This Week in the World

Obama honours 50th anniversary of MLK speech

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, marked the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The address was delivered at the March on Washington to 250,000 Americans. King’s speech marked the peak of protests against racial discrimination saying “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Barack Obama, the first African-American President, spoke almost at the exact moment fifty years after this speech, starting by honouring the people who fought for the rights of African-Americans. He stressed the significance of what they did, arguing that they not only fought against racial discrimination, but for the equality of all people.

 Tragic incident prompts gun debate in South Africa

A seven year old girl in South Africa shot and killed her six year old friend after her grandfather allegedly took his revolver out of its safe and forgot to put it back. The six year old girl was allegedly shot in the face by her friend who was playing with the weapon. Meanwhile, the debate over gun ownership remains controversial; some people believe that access to guns is necessary to allow people to defend themselves against the high levels of crime, while other people argue that easy access to guns only makes the problem of violence worse.

United States considering military action in Syria

Over the past few years, there has been much speculation about different countries potentially intervening militarily in Syria due to the internal conflict.  Reports from Washington, D.C. have recently suggested that President Barack Obama is preparing for launching military action within days, causing uproar around the world. After the use of chemical weapons as a part of the protest and political unrest around Syria, particularly in its capital, Damascus, the United Nations has started discussing military intervention and conducting investigations into the chemical attacks. Many sources indicate that the United States in particular may be taking action soon.

Kenyan Police Commissioner sent severed head

Johnston Kavuludi, police commissioner in Kenya, received a severed head and human hands covered in blood along with a message saying, “Kavuludi, you are next.” Kavuludi is known for his attempts to reform the police system. Investigators are treating the incident as a death threat.  Kenya’s police officers are seen as among the most corrupt in the region, and Kavuludi was appointed in 2012 in an effort to reform the force. The body of the severed hands and head is believed to have been found, while the severed body parts were found in a yellow package outside the police commissioner’s office.

15 people killed in Shanghai ammonia leak

Fifteen people have died in Shanghai, China after a refrigeration leak of liquid ammonia. There is an investigation under way led by Shanghai’s city work safety bureau. The cause of the leak is unknown. Along with the fifteen people who were killed, at least twenty-five people were injured by the leak, five of whom are in critical condition. People around the world are concerned about this accident, particularly given the many industrial accidents in China, raising concern over relaxed safety and building standards in China.

US Supreme Court Judge performs gay wedding

Eighty year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become the first United States Supreme Court judge to perform a same-sex marriage. One of the grooms is a close personal friend of Ginsburg’s. In June, Justice Ginsburg voted successfully to overturn an American federal law which banned recognition of same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in 13 states, and this federal ruling granted legally married gay men and women the same access to the same federal rights as heterosexual couples.

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