In the News This Week

by Debra Brown


Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


Dozens Killed After Cyclone Kenneth Hits Northern Mozambique.

The death toll in storm-hit northern Mozambique has jumped to 38 after Cyclone Kenneth hit the country, according to officials, with aid workers struggling to reach some of the worst-affected areas.

Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) announced in its latest update on Monday that an earlier death toll of five had been revised up, adding that about 35,000 homes were damaged or wiped out by the cyclone and the rising floodwaters.

It is the strongest cyclone to ever lash Africa, according to OCHA, with further heavy rain predicted for the coming days.

It is the first time in recorded history that two cyclones have struck Mozambique in a single season, raising concerns about climate change.

Here’s how to help.


School Shooting in Colorado Leaves 1 Student Dead and 8 Injured.

A teenager has been killed and eight others injured after two pupils allegedly opened fire in a Colorado school.

The attack was at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, near Denver, Colorado. Both attackers have now been arrested.

Highlands Ranch is just 5 miles from Columbine High School, the site of one of the US’s worst school shootings 20 years ago.

This is believed to be the 115th mass shooting in the US in 2019.


Pulitzer-prize Winning Reuters Reporters Freed From Prison in Myanmar.

Two Reuters journalists, jailed in Myanmar after being convicted of breaking the Official Secrets Act, have been freed after more than 500 days behind bars.

The two reporters, Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, were convicted in September and sentenced to seven years in jail in a case that raised questions about Myanmar’s progress towards democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

Before their arrest in December 2017, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State during an army crackdown that began in August 2017 that sent more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh, according to the United Nations’ estimates.

The report the two men authored, featuring testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of the victims, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in May, adding to a number of accolades received by the pair for their journalism.


High Court To Rule On Whether Indigenous People Can Be Deported From Australia.

In a case described as a landmark trial, lawyers are asking the High Court to make a determination on whether Indigenous people can be considered as an ‘alien’ under the Australian constitution and therefore be exempt from the government’s deportation powers.

In submissions filed to the High Court in early April, lawyers asked the court to rule that an Aboriginal person who does not have citizenship – but has at least one Indigenous parent, came to Australia at a young age and has only left for short periods of time – be exempt from the government’s mandatory deportation powers.

The lawyers are asking for the court to clearly define the term ‘alien’ and for Aboriginal people with the three characteristics, to not to be considered as an ‘alien’.


Georgia Governor Signs Fetal Heartbeat Law, Banning Abortion Once Heartbeat is Detected.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday signed into law a so-called “heartbeat” bill, banning abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Georgia is the fourth state to pass such a law this year alone.

The bills prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But reproductive rights advocates and doctors say the laws, which prohibit abortion before many women know they are pregnant, amount to a near-total ban on the procedure.


Huge Racial Disparities Found in Deaths Linked to Pregnancy.

African-American, Native American and Alaska Native women die of pregnancy-related causes at a rate about three times higher than those of white women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The agency found that black women were 3.3 times more likely than white women to suffer a pregnancy-related death; Native American and Alaska Native women were 2.5 times more likely to die than white women.

Sixty percent of all pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented with better health care, communication and support, as well as access to stable housing and transportation, the researchers concluded.


Photo Credit: Reuters

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