5 Things to Know (Jan 16-20)

It may be 2017, but many evaluations from the last year are being reported; which mainly have to do with our environment. Plus, Brexit is making a comeback with recent news, and so is the introduction of political conflict in Gambia. There has been a lot going on this week, and if you haven’t heard of it, then it’s our job here to get you up to speed in just 5 minutes!

1) 2016 To be the Hottest year on record

Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska -- population 560 -- voted this year to relocate because of climate change. The community is inhabited mostly by indigenous Inupiat people. The coast of their barrier island is thawing and falling into the sea, among other issues.

The World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday morning that 2016 was the hottest year on record since the 1880’s. This led to multiple natural disasters such as the heatwave in Kuwait where temperatures rose as much as 54 degrees Celsius, wildfires in Canada, and a drought in India so severe that it led to farmers killing themselves. In villages surrounding the Arctic circle, civilians are fleeing the villages their ancestors have lived in due to melting permafrost and the destruction of their homes. After the events that have happened this year, it is likely to question whether we have reached “the boiling point of no return”.

2) Primates facing extinction

Sumatran orangutan (c) Perry van Duijnhoven

60% of the world’s 500 primate species are facing extinction. The said cause is due to deforestation and the loss of habitat in which the primates live in. Deforestation (of especially tropical forests) are occurring at a startling rate due to the needed space for agriculture and to produce wood, paper, and timber. The problem, stated by Victoria Gill who is BBC’s Science Correspondent, can be tackled only through global change and avoiding the purchase of palm oil and tropical timber products.

3) Istanbul Nightclub Shooting

Relatives of one of the victims of the Reina nightclub attack mourn at his funeral on January 1.

A man from Uzbekistan was arrested in Turkey after confessing that he was a part of the New Year’s deadly gun attacks on the Istanbul Reina Nightclub. Although it was seen that the suspect, named Abdulgadir Masharipov, was committing the attacks alone, he stated that he had help. The mayor of Istanbul dubbed the attack as “ISIS-influenced”. The attack left 39 dead and dozens injured. ISIS also later claimed responsibility for the attack, and officials have said that the shooter was trained in Afghanistan. It is possible that this attack was a “declaration of war against Turkey” however as of now nothing is certain.

4) Gambia Political Crisis

Although losing last year’s election, Gambian president Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down from his position in power. On his last day in office, president Jammeh stated that the country was under a state of emergency, and now thousands of Gambians are fleeing in fear of bloodshed. They say that there could be a possible military imposition of Senegal president, Adam Borrow in Gambian government.It is unknown what the situation may come up, but it could possibly lead to violent conflict between Senegal troops and the president who refuses to back down.

5) Brexit: May on Globalization

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on leaving the European Union at Lancaster House in London

Theresa May gave a speech and stated how UK would be the World’s leader in trade, after remarks from business leaders and politicians of the EU about how difficult it would be to trade with the UK after Brexit. May also added that business, trade, and education will continue to be open to all. However, the key message of the speech was on globalization, and how the world’s businesses should work together to tackle globalization, as the world is experiencing great volumes of development, but is not felt by many. Mrs May said: “Talk of greater globalisation can make people fearful. For many it means their jobs outsourced and their wages undercut. It means having to sit back as they watch their communities change around them.” Critics say that this was a blunt attack to the world’s global elite.




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