News briefs from around the world

BY SARAH LOFSTROM ’19 AND MIESHA MOSS ’19

Sudan

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has fired the commanding officer of a troop of UN peacekeepers in southern Sudan after they failed to keep civilians safe during a violent protest in July, as reported by Al Jazeera. Peacekeepers were reported to have abandoned their posts and ignored the summons for help from aid workers under attack less than a mile from the UN compound.

Australia

A UN human rights investigator will release a report on his findings on Nov. 18 after an 18 day stay in Australia and the South Pacific island nation of Nauru to evaluate its asylum seeker policy, according to Reuters. François Crépeau is the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. 

Under Australia’s current border security laws, those who wish to seek asylum or who attempt to enter the country via boat, are sent for processing to become one of the 1200 individuals held in detention camps on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru. The detention camps have faced criticism from the U.N. as recently as last month when reports were released condemning the Nauru detention camp for doing little to nothing to prevent detained children from suffering sexual abuse within the camp. 

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently issued a government proposal to permanently ban asylum seekers who arrive via boat from ever entering Australia again. They would be denied from ever gaining even tourist or business visas to visit Australia. Daniel Webb, director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre declared, “the government urgently needs to find a humane way forward.”

Italy

On Oct. 30, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, leaving more than 25,000 people displaced, according to National Post. Italy has had multiple earthquakes since Aug. 24 whena 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit. This most recent earthquake was felt as far as Salzburg, Austria. The Italian government has already allotted 40 million Euros for the rebuilding process. 

As reported by The New York Times, the most recent earthquake is the strongest to hit the country in 36 years. “We will rebuild everything — homes, churches, businesses,” said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, as reported by The New York Times.

The earthquakes have affected historic structures throughout Italy such as the Colosseum, built in 80 AD. “The loss of our roots means we have lost the future,” professor Tomaso Montanari, art historian and critic, told the National Post . “In Italy, the stones, the buildings, the churches and the artworks are the backbone of the country.”

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