This Week in the World

Kenyan ‘corpse’ wakes up in hospital morgue 

Paul Mutora tried to kill himself by swallowing insecticide and was declared dead at Naivasha Hospital on the evening of Jan. 8. The next day, terrified mortuary workers heard sounds coming from the cold room, and ran out of the morgue. It was later discovered that Mutora had woken up alive and breathing in the hospital mortuary. Kenyan authorities have launched an investigation into the case. The hospital’s chief medic suggested to the BBC that the mistake could have happened because the drug used to treat him slowed his heartbeat significantly.

Rebel clashes in Syria leave almost 500 dead

Recent fighting between rebel factions in Syria has left nearly 500 people dead since last Friday, after a new coalition of rebel groups called the Islamic Front launched a coordinated series of attacks against the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The fighting has spread across four provinces in rebel-held parts of northern Syria over the past few weeks, and there have been increasing confrontations between ISIS and other rebel groups. The BBC’s John Muir said this has been the worst bout of violence since the Syrian uprising began in the spring of 2011. In less than two weeks there will be an international conference in Switzerland to find a political solution to the conflict, which in total has left more than 100,000 people dead thus far, according to the UN.

White House can’t take Jimmy Kimmel off the air

The White House responded to a petition asking for an apology and the removal of Jimmy Kimmel’s television show by saying that the comedian cannot be forced off the air. More than 100,000 people signed the petition following an October broadcast of Jimmy Kimmel Live in which Kimmel spoke to young children about American government debt owed to China. In this segment, a young child said to “kill everyone in China” instead of repaying China. The White House noted, in response to the petition, that both ABC and Jimmy Kimmel have apologized, and stated that the American Constitution protects free speech, even when it is offensive.

Germany helping dispose of Syrian weapons

As part of an international disarmament program, Germany has agreed to help destroy Syria’s chemical weapons materials. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it is the duty of countries with the technical capacity to help with this immense project. Syria has declared 1,300 tonnes of weapons to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which is arranging for them to be destroyed abroad. Reuters notes this decision could be controversial in Germany, which has been known to have strong pacifist and anti-nuclear movements. Germany has also been known to be reluctant to take part in foreign missions, particularly in the Middle East, since World War Two.

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