International News Briefs
Venezuelan President dies at age 58
Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, died March 5 after 14 years in power. After being ill with cancer for over a year and undergoing several surgeries in Cuba, Chavez was not seen in public for several months. There will be a seven day mourning period and Vice President Nicolas Maduro will assume the presidency until an election can be held within 30 days. Chavez’s illness prevented him from taking the oath of office for his third term in October. Madruo alluded to an “attack on Venezuela,” believing that foul play was involved in his sickness. A scientific commission will be investigating what brought on Chavez’s unspecified cancer. Armed forces and police were deployed to maintain peace and stability in the country. The political balance in South America could be altered and its economic impact may be felt by neighboring countries due to the fact Venezuela sells oil below market price.
North Korea threatens to tear up peace ’53 cease fire
North Korea is promising to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, stressing the bonds between America and North Korea even more while the United Nation passes its strictest sanction against the North for their recent nuclear activity. Pyongyang is claiming that U.S. – South Korean war drills are considered invasion preparation. The country has threatened to tear up the cease-fire agreement before but this claim is considered noteworthy due to the details and it being delivered by a senior North Korean military official on state TV. These terrorizations and nuclear test have caused a rise in animosity between Washington and Pyongyang. The U.S. fears that these third nuclear tests of the North will be a big step toward their goal of creating nuclear missiles that can reach America. North Korean cites Cold War-era American threats as their reasons behind developing nuclear missiles. The U.N. is dependent on China’s cooperation for their sanction to actually have any effect on the North’s ability to get parts for missiles.
UN reports Syrian refugees number 1 million now
As the conflict in Syria continues to increase in violence, more and more citizens are forced to flee to neighboring countries and the number reached the 1 million mark on Wednesday and refugee agencies are reporting that resources are getting dangerously low. The total number of Syrians running for safety is much higher but only a certain number register as refugees seeking assistance. An average of 10,000 people is estimated to cross the borders daily and more than half of them are children under the age of 11. Some of the countries that Syrians have sought safety in are Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. This influx has strained these nearby countries, Lebanon’s population has grown 10 percent, and Jordan’s energy and water service are at its limit. Turkey has spent $600 million on 17 camps and is building more. The U.N. fears that the funding from donors will not be able to keep up with mounting needs of the refugees.
Batman in Bradford, Britain
On February 25, a man dressed the full outfit of Batman with cape and cowl turned in a man for questioning on suspicion of handling stolen goods and fraud-related offenses at the Bradford Trafalgar House police station. A spokesman for the police station says that his identity is unknown and later their Facebook page release a photo of the individual in attempt to locate the individual. British media is curious to see if whoever is under the mask is similar to Batman in the sense that he is actually someone in the public eye. British bookies Ladbrokes have begun to take odds of what celebrity in the nearby area is behind the cowl. Suggestions vary from illusionist Steven Frayne to Zayn Malik to an 81-year-old supermarket chief named Sir Kenneth Morrison. Ladbrokes is also taking odds on the Dark Knight appearing again in Bradford, currently 3/1, and whether Robin will make an entrance as well with the odds at 5/1.
Sudden sinkhole takes man’s life
Late at night on February 28, a massive sinkhole swallowed a man and many of the house’s possessions. After trying to find Jeff Bush, the man who fell in the hole that was 20 feet wide and more than 50 feet deep, police reluctantly made the decision to stop looking for Bush after his fate became apparent. Jeremy Bush, his brother, and four others made it out of the house safely and on Sunday they salvaged what little of their keepsakes they could find before backhoes came in. The sinkhole occurred in Hillsborough County, Florida and is part of an area known as “sinkhole alley.” Florida’s bedrock can be eaten away by acidic rainwater that creates voids until the rock can no longer support the weight above it. The Bush family was devastated by the loss because they had lived in the house for generations and lost many memories along with a loved one.