From Global Discussions:
I hope you all had a great spring break! Here is your news update for the week.
From BBC: Many residents who survived the storm will find they have little left.
Vanuatu is a group of 65 islands off the coast of Australia. Vanuatu’s total population is 267,000, with 47,000 people living in Port Vila, the capital. Friday night (March 13), a category five storm with winds up to 270 km/h struck populated areas, veering from its original course. Up to 90% of housing in Port Vila has been seriously damaged. Thousands of people are currently living in shelters there in wretched conditions, such as 300 people sharing a single toilet. This storm is allegedly one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific. The situation for current citizens of Vanuatu is grim, and they are very much in need of humanitarian aid. New Zealand, the EU, and the UK have already pledged millions of dollars to be used to aid those affected by the disaster.
This past Saturday the Chilean government declared a state of emergency because of the forest fires near Valparaiso, which started on Friday. On Saturday the government said that over 4,ooo people had been evacuated and more may need to be evacuated. This situation is especially devastating because Valparaiso is still recovering from forest fires the year before that killed 15, injured 500, and destroyed almost 3,000 homes. So far, only two fire fighters have been injured and one 67-year-old women died, but the situation is still not under control.
Central African Republic:
For the past year, the Central African Republic, a former French colony, has been in a terrible civil war. The conflict has been between the Christian and Muslim communities and has lead to 64,000 refugees, burned villages, and over 5,000 deaths. Some groups have stated that the Christians are “ethnically cleansing” the Muslim population, and the UN has put out a genocide watch on the country. Both sides have “agreed” to stop fighting, but fightings and killings are still happening. Recently, the EU has decided to send troops to CAR to help them “turn the corner” and finally find peace.
Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas wrote a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah last week undermining Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. This letter was signed by 46 other Republican members of the Senators, and in short stated that Obama’s negotiations mean nothing since Congress can get rid of them once Obama leaves office. This letter has stirred a lot of controversy as to whether this letter and those who signed it have committed treason in violation of the Logan Act of 1799, which prevents any unauthorized US citizen to negotiate with foreign governments. This law, however, is most likely out of date and is unlikely to have any power in court. A petition, which nearly a quarter million people have signed, has been written wishing that these senators be charged with treason; the White House is currently going over a response to this petition, since it received over 100,000 signatures in 30 days.