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  1. TRUE or FALSE: Within a generation or two, Japan may have its first female emperor.
  2. A country’s head of state is not always an elected official. True or false: The current head of state of Sweden is its king, Carl XVI Gustaf.
  3. These Caribbean islands are classified as dependent states or overseas departments of larger nations. Although these islands have local governments, their official heads of state reside in larger nations. Match each island with the country in which its official head of state resides.
    A. Aruba 1. United Kingdom
    B. Cayman Islands 2. France
    C. Martinique 3. Netherlands
  4. In 1994, a multinational military force temporarily restored exiled leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president of Haiti. (He served as President on three separate occasions). True or false: Aristide is a former Roman Catholic priest.
  5. Who among the following is the current prime minister of Canada?
    A. Queen Elizabeth II
    B. Stephen Harper
    C. Jean Chrétien
  6. True or false: The United Kingdom’s election of Tony Blair in May 1997 marked the end of eighteen years of rule by Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
  7. Which of the following countries has both a prime minister and a president?
    A. Brazil
    B. Qatar
    C. Singapore
  8. General Alfredo Stroessner was the longest-ruling head of state and president in the Western Hemisphere in the twentieth century. True or false: Stroessner remains president of Paraguay.
  9. Oscar Arias received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1987 for his work in negotiating a Central American peace plan. He was president of which nation?
    A. El Salvador
    B. Costa Rica
    C. Honduras
  10. Edith Cresson was a controversial French politician. True or false: In 1991 she became the first woman to serve as prime minister of France.

Answers

  1. ANSWER: FALSE. Although Japan has historically had male emperors, there had not been a male born into the Japanese royal family for some forty years….until September of 2006!
    The current heir to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, has a daughter as his heir, which might have forced the change in tradition. However, his brother Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, had a baby boy who can theoretically become the next Emperor of Japan. The baby was named Hisahito, and he may be heir to the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy.
  2. True
  3. A,3; B,1; C,2
  4. True. Aristide was suspended from the Salesian order in 1988 for his involvement in politics.
  5. B. Prime Minister Harper has been the head of government since February of 2006, but since Canada is part of the British Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth is technically Canada’s head of state.
  6. True . And in June of 2007, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a member of the Labor Party, began to serve.
  7. C. Singapore, the smallest of these countries, has both a president and a prime minister.
  8. False. General Stroessner was deposed in 1989, after thirty-five years of dictatorial rule.
  9. B.
  10. True. However, she held office for only ten months. Labeled “incredibly maladroit” at politics, this controversial politician claimed that the Japanese were successful economically because of their “antlike qualities,” and declared that one in every four British men were “homosexuals” (presumably those who did not flirt with her). Subsequently, Ms. Cresson became a senior EU official, and in 2003, was charged with fraud and abuse of confidence by Belgian prosecutors.