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The World This Week: Icelandic Eruptions, Asteroids And Trouble In The Suez Canal

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It’s been another busy news week, particularly for global trade, natural phenomena, and democracy.

In the U.S, new measures passed in Georgia are restricting voters’ rights, Myanmar continues to unravel in violence and a massive cargo ship stuck in the Size Canal is disrupting global trade.

Here are five noteworthy stories for this week’s international news roundup.

1. Spectacular scenes in Iceland are seen as a long-dormant volcano erupts.

A long-dormant volcano in Iceland came to life this week, erupting spectacularly near the capital Reykjavik. It’s the area’s first eruption in 800 years, but luckily, no evacuations were needed since the volcano is located in a rural area.

Some daredevils decided to trek closer to the valley, to witness the Lord-of the-Ring-style scenes and were even spotted roasting marshmallows and sausages over lava.

Scientists believe it’s just the start of a long-lasting eruption.

2. A container ship as long as the Empire State Building is stuck in the Suez Canal.

There’s a major traffic jam in Egypt’s Suez Canal, after a giant Japanese ship got wedged into the side of the canal after a sandstorm. It is one of the world’s most vital trade routes, with nearly 12% of global trade passing through. The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, provides the shortest link between Asia and Europe. It’s causing major trade disruptions worldwide, but experts believe it will be dislodged in a matter of days or weeks.

3. Myanmar protests have seen hundreds killed.

At least 328 people have been killed in Myanmar since a military coup began on 1st February. Myanmar’s military has warned it will shoot protestors in the head and back if they don’t back down, insisting it overthrew the government to safeguard democracy.

The junta claimed there were irregularities in Myanmar’s November elections after Suu Kyi’s party, which has ruled for the last six years, won by a landslide. The day Suu Kyi returned to power, military forces detained her on minor criminal charges, a move she and her supporters believe was politically motivated.

4. We won’t have to worry about one massive asteroid hitting earth (for at least 100 years).

US space agency NASA has officially put a massive asteroid off it’s risk list, saying it poses little risk of colliding with earth for at least the next 100 years.

Called Apophis, the asteroid is a 340-metre chunk of space rock that has worried scientists for the last 15 years. It was supposed to come dangerously close in 2029 and then again 2036, but new telescope observations have ruled out earth collisions.

5. U.S President Biden denounces new voting rules in Georgia as ‘Jim Crow in the 21st century’.

New voting restrictions passed by Republicans in the state of Georgia have been criticised as largely undemocratic and un-American by activists, and U.S President Joe Biden.

Two voting rights groups, the New Georgia Project and Black Voters Matter, filed a federal lawsuit against it hours after the restrictions were signed it in on Thursday. They warned it violated the Constitution and 1965 Voting Rights Act, and had no purpose except to deter citizens from exercising their democratic right to vote.

The new 98-page measure impinges on access to the ballot in Georgia. Among other things, it imposes new ID requirements for mail-in voting, limits access to ballot drop boxes, gives voters less time to request and return a mail-in ballot and bans bars from giving food and water to those waiting in line. 

Which international news stories do you think we missed? Comment below

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Sam is an over-caffeinated artist fighting for a cooler and freer world, one article, song or impromptu protest at a time. Hit her up with thought-provoking ideas or dreams at [email protected] or @princess.wonderful on Instagram.

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