5 Things to Know (14 – 18 August)

Hello Everybody! It’s the start of a new academic year which means there’s surely more  work and pressure. However, finding time to read about what’s happening around the world is a must! So here are five things you need to know about this week:

Monday, 14th August: US getting ready for war against North Korea

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, the top priority of the US is pursuing diplomacy and economic sanctions. However, due to the unpredictable nature of North Korea, the US is arranging for military options in order to keep them ready for war. In a conversation with Moon Jae, South Korean President, he said “There must not be any more war on the Korean Peninsula. Whatever ups and downs we face, the North Korean nuclear situation must be resolved peacefully”. Concurrently, China’s Commerce Ministry has banned imports of iron, lead, coal and seafood from North Korea. China, being one of the main trading partners of North Korea, accounts for 90 percent of its trade. Moreover, by banning these goods, Pyongyang will be obliged to abandon the nuclear program.

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Tuesday, 15th August: Iranian President to criticize Trump

Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran, exclaimed that Iran could possibly abandon the nuclear deal that was made in 2015 with six world powers “within hours” if the US continued to impose threats against them. According to Hassan, his country has the potential to restart the nuclear program in hours, in more advanced levels in comparison to 2015 when the nuclear deal was signed. US President Trump had signed into new sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and even Iran, which were passed by Congress. These sanctions were said to target missile programmes of Iran and abuses of human rights. Moreover, a US-Iranians specialist believes that under Trump, the United States has become an unreliable negotiator, not only for the Iranians, but also other US allies.  The Iranians reckon that the Trump administration is trying to tear the nuclear agreement apart, which was an assurance made during the time of election campaign.

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Wednesday, 16th August: Deadly mudslide in Sierra Leone kills 400 people

After Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown had been suffering from heavy flooding, being one of the worst in the past 20 years, there was a mudslide in which 400 bodies have been found. According to reports, more than 600 people haven’t been traced yet. The president, Ernest Bai Koroma, proclaimed seven days of mourning and has asked for “urgent support” to recover the losses. The mudslide travelled for 2 miles! On top of that, the United Nations reckons that there is a risk of another mudslide or further flooding taking place since the area has extremely steep hillsides. Health ministers think that linking lost families together, providing people with shelter and food, and giving social support to victims is the top priority as of now. All in all, approximately 9000 people have been affected as a result of this disastrous mudslide.

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Thursday, 17th August: Three student leaders jailed in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong democracy activist, Joshua Wong, along with two more student leaders face a prison sentence for their involvement in the 2014 Occupy protests. They have been jailed for six to eight months. According to other reports, Joshua had been sentenced to community service last year, which means that he is not allowed to stand for the local elections until the next 5 years. Before Wong was sentenced, he said “I still believe time is on our side and one day Hong Kong will be a place where we can determine our future”. He exclaims that he will fight because he “loves” his country. Juliana Liu, working for the BBC, says that they were arrested so that they stay out of elected politics. Here’s what Joshua Wong posted on his twitter account regarding the sentence:

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Friday, 18th August: Spanish police shoots five terrorist suspects

The Spanish people have killed five people whom they suspected to be terrorists in Cambrils, a town in Spain, because they feared another vehicle attack is going to take place after the one in Barcelona. According to the police, the attackers were wearing explosive belts. On Thursday, a van had hit a group of people in Las Ramblas, Barcelona. Immediately after the attack, the driver fled away. The Prime Minister of Spain described the attack as a “jihadist attack”. The attack killed 15 people while dozens of others were injured. The PM has declared three days of mourning and a silence period that was held today.

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