This Week in the World: Sept. 19 2013

Concerns about potential chemical weapons in Syria

 

The United Nations is investigating weapons used in Syria after an attack on Damascus suburbs on August 21 which killed hundreds of people. It is believed that poisonous gas was used in this attack, and many officials believe that the report from the UN will confirm this is evidence of chemical warfare. Many people say that the results of this report will determine whether the United States will decide to get militarily involved in Syria. The US and Russia are both hoping to secure the chemical weapons in Syria. It has not been confirmed whether it was forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or the rebels who used poison gas in August. As of September 14, the United States and Russia have agreed to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons by 2014.

 

Woman who allegedly killed husband of 8 days released

 

Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Linn Graham and twenty-two-year-old Cody Lee Johnson were only married for eight days when Johnson was reported missing in Montana. Reports say that Graham had told friends that she was reconsidering their marriage, and allegedly pushed her husband off of a cliff during an argument. Three days after Johnson was reported missing in, Graham told a park ranger than she had found her husband’s body because it was somewhere that he had wanted to see before he died. Since then, she has allegedly admitted to killing him. Since the July 2012 incident, Graham has been released, and been ordered for home detention in her parents’ home, and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

 

US consulate attacked by Taliban in Afghanistan 

 

The Taliban attacked a US consulate in western Afghanistan using car bombs and guns. At least four Afghans were killed, but did not manage to enter the compound, and no Americans were injured during the 13 September attack. Many are saying that this attack shows that the Taliban will not let up as US troops reduce their presence in the year to come, leading to a full withdrawal of US troops. The attack began at 6 am when militants in various vehicles set off their explosives, while others on foot began firing at the Afghan security guarding the consulate. They were not able to breach the compound, although the front gate was allegedly badly damaged  after rocket propelled grenades were fired.

 

Ethiopia child mortality rate has gone down

 

The United Nations has just released a study showing that Ethiopia has cut the number of child deaths to sixty-eight per 1,000 births, compared to more than 200 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990. Ethiopia is one of Africa’s poorest countries, but has experienced economic growth in the past few years. Increasing household incomes have helped to improve people’s health, and it has been reported that Ethiopia is one of the few African countries on the path to realizing the millennium development goal of reducing child mortality. The government has also been expanding its primary healthcare network, offering one health facility within a 7 kilometre radius on average.

 

Colorado flood leaves 172 people unaccounted for

 

Severe flooding has devastated Colorado, leaving four dead and 172 people unaccounted for.  Hundreds of people have been stranded by mountain flooding, while rescuers try to get to them by air and land as food and water supplies diminish slowly. The flooding began September 11. Helicopters have been flying in and out, both during the day and night, and have rescued nearly 300 people to date. If people choose to stay during this flooding, they will be faced with lack of power, cell phone service, water, and proper sewage. Although 172 people are still unaccounted for, they are not necessarily missing: they have simply not been heard from.

 

Four men sentenced to death for gang rape

 

Four men in Delhi have been sentenced to death for the gang rape and murder of a twenty-three-year-old student who was attacked on a bus. The woman died two weeks later, leading to violent protests across India for new laws against rape.  Officials have said that this is a very rare case, warranting the punishment of death. The men were convicted to death by hanging, and the father of the victim has reported that he is pleased with this verdict, and believes that justice has been served. This attack started a national debate on the treatment of women; new laws were introduced in March allowing the death penalty to be handed down in the most serious cases of rape.

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