6 Important World News Stories You Might Have Missed
The 24-hour media circus can make it completely exhausting to keep up with the news. Within the current administration, multiple bombshells tend to drop throughout the day, then proceed to dominate the news cycle until the next inevitable scandal. In these days of daily revelations, it’s no surprise many of us have trouble keeping track of the global stage.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the rest of the world does not revolve around U.S. news, and that across the globe, important and momentous events unfold daily. Here are a few significant international stories you might have missed.
- Jacob Zuma in South Africa
Down in the southernmost nation of Africa, a president is stubbornly clinging to power, despite a burgeoning ream of corruption allegations against him and his administration. Jacob Zuma, who has held the presidency in South Africa since 2009, is soon to face his ninth vote of no confidence in South Africa’s Parliament. Zuma, who was born in an impoverished household and began engaging in politics from a young age, has fought charges of corruption and mismanagement since his inauguration.
Within the last week, Zuma has finally agreed to step down from his post. The resignation comes on the heels of a talk with leaders from the ANC — the South African ruling party which has formally dropped Zuma. Whether Zuma will fulfill his promise to resign the presidency is unclear, as he has held onto his power despite tremendous pressure in the past.
- North Korea at the Olympics
For all the coverage North Korea ordinarily garners for their bellicose behavior, their peaceful presence at the 2018 Winter Olympics is making headlines. This year, North and South Koreans marched side-by-side in the Opening Ceremony, showing sudden and unheralded warming of relations between the two nations. This easing of tensions has sparked unsubstantiated rumors of reunification negotiations from the international community, a possibility experts have widely scoffed at for many years.
- Genocide in Bangladesh
Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the international community vowed never to allow such actions to go unpunished. This claim has been challenged, starting in 2016 in Bangladesh, when systemic attacks against the Rohingya Muslim minority heightened to a fever pitch.
In December of last year, a UN rapporteur released a statement designating the situation as definitive ethnic cleansing, prompting statements from several world leaders. However, the attacks continue, with an estimated 10,000 dead, according to some reports.
- Crisis in Yemen
The largest-scale and most urgent humanitarian crisis in global news comes out of Yemen, where some 3 million Yemenis have become displaced and/or fled their country. The current crisis stems from a civil war between various shifting factions grabbing for power in the country. The conflict has left 50,000 dead, many of whom are unarmed civilians. Terrible conditions within refugee camps spread disease and make the situation even worse than the reported numbers. Thousands more will die, even assuming violence ceases in the near future.
- India Bans Bitcoin, Prices Plummet
Bitcoin has garnered international attention as a miracle investment: A couple of dollars invested in 2006 equal thousands today. Denying market speculation, the rapidly rising prices continued until this January — including a period between Thanksgiving and Christmas where prices doubled. Prices experienced their first major slump last month, following stagnant numbers and a surprising Indian ban on all cryptocurrencies.
Beyond disallowing domestic use of digital currency, India has a full moratorium on all exchanges using products like Bitcoin, including deals brokered by Indian citizens or corporations, and any trade in any way related to the Indian economy. This decision by India — home of the second-largest national population behind China and a major world economy — has caused Bitcoin prices to plummet.
- Brexit Going to Court
While the preparations for Brexit continue, a family of Dutch-based British nationals is attempting to limit the impact of the British removal from the EU. Stephen Huyton and his family have been living and working in the Netherlands, and are suing for the right to continue doing so, despite Brexit. Free movement for business or pleasure is guaranteed for all members of the EU, but would become a major hindrance to British citizens working across the border.
Given this, the outcome of this case has international repercussions. If the court upholds free travel between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU, Brexit could have a much smaller impact on European economies than experts formerly thought.
All across the globe, monumental events continue to unfold. From high-profile corruption cases in South Africa to rumors of a unified Korea, seemingly remote events impact us every day. In today’s global society, keeping up with international news is a must.