International News Briefs

Ahed Tamimi trial trig­gers protests Free­dom Flotilla Coali­tion Fail­ures of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Tina Fon­taine’s mur­derer found not-guilty

The McGill Daily - - Contents - Vic­tor Dépois The Mcgill Daily

As­tana, Kaza­khstan – Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 19

Kazakh Pres­i­dent Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev ap­proved on a de­cree con­cern­ing an al­pha­bet switchover with­out warn­ing last Mon­day, likely in re­sponse to the un­pop­u­lar­ity of the new apos­tro­phe-heavy al­pha­bet adopted last Oc­to­ber. Nazarbayev signed off on a 32-let­ter ver­sion of the al­pha­bet that al­most no­body has seen be­fore, and or­dered of­fi­cials to en­sure that the al­pha­bet be im­ple­mented within the next seven years. The new al­pha­bet con­tains fewer apos­tro­phes, which have been re­placed in favour of ac­cents. Prior to the de­cree, Kaza­khstan used a 42-let­ter Cyril­lic al­pha­bet. The govern­ment has ad­vo­cated for the new al­pha­bet which they claim will be bet­ter suited for typ­ing on com­put­ers, in or­der to boost to coun­try’s mod­ern­iza­tion. Prior to the most re­cent al­pha­bet­i­cal switch, one Kazakh news­pa­per, Arqa­lyq Habary, was al­ready pub­lish­ing with the new al­pha­bet. In the Gabit Musire­pov dis­trict of the North Kaza­khstan re­gion, au­thor­i­tieshave al­ready be­gan is­su­ing let­ters to res­i­dents in the new 32-let­ter script. They will now have to change their al­pha­bet again. Writ­ten with ma­te­rial from the of­fi­cial web­site of the Pres­i­dent of Kaza­khstan, and Eurasianet.

Lima, Peru – Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 21

At least 44 peo­ple are dead af­ter a bus fell ap­prox­i­mately 200 me­ters into a ravine in Ocoña Dis­trict of the Are­quipa re­gion in south­ern Peru. The op­er­a­tor Rey Latino stated that the bus was car­ry­ing around 45 peo­ple, but po­lice stated that there were prob­a­bly more pas­sen­gers on the bus be­cause ad­di­tional pas­sen­gers boarded en route and did not ap­pear in the ini­tial reg­is­ter, sug­gest­ing the of­fi­cial death toll with in­crease. The bus also did not have per­mis­sion to drive on the Panamer­i­cana Sur high­way, its per­mit hav­ing ex­pired in 2016 ac­cord­ing to the Re­gional Man­age­ment of Trans­porta­tion of Are­quipa. Road ac­ci­dents are com­mon in Peru, where roads are not con­sid­ered to be safe, and bus driv­ers lack train­ing. Nev­er­the­less, Peru­vian ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties and po­lice claim that th­ese high crash rates are due to the speed­ing and im­pru­dence of driv­ers. This is the se­cond most deadly crash of the year, how­ever: in early Jan­uary, a bus col­lided with a truck ca­reened off a cliff, killing 48. Writ­ten with ma­te­rial from El Mercurio.

Vic­to­ria, Sey­chelles – Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 22

Anew marine pro­tected area has been cre­ated in the In­dian Ocean around the Sey­chelle is­lands. The zone is 210,000-square kilo­me­tres wide, an area equiv­a­lent to nearly half of the Black Sea. The govern­ment’s goal in cre­at­ing this sanc­tu­ary is to pro­tect the sea and the ar­chi­pel­ago’s econ­omy, which is heav­ily re­liant on fish­ing and tourism. The new zone is the re­sult of a fi­nan­cial deal bro­kered by American NGO The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy. The NGO levied $21 mil­lion to pay off an out­stand­ing sov­er­eign debt, in ex­change for con­ser­va­tion fund­ing to pro­tect this ocean- de­pen­dent na­tion. En­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Di­dier Dog­ley said that by 2020, close to a third of Sey­chelles waters will be pro­tected against deep-sea min­ing, dredg­ing, oil and gas ex­plo­ration, and un­reg­u­lated and il­le­gal fish­ing. Like many other oceanic na­tions, Sey­chelles is one of the na­tions most vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate change, ris­ing sea lev­els, and ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion, as its econ­omy is al­most to­tally re­liant on marine re­sources. Writ­ten with ma­te­rial from AFP.

Juba, South Su­dan – Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 23

South Su­dan’s north­ern state of Tonj was re­cently the site of bru­tal clashes that caused the death of at least 30 peo­ple. The new gover­nor of the state, ap­pointed two days ear­lier, blamed tribal clashes be­tween two Dinka tribes sub­clans, but also vengeance fol­low­ing cat­tle raids. Th­ese con­flicts re­main, ac­cord­ing to the politi­cian, “the ma­jor chal­lenges in the state.” On the same day, UN in­ves­ti­ga­tors said they had iden­ti­fied more than 40 South Su­danese of­fi­cials and mil­i­tary of­fi­cers alledgedly re­spon­si­ble of war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity. The civil war started five years ago in 2013, fol­low­ing a split be­tween Pres­i­dent Kiir and his for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent, Riek Machar. Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have died, and be­tween 2.5 and 4 mil­lion peo­ple have been dis­placed. Writ­ten with ma­te­rial from IOL.

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