Recent News Briefs From Around the World

Tatevik Manucharyan, El Vaquero Staff Writer

The following are highlights of global news from May 13 to May 20. The article is based on the “BBC Global News” podcast.

May 13
RUSSIA — Russian aircraft Sukhoi Superjet-100, which was supposed to be a rival to Airbus and Boeing, crashed in Indonesia during a demonstration tour. All 45 passengers aboard the aircraft died.

SOUTH KOREA — The head of South Korea’s largest Buddhist order made a personal apology for the behavior of eight senior Buddhist monks: A video recording shows them gambling, drinking and smoking.

May 14
MEXICO — Forty-nine people were killed, their bodies dismembered by members of a drug cartel, near Monterrey, Mexico. In the past six years alone, close to 47,000 people have been killed in this area in drug-related violence.

LIBYA — NATO strikes over Libya killed at least 72 civilians, including 20 women and 24 children, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch. The purpose of the mission in Libya was to protect civilians. The report urges NATO to conduct investigations into the civilian killings. The laws of war require these investigations according to a Human Rights Watch spokesperson.

May 15
CONGO — A BBC journalist reported on the conditions in the “conflict mineral” mines in central Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo. These so-called “conflict minerals” are materials used in our cell phones, laptops and cars. One prominent example is tin. Miners, which include children, work for very long hours in extremely dangerous conditions in the tin mines. “Conflict minerals” get their name for spurring conflict and bloodshed across central Africa.

GREECE — The Greek parties elected on May 6 of this year failed to form a coalition government due to disagreements over the implementation of the austerity measures imposed by the European Union. As a result, new parliamentary elections will be held in Greece on June 17.

May 16
BOSNIA — Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Retko Mladic’s trial began in The Hague. Mladic, who is accused of 11 counts of war crimes, including two counts of genocide, was arrested in Serbia last year after 15 years of life as an international fugitive. The two counts of genocide are the July 1995 massacre of nearly 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica and the massacre of Bosnian Muslims over the entire period of the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995.

May 17
GREAT BRITAIN — Cutting spending and reducing debt is key to economic growth, according to British Prime Minister David Cameron. He gave this speech in response to increasing sentiments that austerity measures are failing to heal Europe’s economic ills.

GREECE — Many Greeks are taking money out of the banks, in response to growing fears that Greece might exit the Eurozone. According to reports by BBC news, if Greece were to leave the euro and revert to the drachma, 10,000 euros in a Greek bank account could turn into an equivalent of 3,000 euros overnight.

May 18
JAPAN — After the shutdown of its nuclear power plants, Japan is trying to find ways to cope with energy shortage. Now the government is asking people, and especially businesses, to cut back on energy use by 15 percent.

MALAWI — There is a so-called “silent crisis” in Malawi – a landlocked African country, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid. Although there is no famine in the country, a huge number of children are malnourished and therefore, stunted.

May 19
NEW YORK — Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and his family left China on Saturday on a plane headed to New York. The event was kept very low key both by China and the United States, as both countries try to leave behind the incident that threatened to disrupt their diplomatic relations.

ITALY — A 16-year-old girl was killed and others were seriously injured in a bomb blast at a girls school in Brindisi, Italy. It is alleged that the local mafia, Sacra Corona, could be responsible for the blast.

May 20
LIBYA — Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the person convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270, died in his home in Tripoli, Libya.

ITALY — A powerful earthquake near Modena in northern Italy caused extensive damage to historic buildings in areas including Verona, Bologna, and Venice. Three thousand people were told to leave their homes due to the earthquake.

UNITED KINGDOM — The Olympic torch started its journey across the United Kingdom. It will travel for more than 70 days before reaching its destination at the Olympic stadium in East London.