UN holds emergency summit after North Korea launches missile

On Sunday, Feb. 7, the United Nations held an emergency meeting following the launching of a missile by North Korea that morning. Pyongyang officials say the missile was a successful attempt to send a satellite into orbit. The launch has been condemned by the international community as a violation of international security regulations. The U.S. believes it was a test for a ballistic missile which could carry a nuclear warhead. This launch comes one month after North Korea conducted a nuclear test.

Syrian refugees trapped at Turkish border after Russian attack

A Russian-led offensive in Aleppo, Syria has trapped refugees at the Syrian-Turkish border. The border remains closed but Turkey has stated that they are prepared to let in more refugees. Thirty-three people have died in attempts to reach Greece from the Turkish coastline, compelling German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet with Turkish officials to discuss the situation. Now, up to 300,000 Syrians being held by the siege in Aleppo are at risk of being cut off from food and supplies, according to the UN.

Somali passenger-plane bomb kills one, injures two

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, a jet operated by Daallo Airlines had to make an emergency landing due to a metre-wide hole in the side of the plane. The damages caused one fatality and two injuries among the 60 passengers. Now, officials say the explosion was caused by a bomb. Arrests have been made.

Major Taiwanese earthquake in Taiwan collapses 17-storey building

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake caused a crisis in Tainan, Taiwan at 4 a.m. local time on Saturday. At least 40 are dead and over 500 were injured in the disaster. Survivors continue to be pulled out of the damage. The Taiwanese government has ordered an investigation into a 17-storey residential building after pictures of tin cans built into the walls surfaced.

Train crash in Germany kills at least 10, injures 80

On Tuesday, Feb. 9 before 7 a.m., two commuter trains crashed head-on in the German state of Bavaria. The police of the region say this is the biggest accident of its kind in years. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the trains have a system which should cause them to brake if they end up on the same track. Black boxes from both trains are being analyzed.

Mass starvation threatens over a quarter of Zimbabwe’s population

A worsening drought has caused the Zimbabwe government to reach out and seek $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid from local businesses and charities. The drought has been worsened by the El Niño conditions this year, which are felt especially by southern African countries. According to Zimbabwean Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the money will first go to import necessary food and secondly to repair irrigation systems in order to increase food production. A branch of the UN estimates that 14 million people in southern Africa are facing hunger due to El Niño-related poor harvests last year.

Over 3,100 pregnant Colombian women infected with Zika virus

In Columbia alone there have been 25,645 reported cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, with over 3,100 of these people being pregnant women. The virus has been linked with the birth defect microcephaly, which can prevent fetal brains from developing properly. Many South-American governments have warned women to postpone getting pregnant. The symptoms of the virus are generally mild, including a fever and joint-aches, along with other flu-like symptoms. There is currently no vaccine for the Zika virus. In an attempt to slow the spreading of this virus, governments are trying to stop the breeding of these mosquitos.

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