This Week in the World: Sept 12th 2013

Sixty injured in the UK after 130 vehicles crash

September 5 was a horrendous day in Kent, England, as 130 vehicles crashed on the Sheppey crossing. The fog was so thick that visibility was practically zero, and witnesses say that they could only hear cars crashing around them as they tried to stop safely.  Eight people sustained serious injuries, thirty-five people needed hospital treatments, and another 200 were either treated for minor injuries or given advice should symptoms arrive later on. The accident caused the bridge to close for nine hours while emergency crews cleaned up the scene. The accident has also raised concerns about the lighting on the bridge in question.

Kenyan MPs vote to withdraw from the ICC 

After an emergency debate, Kenyan MPs voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The ICC recently charged President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with crimes against humanity.  The charges are due to the violence that erupted in Kenya after disrupted elections in 2007, causing the deaths of more than 1,000 people. A further 600,000 people fled their homes. Both the President and Deputy President have denied the charges, with President Kenyatta scheduled to go to trial in November.  It has been reported that the withdrawal from the ICC still has to pass one parliamentary hurdle which could take over a year to come into effect. The ICC has reported that even if this withdrawal goes through, it would have no effect on the cases against the two men. If President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto do not cooperate, the ICC will consider issuing arrest warrants against the individuals.

15 dead after two bombs explode in Somalia

Fifteen people have been pronounced dead after two explosions at a busy restaurant in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. A car bomb went off outside the busy restaurant, after which a suicide bomber, posing as a first responder, blew himself up among the gathered crowd. The restaurant was located near the presidential palace, and it has been reported that government workers often visit the restaurant for meals. Somalia has been unstable since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, with various groups fighting for control.

Malala Yousafzai is awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize

At the age of eleven, Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani, began blogging about her love of learning, and Taliban oppression in her country, particularly regarding its ban on educating girls in her area. In 2012, a Taliban gunman shot and severely wounded the sixteen-year-old Malala on a school bus. She was sent to Britain to receive care and remain safe. Three months later, she was able to leave the hospital, and has since remained in Britain with her family. Since she was shot, Malala has earned worldwide recognition for her actions, and has spoken at the United Nations Youth Assembly. Malala had been previously nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. This year, the organization refrained from nominating other children and awarded her the prize.

Ex-soldier walking across Canada to Ottawa in support of mentally injured veterans

Kate MacEachern, a thirty-four-year-old single mother, has started a 1,864 km trek from Cape Breton to Ottawa, her second charity walk for mentally injured soldiers. In the summer of 2012, MacEachern raised $20,000 doing a similar walk, and requested that she do it again through the military. When her commanding officers gave her an ultimatum of either continuing with the walk or staying a soldier, she quit the military, and has recently started an independent trek across Canada for mentally injured veterans. The money she raises on her walk will go to the online organization Military Minds, which helps support veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  MacEachern has said she is already overwhelmed by the support, and hopes to reach Ottawa by October 18.

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