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The World This Week: The Whitest Paint Ever, Ramadan And An Imprisoned Hong Kong Activist

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It’s never a dull week in international stories. In good news, scientists have created a paint so white, it could potentially help us combat climate change. In worse news, violence has erupted in Nigeria and the US, while a famous freedom activist in Hong Kong has been sentenced to prison.

Here are five notable stories from across the globe in Lovin Malta’s international news roundup in case you missed them.

1. Tens of thousands have fled violence in a Nigerian town. 

Over 65,000 people were forced to flee the town of Damask in Northeast Nigeria this week following a series of attacks by an armed group, the United Nations refugee agency has said.

The attacks were carried out by fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), who stormed the town three times this week to strike a military garrison, civilian homes and a United Nations office. At least 12 people have died and up to 80% of the village, is displaced.

These attacks are the latest in the violence-struck area surrounding Lake Chad. In recent years, around 3.3 million people were forced to flee the region and humanitarian workers are struggling to provide aid, especially since they have become new targets by the armed group.

2. Scientists have made the “whitest paint ever” and it could help fight climate change.

U.S scientists have developed the whitest paint ever, reflecting more than 98% of sunlight. It might be a crucial invention to help fight climate change.

Some cities are already painting their roofs white to save energy. While the benefits of doing it are still being investigated, studies show that it can reduce energy demands and create lower ambient temperatures.

What’s more, according to one scientist behind the invention, his team estimates that only 1% of the earth’s surface needs to be painted in this white to fight the effects of climate change. This could be a major breakthrough for our planet’s future.

3. Thousands of Palestinians visit Al-Aqsa mosque for Ramadan.

Thousands of Palestinians have poured into Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It’s the largest gathering seen since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.

Israeli military forces that occupy the territory said that 10,000 vaccinated Palestinians were issued permits to enter Jerusalem for prayers. Earlier this afternoon, Palestinian women in headscarves and long dresses were seated on the carpeted floor of what is considered the third holiest site in Islam, reading the Quran.

This comes after increasing tensions rose with Israeli forces. They were accused of sabotaging Palestinian efforts to broadcast their prayers this week.

4. Eight people were killed in a shooting spree in Indianapolis.

A gunman opened fire near a FedEx facility near Indianapolis’ main airport on  Thursday, killing eight people and wounding several others. The perpetrator then killed himself.

The motive for the attack is not officially known.

This deadly attack comes just weeks after 10 people were killed in a grocery store in Colorado on March 22nd. It’s the 45th mass shooting in the US since the Atlanta-area spa shootings on March 6th.

5. Hong Kong billionaire has been sentenced to prison for pro-democracy protests.

Hong Kong pro-democracy media billionaire Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison after being found guilty of unauthorised assembly.

The 73-year-old was one of several activists in court today who were found guilty of leading a pro-democracy protest in 2019. The ruling comes as mainland China seeks to increasingly crackdown on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms.

Hong Kong was handed back to China by Britain in 1997, on the condition that the area was governed with a “one country, two systems” principle. However, threats to this model led to huge pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019. It got progressively violent in 2020 when China introduced a controversial security law. Since the law was enacted last year, 100 people have been arrested, including Lai.

Is there an international news piece you think we’ve missed? Comment below

READ NEXT: LISTEN: British Presenter Gleefully Predicts Packed Flights To Malta: 'They'll Pay Us €200 To Come'

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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