Egypt passes controversial law
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi signed a counter-terrorism law last week that gives Egyptian authorities jurisdiction in cases that are usually reserved for states of emergencies. The law allows the authorities to impose fines for journalists if their articles about terrorism-related cases contradict the official version of the case. Many organizations, such as Amnesty International, said that the law bans the rights to freedom of expression, but the government says the law is necessary because militants are increasing their attacks.
North and South Korea exchange fire
On Aug. 20, North and South Korea exchanged fire after weeks of tension following the wounding of two South Korean soldiers in landmines in the demilitarized zone. North Korea projected a small rocket toward a South Korean Defense Ministry and South Korea retaliated with a few dozen shells at the area from which the rocket was fired. South Korea accused the North of planting the mines in the zone, which the North denies. The capital of South Korea played anti-North Korea propaganda throughout the city, which North Korea declared to be “a direction action of declaring a war”.
Slovakia declares it will only accept Christian migrants
Slovakia announced that they will only allow Christian immigrants within their borders. Officials say that the decision wasn’t made on a discriminatory basis, but on the concern that it will be easier for Christian immigrants to integrate with the country and want to stay more long-term. The number of immigrants in the European Union reached a new record in 2014 with more than 280,000 illegal immigrants. Most immigrants are attempting to leave conflict and poverty in Syria, Afghanistan and other nations.
Cyanide levels at extreme high at China blast site
Cyanide levels near Tianjin, China are 356 times the national standard, following the Aug. 12 factory blast that killed more than 100 people and injured approximately 800. Officials tested the city’s wastewater last Thursday and said they fear the environmental damage from the blast may get worse. Cyanide is a deadly chemical widely used in manufacturing. Officials from the Ministry of Environmental Protection said the government plans on treating the water before it is released into local sewers.
Ecuador in state of emergency
Ecuador President Rafael Correa declare the country in a state of emergency after its most active volcano, Cotopaxi, started to spew ash. While some evacuations already occurred, approximately 325,000 people who live near the volcano site are at risk of mud slides and other dangerous activity. The last major eruption was in 1877.
Members of United Nations accused of rape
Three females, including one minor, accused U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic of rape. These allegations contribute to the total of 14 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers in this area since April 2014. The peacekeepers are in the Central African Republic to aid with political violence. The outcome of the allegations is still pending.
Longest nonstop flight announced by Dubai airline
Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, announced that they will operate the world’s longest regularly scheduled nonstop flight. The flight will be a daily service between Dubai and Panama City and is expected to begin service on Feb. 1, 2016. The airline said the flight will take approximately 17 and a half-hours to travel the 8,580 mile distance. The service will be on a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and will be able to carry 256 passengers.