This week has paved the way to landmarks in international peace deals, scientific innovations and business maneuvers. The monumental BRICS summit met this week to discuss sources of international tension and the Kigali Deal put a cap on the superfluous usage of refrigerants. China launched a space mission to orbit Earth that will allow them to gain footing in the unending "Space Race." It's reported that AT&T is merging with Time Warner in a controversial business deal that will allow the company to seize important assets. If you're worried about keeping up with the headlines in international news, Fresh U has you covered.
1. China Launched a Successful Space Lab Mission
After three years, China has decided to launch a human spaceflight mission that will carry out medical and science experiments. The spaceflight deported from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre last Sunday and successfully docked with the Tiangong-2 module on Tuesday. Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong are the two astronauts on board, and they will also serve as "public correspondents" for Xinhua News Service. This mission is planned to be China's longest space mission, and has docked approximately 224 million miles above Earth. This mission is China's push to gain an advantage in the ongoing "Space Race."
2. BRICS Summit Met to Discuss Topics of International Tension
This week, the eighth BRICS summit was held to discuss a number of problems in the international community. Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met to discuss possible resolutions to contentious issues. Prime Minister Narendi Modi of India urged all nations to come together and act against terrorism. The meeting was convened at a convenient time since India and Pakistan are currently facing increasing terrorism in the Valley. The Prime Minister called Pakistan a "mothership of terrorism" and stressed the need for punishment against Pakistani groups that incite violence in the region.
3. International Community Reached a Solution to Cut Down on Refrigerants
This week, negotiators from over 150 countries met to sign an accord to deter the use of dangerous climate chemicals found in refrigerators and other home appliances. The "Kigali Deal" convened to discuss the use of HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, that have been a plague to the current movement against climate change. The conference included pledges by every nation to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions from various power sources. Countries are vowing to curb away 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere due to their collective reduction in fossil fuel emissions and HFC usage in the coming years.
4. Mexican Federal Judge Murdered in Broad Daylight
Vicente Antonio Bermudez Zacarias, a 37-year old Mexican judge, was shot by an unknown assailant. Bermudez was murdered while he was jogging near his home in the morning hours. The exact reason behind this murder is not known, but his involvement in cases related to drug cartels has raised suspicions about how his killing may be related to his professional history. He has handled various legal cases filed by attorneys regarding "El Chapo," the leader of the infamous Zetas drug cartel.
5. Thousands of American Soldiers Forced to Re-Pay Enlistment Bonuses
Before the Iraq War, the Pentagon convinced thousands of Americans to enlist in the army by paying them large enlistment bonuses worth more than $15,000. Now, the Federal government is demanding that these enlisted soldiers should pay the money back. If these soldiers do not pay back these grandiose payments, they can risk facing interest charges and tax liens. Many veterans feel like they are being betrayed by the American government. Nearly 10,000 California soldiers have been contacted to pay back these hefty bonuses, and many of these veterans are filing lawsuits against the government.
6. Train Derailing in Cameroon Killed More than 70 Citizens
This Friday, a packed train crashed between two major cities in Cameroon, leaving 70 dead and nearly 600 injured. Many citizens are enraged that the President was out of town on the incident and blame the derailing on the poor infrastructure and crowded roads. Many relatives are searching for lost victims of the train crash, and thousands of Cameroonian citizens have packed the hospitals. The hospital equipment is largely lackluster in the country, so villagers have only been able to supply first aid and local traditional treatment to wounded citizens.
7. Massive ISIS Attack Terrorized Iraqi Citizens
Islamic State terrorists have launched a massive attack on government buildings in the city of Kirkuk in Iraq. These ISIS fighters have entered mosques, elementary schools and houses; they have reportedly taken a multitude of citizens as hostages. The political unrest in the city has led to the deaths of nearly 30 people. The governor of the city has reported that the terrorists have blown up the power plant and have killed 12 key administrators in the process. The city is in a state of panic as the ISIS stronghold of Mosul continues to fight back against the the Iraqi forces.
8. South Africa Announced Withdrawal from International Criminal Court
This week, South Africa made a shocking announcement: its government has formally decided to remove itself from the International Criminal Court. No other country has ever decided to withdraw from the ICC, and the international organization stated that South Africa's decision was "devastating." The Criminal Court is fearful that other nations will follow South Africa's lead. South Africa decided to withdraw from the ICC after a dispute last year regarding a visit by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. So far, many groups have protested the government's decision to withdraw from the international organization, and the South Africa Democratic Alliance has declared the withdrawal to be "unconstitutional."
9. AT&T Buying Time Warner for More than $85 Billion
This Saturday, AT&T announced that it will buy a major content provider, Time Warner, in a cash-and-stock deal. By owning Time-Warner, AT&T will have access to content like the Harry Potter franchise and "Game of Thrones." AT&T is reaching out to find more sources of profit since its wireless telecommunications stocks have been gradually failing over the years. This merger deal is raising scrutiny among the Justice Department, as many public executives are raising the possibility of an anti-trust case.
10. Britain's Biggest Banks Planning to Move out of London
Anthony Browne, boss of the British Bankers Association, gave a clear warning this week that his institution may move out of London. If Brexit is successful, lenders may have to move their assets out of the city's largest financial district. Many smaller banks are planning to start relocations in the next few months and plan to move to other financially stable districts within the European Union. Banks within Great Britain are terrified about the possibility of losing the chance to offer the products within the European Union due to the recent Brexit decision.
Hopefully, Britain will find some economic stability after the Brexit decision that shattered its hopes of entering a successful international market. South Africa is facing the same amount of political controversy as it plans to leave the International Criminal Court. The United States has also sparked political debate due to its recent decision to demand re-enlistment bonuses from all Californian veterans. Thus, this week has been full of agitation as international officials make unprecedented decisions that shape science, business and politics.
Lead Image Credit: Jim Larrison via Flickr Creative Commons