Week #7 (22-28/07/2019)

The late Beji Caïd Essebsi, Tunisian president who died at the age of 92. | Credit: ITU Pictures


A clash broke out between Ethiopian security forces and activists from the Sidama ethnic group during the group’s rally. The protest came after the government failed to fulfill Sidama’s request to hold a referendum on Thursday 18 July. As the fifth largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, Sidama wishes to be given the same level of autonomy as the four larger communities. At least 25 people (22/07) were killed during the incidence. Tunisia’s first democratically elected president, Beji Caïd Essebsi died on Thursday morning (25/07) after being transferred to a hospital "under direct recommendation by his doctors.” He died at the age of 92.


The United States (U.S.) (27/09) is developing AI technology to deal with its waste materials. The effort has been bolstered recently as China, which recycled the bulk of U.S. waste, raised its standards for recycling materials, requiring a more elaborate sift on particularly hazardous materials. Robots have been working on the U.S. landfills, assisting human workers and can work twice as fast. In Brazil, gold miners, or garimpeiros, invaded the indigenous Waiãpi’s village of Mariry and allegedly killed Emyra Waiãpa, a community leader. The invasion forced the community to flee to the bigger village of Aramirã, where shots were fired on Saturday (27/07), presumably committed by the garimpeiros to scare the Waiãpi.


A campaign with the Twitter hashtag ‘live-alone life,’ initiated by South Korean YouTube star Baek Ha-Na through a YouTube account which in English called ‘Solo-darity,’ is on trending (23/07) in South Korea. The campaign responds to the government’s policies and approach on tackling South Korea’s low birthrate, which Ha-na and YouTube co-host argued, infuriate many women. The policies, she said, “…force a woman into marriage and childbearing…,” of which, “…represent a deeply ingrained perception of a woman in our [Korean] society as an object, not an individual.” Meanwhile, Philippines’s Jollibee (24/07) is investing USD 100 million in a new Singapore-based holding company to acquire 100 percent of the U.S brand ‘Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.’  


Lawmakers in Australia has approved (28/07) new terror legislation to stop foreign fighters from returning to the country. The law will be effective next month and will mostly apply to women and children, many of whom are held in refugee camps. The 12-day communications blackout occurred in Tonga last January is allegedly sabotaged (25/07) by a yet-to-be-identified entity. The blackout cut Tonga’s link to the outside world, severing internet and many international phone links.


Boris Johnson has defeated Jeremy Hunt (23/07) in the race to become the next United Kingdom (UK) prime minister. Johnson won 92,153 votes to Hunt’s 46,656. After his victory, Johnson announced that he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country, and defeat Jeremy Corbyn”. Meanwhile in France (25/07), the city of Paris has recorded its highest ever temperature at 42.6C. The authorities have issued a red alert in the Paris region and 19 other districts, warning the citizens to avoid traveling to work from home if possible as the temperature could reach 42C-43C in parts of the country. In Sweden (26/07), American rapper A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been charged with assault and will face trial over a street fight in Stockholm. His case gained worldwide attention and he received supports from other prominent artists and U.S. politicians, including President Donald Trump who tweeted, “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn't seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky.”