5 Things to Know (2nd October – 6th October)

Earlier this week, there was a deadly shooting in Las Vegas where several people were killed. On the other hand, tensions between Catalonia and Spain continue to increase. Tropical storms are continuously affecting the American continents and the government is working on ensuring that the effects are minimized.  To know more about these events, continue reading this article:

Las Vegas massacre- On Sunday, 1st October,  there was a deadly shooting in Las Vegas where 58 country music fans were killed and 527 were severely injured due to the gunshots. More than 22,000 people attempted to flee the gunman’s aim. Professionals and blood donors risked their own lives to help the wounded. Stephen Paddock, 64, was the gunman who attempted to kill people, at an open-air music festival, from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel. The shooting took place for a total of nine to eleven minutes. Police found 23 guns, firearms, and explosives in Paddock’s hotel room, and home,  in Nevada. Sources also revealed that the shooting was extensively pre-planned, but the motive behind it is still unclear. Paddock had also set up cameras outside and inside the suite. The FBI is investigating the purpose for the cameras, and the Clark County sheriff suggested that cameras may have been used to ensure that nobody was approaching Paddock’s hotel room.

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Catalonia may declare Independence from Spain – Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the autonomous region, declared that his state will declare independence from Spain in a couple of days. He made this decision after 90% of participants in the unilateral referendum said that they want Catalonia to become a separate state. The constitutional court of Spain ordered  the referendum to be suspended last month. The PM of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has the option of tackling this issue by adducing article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. The article states that “the Spanish government can step in and take control of an autonomous region if it does not fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain”. Catalans are enraged by the fact that several national police officers who tried to halt the referendum are still present in the region. In addition to this, King Felipe accused the Catalan authorities of breaking Spain’s unity. He warned that their struggle for independence could greatly impact the social and economic stability of the country.

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Temperatures in Australian cities may reach 50 degrees celsius by 2040 – A new study led by Australian National University warns that even if the Paris agreement is met by limiting warming by 2 degrees, Australian cities, such as Melbourne and Sydney, will soon encounter extreme temperatures. The researchers deduced that this is a possibly avoidable if global warming is limited to 1.5C, though this global target is difficult to achieve. The government of Australia need to consider how transportation systems will cope during peak hours, in extreme temperatures, how emergency departments will reciprocate to demands from people who are vulnerable to heat strokes, and how requirements of energy would be met, if temperatures continue to escalate. According to an Environment Victoria chief executive, in order to resolve this issue, retrofitting older homes in order to make them more energy efficient is a possible solution. He reckons that coming up with more reliable emergency management plans for extreme heat waves would be better due to the fact that climate change will not only affect the environment, but also pose threats to human health and the economy of the country.

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Liberation of Hawija from ISIS- Iraqi forces have captured Hawija and the surrounding area from the country. With this capture, the only area that remains under control of  the ISIS group is a stretch of Euphrates river valley near al- Qaim, in the western desert close to the Syrian border. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that the fight against ISIS is now focused on the border zone of Syria. According to him, the liberation of Hawija is not just the victory of Iraq, but the whole world. The offensive had been carried out by US-backed Iraqi government troops and paramilitary groups called “Popular Mobilisation Forces” and began on 21st September.  Assistance from US-led coalition airstrikes and military advisers helped them to recapture the town of Sharqat and other south-eastern places. After that, the commander of the operation announced that the troops had begun an operation in order to “liberate” Hawija.

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Tropical Storm Nate expected to turn into a Category 1 hurricane– Tropical Storm Nate has caused heavy rains, landslides and floods in Central American Regions such as Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The storm is predicted to reach the U.S. gulf coast during the weekend as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm has sustained winds upwards of 45 mph and has been moving toward the northwest at 14 mph. Currently, 400,000 people in Costa Rica are without running water. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, from New Orleans, declared a state of emergency and warned the residents to stay indoors over the weekend. He said that there’s no need to panic and that the citizens need to plan how they can protect their personal properties. Even though Florida is not under any hurricane warnings, Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, declared emergency in case the track of Tropical Storm Nate changes.

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