected by the central regime, these meaningless elections do actually reveal one thing: which way the winds are blowing within the regime and which officials have been subject to Kim Jong-un’s purges. See more at The Guardian.

5 Events To Know About This Week

  • July 20, 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.
  • Colombia

    Colombians celebrate Independence Day. Source: SF Nomads

  • July 20, 1820: Colombia celebrates its independence from Spain.
  • Battle Of Bull Run


  • July 21, 1861: Confederate troops win the Battle of Bull Run, the first major battle of the Civil War.
  • Scopes Trial Lawyers Court

    Opposing counsel Clarence Darrow (left) and William Jennings Bryant (right) in court during the Scopes trial. Source: The Atlantic

  • July 21, 1925: The “Scopes Monkey Trial” ends with John Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution to his students (the conviction was later overturned).
  • Truman NSA

    President Truman signed the National Security Act into law during the peak of the Cold War. A key element of the act was the creation of the CIA, which replaced the Central Intelligence Group and expanded the state’s capacity to carry out covert operations overseas.

  • July 26, 1947: The Central Intelligence Agency is created when President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act.
  • John Kuroski
    John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
    Savannah Cox
    Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.