International Current Events

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International Current Events

Shivani Pujari, Dedicated Writer

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Avalanche in Turkey: 2/4/20

(This information comes from ABC News)

Have you ever been in a natural disaster? If so, what kind?

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As Mother Nature continues her barrage of attacks, she leaves 38 dead in two avalanches in Ankara, Turkey.

33 emergency helpers were killed, and 53 were injured. The workers had been looking for survivors in an avalanche on February 3rd that killed five and left two missing. On the 5th of February, workers began to worry even more for the people who were still under the snow. A few individuals found a stroke of serendipity and were able to dig or scramble their way out, but others were not as lucky, as shown by the death toll.

Avalanches are usually triggered by loud noises and/or a weak spot in a blanket of snow. The loud noise causes the weak area to collapse; the rest of the snow above the weak unsupported spot begins to slide down. The snow picks up speed and more snow as it travels down the mountain.

Avalanches can range in size and severity; some can drown whole towns or villages, and others don’t even make it to the bottom of the mountain. Whatever the case, avalanches are always dangerous and invariably take a toll on anyone nearby.

Locusts in Africa: Ongoing Event

(The picture and information come from WIRED)

The new year has not been very kind to anyone. Deaths, disasters, and now, locust plagues.

This has been the worst locust outbreak in 25 years for Ethiopia, and in Kenya, the worst in seven decades. In late 2019, the two regions received surplus amounts of water providing the perfect breeding ground for locusts. And, the abundance of water enabled more crops to grow, meaning the locusts have a plentiful supply of food. This coupled with how far a locust can travel in a day—over 90 miles—created the perfect conditions for the locust populations to boom.

These locusts travel in swarms; just imagine a huge cloud of buzzing insects barreling over the landscape. And after the cloud stops to rest, it leaves behind almost barren fields with very little crops.

This poses a huge problem for Ethiopians and Kenyans since farming is such a huge part of life: farming supports the families in terms of financial and personal needs. The crops are bought and sold at a market, or eaten at home. In this way, Ethiopians and Kenyans are and will face monetary and individualized troubles.

Brexit: 1/31/20

(This information comes from Forbes and the picture comes from Pixabay)

The UK left the EU for many reasons; based on the reasons explained, would you have voted to stay in the EU or leave it?

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Britain has officially exited the European Union. The people of the UK voted, and once the votes were tallied, the majority said that they felt that the UK should leave the EU. January 1st, 2020 marks the historical day. (Although England has left the EU, it will still be considered part of the continent of Europe).

The big question is why did all of this happen? Why did the UK leave the European Union? England left the EU for a number of reasons, like economics and immigration of the EU. The European Union’s economics was substandard and had stagnated because many, many people were unemployed. Now that Britain is apart from the EU, it can create its own economy; one that is more successful than the EU’s. Immigration was an issue because of the effects it had on the country. Some said that everyone was obligated to help immigrants, but others felt that the constant stream of people coming into the country threw off its inner workings. There were, of course, more reasons for the split, but these seemed to be the two most influential ones, especially to the people of the UK when they were voting.

Coronavirus in China: Ongoing Event

(The information comes from Live Science and USA Today and the picture comes from Wikipedia)

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More proof we are heading towards the 6th mass extinction: The outbreak in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China of a brand new coronavirus. People all around the world are being affected by the outbreak, but especially the individuals in Wuhan and the areas around it. The virus supposedly originated from bats and/or snakes, but scientists are skeptical. Bats could just be carriers of the pathogens and the virus could have come

Coronavirus particles

from another animal altogether. They are also unsure if snakes can get the virus in the first place.

As most already know, the virus can travel from human to human and is rapidly spreading.

The first record of the coronavirus was reported on December 12, 2019, but scientists are still unsure about it, for instance, why it began and how to find a treatment.

The coronavirus usually finds its prey in people who already have underlying conditions or who are older and don’t have a strong immune system. It is usually the elderly who end up in the hospital with the virus. Their vulnerability causes them to have fewer chances of surviving. The symptoms include a dry cough, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Volcanic Eruption in the Philippines: 1/12/20

(The picture and information come from VICE ASIA)

A series of cataclysmic events sometimes gives scientists clues as to what might happen in the world next. And with all that is happening, scientists predict that we are entering the 6th mass extinction.

Mount Taal released colossal amounts of ash on January 12th in the Philippines, just south of Metro Manila. People are also anticipating another larger eruption soon because of the activity scientists are picking up from the volcano. The people who live close to the Taal Volcano had to evacuate since the conditions the eruption created were just so miserable.

Because of the volcanic activity in the Earth’s crust, pressure is being built up. The pressure must be released, so it moves upwards towards the crust and pushes through in what can often be a violent eruption, but in this case, it was not.

Australia Fires: Ongoing Event

(The picture and information both come from CNET)

As 2019 comes to an end, people are preparing themselves for what 2020 will hold. But, 2019 held several events—and their consequences—that carry over into 2020. For instance, the Australia fires. The Australian fires started in September as a painless bushfire. Instead of simply being extinguished by the firefighters in that area, it grew. This was because of a lack of moisture in the air and soil, higher temperatures in the fire season than usual, and fierce winds. And, of course, the usual suspects: cigarettes not fully put out tossed on the ground, lightning strikes, and arson.

The fires are wreaking havoc on the people of Australia and Australia’s ecosystems. Animals that were on the endangered list are now extinct, and the death count just keeps rising.

The fires are also clustered throughout Australia, but are bunched near the coasts. Approximately 12.35 million acres of land have been destroyed and half a billion species of animals are estimated to have been wiped out.

Indian Root Bridges: Ongoing Event

(The picture and information come from CNN)

In Meghalaya, India, there are living root bridges, spanning over a river, some more than 160 feet long. These bridges are incredibly healthy for the environment because, for one thing, they are made of trees, and for another, they need very few repairs since the roots continue growing as old ones die.

The root bridges are technically man-made as well as being natural. The seeds of the rubber fig tree have to be planted first, and as the aerial roots (roots that stay above the land) start to come out of the ground, the villagers who live around the bridges and use them wind the roots around bamboo or palm stem frames which give the bridges their shape. And once the roots reach the other side of the frame, they are replanted. These bridges make the lives of those who live around them easier, as well as not contributing to the effects of global warming and climate change.

London Bridge Attack: 11/29/19

(Information from BBC and CNN and picture from BBC)

On November 29, two people were killed on the London Bridge, and three were injured.

The attacker and victims were attending a conference on criminology in Fishmongers’ Hall. The attacker, Usman Khan, had just been released from jail and was supposed to help others recover from terrorism. But, instead, he exited the conference and went to the London Bridge which was very close. He then pulled out a knife and stabbed several people. Fortunately, many bystanders on the bridge were able to restrain Khan and held him down until the authorities arrived.

Venice Floods: 11/14/19

(Information and picture come from CNN)
Venice: The City of Water…is sinking.

On the 12th of November, the tide rose in Venice about 73.6 inches, or 6.4 feet prompting torrential flooding.

Two people were killed, which considering the strength of the floods, is a very small fatality. However it will take several billions of euros to repair the damage that occurred to Venice, but there will still be long-lasting damage.