This Week in the World: October 24th 2013

Trainee nun smothers her infant to death

A trainee Catholic nun in Washington, D.C. has been charged with smothering her infant son to death at a convent. Twenty-six-year-old Sosefina Amoa had not informed the convent of her past sexual activity or pregnancy, and was worried that other nuns in the convent would hear her son’s cries. Amoa arrived in the United States on October 5 from Samoa, although her immigration status is not clear. On October 10, Amoa gave birth to a baby boy, and was afraid that he would be discovered by nuns of the convent. According to the authorities, she smothered the boy, who she had named Joseph, with a wool garment, and informed one of the other nuns the next day. An anonymous nun took the infant and Amoa to hospital, where the infant was pronounced dead. Amoa is set to appear in court again at the end of October.

UN sued after cholera outbreak in Haiti

The United Nations is being sued over a 2010 Cholera outbreak in Haiti. 8,000 people died, and hundreds of thousands were made sick by the disease. BBC correspondent Mark Doyle said investigations strongly suggest UN peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera to Haiti when they set up a camp in Haiti and dumped their sewage waste near a river used for drinking water. Cholera is endemic in Nepal, while no cases of cholera had been reported in Haiti for nearly a century until 2010. In defence, the United Nations has stated that it has legal immunity under their 1947 convention, and a Doyle believes their position on the situation is unlikely to change.

Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the OPCW

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 2013 after overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. Their mission in Syria marks the first time that OPCW inspectors have worked in an active war zone, giving the organization more attention than in past years. The Nobel Committee says that they awarded the Peace Prize to OPCW because of its “extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons.” Among the Nobel Peace Prize nominees were Malala Yousafzai, an activist for girls’ education in Pakistan who survived when she was shot in the head by the Taliban two years ago, and Denis Mukege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who has helped thousands of rape victims.

Belgian plane crash leaves eleven dead

On October 19, a plane of parachutists crashed, killing all eleven people on board. They had been going skydiving to celebrate a birthday, near the Belgian city of Namur. Nearly all the victims were between twenty and forty years old. Witnesses say that several minutes after the plane took off, part of a wing broke off, which sent the plane into a nosedive, causing it to crash in a field nearby.  Nicolas Hormans of the Paraclub Namur, whose skydivers were among the victims, told RTL network that because the nosedive would have thrown the passengers around the aircraft, they would not have been able to jump out of the plane and use their parachutes safely, causing those inside to be killed.

Violence during gay pride march in Montenegro

During a gay pride march in Montenegro on Sunday, October 20, sixty people were injured after anti-gay extremists tried to fight through the police to reach those participating in the march. The extremists threw firebombs and rocks at police officers, causing the police to use tear gas to repel them. Twenty of the injured people were police, while the other forty were from anti-gay groups who sparked the violence. Of the approximate 1,500 extremists who took part in the violence at the parade in the capital of Podgorica, only sixty were arrested. The Associated Press suggests that marches such as this are seen as test of Montenegro’s commitment to human rights as it tries to join the European Union. Similar violent anti-gay attacks have taken place in recent history in other parts of the country as well.

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