This Week in the World

34 mineworkers trapped underground

When a 3.5 magnitude earthquake struck the town of Zenica, Bosnia on Sept. 4, the nearby Raspotocje mine suffered a minor gas explosion, trapping 34 workers underground for over 16 hours. A rescue mission the following day saved 29 of the workers, but five workers remain trapped and are presumed dead. Mine manager Esad Cvic reported the failure of rescue efforts to recover the five still underground. This is the second rock burst to strike the mine this year, which had previously injured 16 workers in two other incidents. Families and union leaders voiced criticism against the managers’ poor treatment of the collapse, as it was originally reported that only eight were trapped. In 1982, the Raspotocje mine was also the site of one of the greatest mining disasters in Bosnian history, when 39 workers were killed in a rock burst and collapse.

Leaders meet at NATO Summit in Wales

The 2014 NATO Summit brought together over 60 world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Newport and Cardiff, Wales. Following the meetings on Sept. 4 and 5, the member countries released the Wales Declaration to address the issues discussed at the summit, which included the development of the Readiness Action Plan. The plan means to increase preparedness and responsiveness in the face of threats to the group and continue to defend individual liberty and human rights. NATO also outlined that they will attempt to reverse the trend of declining defense budgets and aim to increase defence expenditure in order to accommodate any future operations. The NATO Summit gives the leaders of member countries an opportunity to detail strategic actions for the organization.

Surfer hit, killed by wave in Indonesia

Geoff Moase, a 48-year-old Australian tourist visiting the island of Lombok east of Bali, Indonesia was killed on Sept. 5 after being hit by a wave while surfing. According to local police, Moase was discovered floating about 100 metres from shore and was pulled from the water alive, but in weak condition. The surfer was immediately rushed to a medical centre for aid, but passed away en route. From the Gold Coast in Queensland on the east coast of Australia, Moase owned Dovetail Surfboards, a popular surf shop that is known for its boards crafted from Australian-grown timber. This death follows that of another 27-year-old Australian surfer Peter Luke, who was washed ashore on a reef by the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia on Aug. 11 this year after being hit by a five-metre wave.

Sierra Leone locks down against Ebola

The government of Sierra Leone has announced a three-day nationwide lockdown in an attempt to contain the outbreak of the Ebola disease throughout the country. Scheduled for Sept. 19 to 21, citizens of the West African country will be required to stay indoors without permission to leave their homes. Medical communities are raising concerns over the effectiveness of this decision. A spokesperson for Médecins sans Frontières said that this move from the government could push people to conceal infections from the authorities and actually end up spreading the disease further, rather than control it. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, the virus has infected over 3,685 people in West Africa, with 1,841 confirmed death. Within Sierra Leone, 404 people have died from Ebola as of Sept. 4, as reported by the country’s health and sanitation ministry.

French bookstores refuse Hollande’s ex’s book

Bookstores across France have refused to stock and sell Valérie Trierweiler’s new explorative memoir, Merci Pour Ce Moment about her romantic relationship with French President François Hollande. The couple were romantically involved for seven years, but split in January when photos of Hollande participating in an extramarital affair surfaced publicly. The book can be viewed as an attack on Hollande’s reputation, for it describes the socialist leader as secretly disliking and ridiculing the lower class of France. Signs posted in store windows of the booksellers label the novel as “trashy,” while others state that they will not spread the personal details of the leader and ex-partner’s relationship. Despite the controversy about its content and lack of appearance in bookstores, Merci Pour Ce Moment has sold out its 200,000 copies in print and more are planned to hit shelves in the country on Sept. 10.

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