Aung San Suu Kyi awards are being reviewed in light of Rohingya mistreatment accusations.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been heavily criticized for her response to attacks against the Rohingya people. (Image courtesy to Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

Recently, Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, has been internationally criticized for not doing more to stop violence against the Muslim Rohingyas in the country. Myanmar doesn’t recognize Rohingya as an ethnic group, claiming they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. For six weeks, the Rohingyas have been persecuted by security forces and forced to flee to Bangladesh, where hunger and disease plague the refugee camps. Suu Kyi won international praise and a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights,” but due to her lack of action against this brutal mistreatment, her awards are now being reviewed. Recently, Unison, Britain’s second largest trade union, suspended an award given to her, one out of many other organizations.

Source and more information can be found here and here.

Spanish court tries to block Catalonia’s independence.

Catalonia’s separation from Spain would be devastating to Spain’s economy. (Image courtesy of Santi Palacios/Associated Press)

Over the past few days, Catalonia has been fighting to be independent from Spain. Calls for complete independence started in 2010, when The Constitutional Court of Madrid ruled that Catalonia was no longer considered a nation within Spain. The first referendum for Catalonia’s independence was held in 2014, and the second was held on 1 October 2017. The Catalan government said that the official results of the referendum showed that it had passed overwhelmingly for independence. Catalan separatists said they would declare independence in forty-eight hours under their own laws. However, Spain’s highest court has suspended a meeting of Catalonia’s regional parliament, preventing Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan President, from declaring independence. It would be disastrous for Spain if Catalonia, one of the wealthiest regions of Spain and the industrial heartland, separated.

Source and more information can be found here and here.

US Scientists win Nobel Physics Prize for Einstein’s waves.

The 2017 Nobel Price in physics awardees: Weiss(left), Thorne (centre), and Barish (right). (Image courtesy to PA)

The 2017 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three US scientists for the detection of gravitational waves. The nine million kronor (£831,000) prize will be shared by Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish. Albert Einstein predicted the waves, but thought the effect might be too small to register using technology. However, the laureates have led the development of a laser based system that could reach the sensitivity to succeed. The system is based in the US Ligo and European Virgo laboratories, which were built to detect the signal produced by the waves.

Source and more information found here.

Storm Nate hits Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

Destruction in Costa Rica caused by Storm Nate. (Image courtesy of Reuters)

Tropical storm Nate hit Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras, killing at least twenty-two people. The storm caused extensive damage to infrastructure, forced thousands of people to sleep in shelters, and left almost 400 000 people without running water. Since then, the eye of the storm has been heading towards Mexico and the United States, where it could become a hurricane. Residents on the southern coast have been advised to prepare for Nate. If the storm strikes, will be the third storm to hit the area this year, following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. A state of emergency has been declared in twenty-nine Florida counties as well as in New Orleans, where the mayor has told people on low ground to evacuate.

Source and more information found here.

Plague spreading quickly in Madagascar.

Sambatra Razafindramanana, 17, on the streets of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. (Image courtesy of Annie Burns-Piieper/CBC)

A deadly outbreak of plague is spreading across Madagascar, faster than it has before. The country already accounts for 82% of deaths from plague worldwide, due to the disease’s original presence there, the close proximity of rats, and poverty causing people to live in unsanitary conditions. The bubonic plague is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans through infected fleas who have gotten the infection by biting small animals like rats. If it isn’t treated, the bacteria can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonic plague, which spreads from person to person through coughing. Since late August, Madagascar has reported one hundred and sixty-two cases of plague resulting in thirty deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent staff to Madagascar, donated $300 000, and provided medical supplies.

Source and more information found here.