Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Around the World in Five Minutes

Chile Battles Wild Fires

Firefighters in Chile yesterday battled three massive wildfires that have burned around 90 square miles of forest, destroyed more than 100 homes and driven away thousands of tourists.

Chile’s normally rainy southern regions are suffering from a nationwide heat wave as well as a drought, which makes fires increasingly likely. On Sunday alone, Chile was battling 48 separate fires, and red alerts were declared for the regions of Magallanes, Bio Bio and Maule.

U.S signs $30bn deal with S.Arabia

The United States last week signed a $30 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia to supply the kingdom with eighty four F-15 fighter jets and assorted weaponry.

Under the agreement, the U.S will modernise 70 existing aircraft, supply ammunitions and spare parts, offer training and carry out maintenance.

Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs told reuters news agency, “This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East.”

Saudi Arabia is a key U.S ally in the Middle East.

Turkey compensates mistaken killings

Turkey will compensate the families of 35 civilians mistakenly killed in an air strike meant for Kurdish rebels, the deputy prime minister has said, even as he insisted that military officials followed proper procedures.

The air strikes, guided by intelligence from drones and fired by Turkish F-16 jets, hit a group of Kurdish smugglers in northern Iraq last week.

Kurds make up about 20 per cent of Turkey’s 74 million people; some of them have been agitating for autonomy in the south-east region where they dominate.

 2011 'disastrous year' for Rhinos & Elephants

A record number of rhinos were killed in South Africa last year as demand for their horns rose in Asia, a report has said.
According to the National Geographic News Watch, last year at least 443 rhinos were killed in South Africa, home to the greatest number of the animals.

 The street value of rhinoceros horns has soared to about $65,000 a kilogram, making it more expensive than gold and platinum.

A similar report has rated 2011 as a disastrous year for elephants, following a large number of seizures of elephant tusks.

Libya: group slams female parliamentary quota

A Libyan rights organisation has slammed a proposed election law that gives women just ten per cent of parliamentary seats.

The Libyan Human Rights Alliance said the draft law circulated by the National Transitional Council was unreasonable and ‘extremely outrageous’, considering women made up 50 per cent of the population. The alliance demanded that Libyan women are not sidelined but supported in their involvement in Libyan politics in upcoming elections.

The draft released by the election preparatory committee states that candidates must be more than 25 years of age and should have held no position of responsibility under Muammar Gaddafi’s government.


  1. So the US says they are committed to stability in the middle east, while supplying deadly weapons to the Saudis.I think this press release was meant for Saturday night live...Moving on, Turkey will compensate the families of victims of a mistaken air strike.Oh really! I wonder how much they'll reckon each victim is worth? These days money can buy justice? Here's a thought, how about justice be the compensation got these families; haul the general who ordered the strike before a court of law, charge him with multiple counts of murder, then drag to court his assistants including those who supplied the wrong intelligence and charge them with the same offences?

  2. Will, the points you made are highly valid. I think the U.S are supply the weapons to bolster their economy, and protect their interests in the middle east.

    About the Turkish story, I couldn't agree more with you. Ironically the government refused to disclose how much compensation will be paid.
    On a separate note, why is it so hard for countries to grant autonomy to ethnic minorities agitating for it? Just thinking aloud.

  3. In supplying multiple weapons to Saudi Arabia, the centre of Islamic theory, I don't think that the USA is really aware of what it is playing with. Better give them money and jewels, not fire to play with.
    I totally agree with Will regarding Turkey, Human life is valuable and cannot be compensated for...even by millions and billions

  4. In Africa, Libya's standard's for women in politics don't seem very realistic, not because of quantity, but because of the quality.
    For unless the present regime is deliberatly trying to keep out all females with the intelligence to handle Libya's interests, previous experience on the job is a primary qualification, with 42 years of Ghadaffi, who else would they have worked for? Or is this a deliberate attempt to employ only incompetent fools?!
    And seeing South Africa's high position amongst other countries in terms of GDP, one would presume that they didn't need to continue killing our prized animals.
    Either way the SA goverment is not taking care of its citizens and we are not being told about it; or the international laws for sustainable development are all a farce.

  5. Thanks Fresh Angle for bringing to my knowledge real knews that is going on, like the fires in Chile. News doesn't have to be 'sensational' to be important.

    What I loved best was the picture of the cat. Ride on cat! I love U and I see you riding to better places.

  6. Dlaw, thanks a million! About Libya, I pretty much thought the same. Excluding people who served under the former regime from participating in elections is a bit too extreme if you ask me. It is a needless generalisation that every official under Gaddafi was corrupt & has nothing good to offer.

    As for SA, I don't know who the poachers are, but I'm guessing they must be greedy individuals ready to cash in on the Asians appetite for rhino horns & elephant tusks.

    About the cat pic in the short story, I know. S/he's incredibly cute, right?

  7. Nigeria is blessed in many ways than one but we won't realize this value until we lose all of it. We're no different from Chile when it comes to heat but still the only heat wave we experience are burning skins and fried hair.

    I really don't understand what the US is doing by quenching fire with fire but my guess is they've got some form of hidden agenda. If what you said about the Rhinos is true, then wearing Rhino skin or having its tusk as a pendant would be more valuable than a gold chain. Wow! One thing is for sure, I can't propose with a Rhino tusk as an engagement ring.

    If you ask me, excluding those who served under Gaddafi might be in their best interest. You never know whom he may have chosen as his Darth Vader to destroy all Jedi (Libya) and bring fake peace to the republic. Pushing women away from occupying seats of power is something I'll never support. At least, Dora did a good job here.

    You really went around the world, and it was pretty fast too. Thanks for this brief expo, keep up the good work.

  8. Wow, Lanre. Thanks for your comments. Yes, Nigeria is blessed. We hardly contend with natural disasters so we create man-made disaster in their place!

    The rhinos must be profitable biz. I'll have to admit I also question the stats of it being more expensive than gold & platinum. But I suppose that's how NGOs drive home their point.

    On Libya, as Dlaw mentioned, Gaddafi was in power for 42 years. So if you're going to exclude every person who had dealings with his government, you'll exclude a whole lot of people. Besides, considering the way they lynched Gaddafi, I don't consider them any better.

  9. I cannot believe the killing of Rhinos and elephants is even allowed. How greedy can the heart of man be. Will we not stop until all the endangered species are gone.....Shuksss!

  10. Rastababy, thanks for your comment. I couldn't agree more. These are exotic animals that need to preserved. Hope to see more of your comments on the site.

  11. It's a sad state of affairs. News is a depressive factor: the media is messed up and brainwashing everyone to think what they want and how they want. I guess it helps to read it from a fresh angle. Nonetheless, how can we make this world a better place, if it is even possible?!

  12. @anonymous. Nobody can save the world. You can only affect your own sphere in your own little way to start with.

    About news being depressive, next week I'll try to strike a better balance between serious and lighter new stories.

    Thanks for your comment.