Zika, Venezuela, North Korea, are just the selected few of the things that go into this week’s list of what you need to know about the world around you. This week is especially important, as health issues, economics, and potentially dangerous situations are addressed. It is important to keep up to speed with current events, and it’s our job to do just that. Here are the 5 things you need to know for the week.
1. Zika Virus
Singapore’s Zika casualties went from 0 to 258 in just a matter of one week, causing concern in how fast the virus might be spreading throughout the Asia Pacific. The Zika virus is a current pandemic spread by mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti. These types of mosquitoes make common experiences in humid and dense megacities; Bangkok being one of them. The virus is bound to spread easier in places where mosquitoes and people are abundant, and tropical countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and China produce the ground to do just that. It is best to be wary and stay healthy so that we can avoid becoming victims of the ongoing pandemic.
Demonstrators flood the streets of Venezuela as people are hungry for change and reform, wishing to oust the current president out of power. “There is no food. There is no paper. There is no medicine. We are dying,” Maria Alvarez told CNN en Español, delivering the message on how Nicolas Maduro’s reign over Venezuela has only brought his citizens suffering. So far, the protests have been peaceful, but word has it that the government could potentially be preparing for a crackdown; justifying that the opposition has a catastrophic aim: violence on the streets. Demonstraters, such as Maria Corina Machado, state that their purpose is to push referendum. “Today in the streets we demonstrated that a new phase of the fight has begun. The transition is urgent and inevitable,” states Machado, in hope that the demonstrations will bring forth a better future for Venezuela.
3. Dakota Access Pipeline
A $3.7 billion project that runs across 4 states, the Dakota Pipeline is bound to either make America self-sufficient in their oil supply or damage historical sites of Native American tribes forever. The pipeline is 1,172 miles in length, stretching from the oil-rich Bakken Formation where Montana and North Dakota meet Canada, reaching down south into South Dakota and Illinois. An estimated 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered crude oil reside in the formation, according to the U.S geological survey. However, despite the huge economic potential, it could result in damaging the environment of a Native American tribe called the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Construction of the pipeline will destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said. The construction of the pipeline will be confirmed sometime this week.
4. Darren Seals
Darren Seals, a Ferguson activist, was found dead in a burning car according to the St. Louis police. Upon putting the fire out, reports came in that the 29-year-old man also suffered a gunshot wound, no further information was presented to the public as further investigations were being held. Seals was the one seen in video footage comforting Mike Brown’s mother after the jury indicted Officer Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, with no charges. Seals said, “It was like I felt her soul crying. It’s a different type of crying. I’ve seen people crying, but she was really hurt. And it hurt me. It hurt all of us.” Fellow activists offered their condolences and expressed messages of sorrow on Twitter. It is not clear whether his death was an accident or whether it was planned, however, the fact still remains that the Ferguson community has lost a valued member.
5. North Korea Nuclear Tests
North Korea is hitting the button once again with its weapon tests, this time testing their fifth, and most powerful, nuclear test on the morning of the 9th of September. The country claimed to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead that can be attached to ballistic rockets. The media states that this would offer North Korea “a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power.” The leaders of the world said that the test was a huge problem, saying that it violated the UN Security Council’s resolutions, as it was a “clear threat to international peace and security”. The blast was detected at 9 a.m local time; it is estimated that the blast has the explosive power of 10 kilotons. The development of these weapons is a threat to international peace, and could very well result to war.