All in International

100 Days to Go and Still 100 Things to Do

With only 100 days left until the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil still faces many problems, and not the normal pre-Olympic game issues. Their President is facing impeachment for financial manipulation and the whole government is enduring a bigger corruption scandal. Brazil is also in their worst recession in decades. The city of Rio intended to extend its Metro Line to the Olympic venues, but the subway line remains incomplete. Rio’s water quality is so bad that athletes have been warned about illness, not to mention the Zika virus epidemic. Brazil is working to improve conditions so they are acceptable for the games, and Brazilians remain hopeful.

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The Fight to End Malaria

Malaria is a devastating disease spread by mosquitos that has been estimated to kill half of all people that have ever existed. But there is good news- in the past 15 years, deaths from malaria have dropped from 839,000 to 438,000. Sub-Saharan Africa is affected the most by the disease, but the continent has seen a 40% decline in malaria rates. Majority of the prevention is due to wider distribution of bed nets that prevent bites while sleeping. These numbers make researchers hopeful that malaria might be ended within our lifetime.

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Special Ops to Syria

On Monday, President Obama will announce the addition of 250 special operations forces to the 50 that currently reside in Syria. They have been working to support and increase the number of Syrians joining the fight against ISIS. The forces will be armed, but are not there to participate in combat. 

It's Called Fashion Revolution. Look it Up.

April 24th marks three years since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh which killed 1,133 and injured over 2,000. In response to the collapse, there has been a movement to raise awareness about ethical fashion and to encourage safety, fair wages, and transparency in the fashion industry. To see more on what some people are calling a “Fashion Revolution”, click here.

UK Warns its Citizens About America

The UK Foreign office updated its website regarding travel to the United States. It added a warning under “local laws and customs,” stating that LGBT people should know about the new religious protection laws in North Carolina and Mississippi that allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT people. Both laws also require all people to use the bathroom relating to the gender that is on their birth certificates. The laws have caused companies and entertainers to cancel business or performances in those states, and it looks like they could also affect tourism in the future.

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Brazilian President Might Be Peacing Out

The Brazilian equivalent of the House of Representatives has voted to impeach their president, Dilma Rousseff, based on accusations that she has been practicing illegal accounting.  The Senate will vote next, and it looks like they will likely put her on trial which would suspend Rousseff for 180 days. If Rousseff is convicted and removed from office, it could mean a party shift for Brazil. The Olympics are not expected to be impacted by the government issues except by possible protests. For more answers, click here.

The Refugees' Hero

Pope Francis has always been an advocate for refugees in Europe, but yesterday he took his support to a whole new level. A visit to a refugee camp in Lesbos, a Greek island, turned into a dream come true for twelve Syrian refugees when the Pope took them back to Italy on his jet. Six children and six adults were chosen as the most eligible candidates to leave the camp, and now have the opportunity to start a whole new life in Italy. Read more here.

 

 

Earthquakes Rock Japan

Today a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan. This follows the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit yesterday. Not only have these violent earthquakes left 9 people dead and 1,000 more injured - they caused the evacuation of a hospital that was close to collapsing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled his plans to travel to the quake-hit area following the second earthquake today. Kyushu has been experiencing aftershocks today, and people are seeking shelter in schools and community centers. Read more here.

Indonesia and Mental Health

Indonesia has a mental health stigma that resembles that of medieval Europe. A person in Indonesia that has a form of mental disability is not treated but instead chained, locked, or hidden from the world by their family. This is an issue that runs rampant across one of the world’s most densely populated nations and is a result of their traditional beliefs regarding spirits and demons.

 

Panama Papers, Corruption Worldwide?

The Panama Law firm of Mossack Fonseca has had 11.5 million documents leaked to the public in what are known as the panama papers. They reveal large sums of money in offshore accounts in Panama from powerful political figures worldwide. The Iceland prime minister has resigned as a result of these documents and several other world leaders and organizations (FIFA, Prime Minister of Ukraine, Prime minister of Pakistan, and Lionel Messi) are reported to have money in Panama and are feeling pressure to reveal their finances to the public. For more information on the topic click here. 

Flipping History

Europe seems to be overrun with refugees – so much so they are being represented as a team of their own in the upcoming Olympics – because of the turmoil in Syria as well as the simple fact that summer is a big time for migration.  Some countries, notably Germany, are acting as safe havens for refugees, while others such as Denmark are doing everything in their power to keep refugees out of their borders. It is interesting to see how history has flipped… 

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