Global Focus

The Nouse Politics team summarises the biggest stories from around the world

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[mmplace location=”LONDON,UK”]
Thousands of London fire fighters walked out for 8 hours on Saturday in fresh disputes over new shift times. The Fire Brigades Union has claimed that members have been warned to expect job losses if they agree to work longer hours. 79% of union members agreed to strike action. Emergency 999 calls were answered, but less important incidents were ignored.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”ST.MARC,HAITI”]
Over 140 people have died and 1,000 others are ill after a cholera epidemic swept through central Haiti. There are fears that it could spread to the rest of the country due to the poor living conditions. Thousands of people in the country are living in refugee camps following a devastating earthquake earlier this year. The UN and aid agencies have already sent over 300,000 doses of antibiotics to the country. In addition, the Canadian Government has donated $1m in funding to help control the disease outbreak.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”COTONOU, BENIN”]
Over the past few weeks, floods have killed over 380 people in Western Africa, as the rainy season draws to a close. The Republic of Benin has been hardest hit, with over 100,000 people left homeless after entire villages were swept away. The UN has warned of further deaths, stating that the humanitarian situation was “becoming increasingly worrying”. Unfortunately, it seems serious flooding is becoming an annual occurrence in the region. Floods in 2009 caused over 200,000 people to become homeless in Dakar.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LOS ANGLELES, USA”]
An American teenager has been killed in a vicious shark attack off the coast California. 19 year old Lucas Ransom was dragged off his surf board by an 18ft long shark whilst whilst surfing with a friend. His friend managed to haul Ransom to shore, but his leg was severely mutilated and he died shortly after of his injuries. There have been several great white shark sightings this year on the California coast, but actual attacks on humans are rare. The last shark attack death was in 2008.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”YANGON,MYANMAR”]
The royal stable in Myanmar has welcomed its 5th white elephant, a symbol of power and righteousness in an Asian kingdom. These animals are a source of national pride, with the elephants used as war mounts for monarchs in ancient times. Citizens are saying this capture is a positive omen for the upcoming elections in November, the first vote the country has seen in 20 years.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”HARARE,ZIMBABWE”]
Indian diamond buying group Surat Diamond Sourcing (India) Ltd has signed a $1.2bn deal with a group of Zimbabwean entrepreneurs. The deal includes a commitment to train up to 1,000 Zimbabweans in diamond polishing whilst Zimbabwe will provide $100m worth of diamonds every month. It’s also hoped that the deal will help Zimbabwe develop a strong diamond benefication industry. The deal is taking place despite a ban on the exporting from the major diamond-mining area of Marange. It is unclear where the diamonds will be sourced from.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”MANAMA, BAHRAIN”]
Voters in Bahrain went to the polls on Saturday to elect a new set of representatives for the lower house of the National Assembly. 127 candidates are standing for 35 seats, although they will have restricted powers once elected. This comes at a time of growing tensions between the Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim communities. The political society al-Wefaq, which is Shia Muslim supporting, are expected to repeat their previous election success. Women only gained the vote in 2001 and are heavily discriminated against. However there are 7 female candidates running in this election.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”MANAUS, BRAZIL”]
A severe drought has hit Amazonian regions in Brazil and Peru. States of emergency have been called in 27 areas, and the Brazilian government has earmarked £8.6m in emergency aid. With the river at its lowest in Manaus since 1963, no river transport can operate. Consequently the Brazilian air force has had to fly over 500 tonnes of supplies to the affected regions. The rainy season is not expected until next month.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”WASHINGTON DC,USA”]
A ruling by the Court of Appeals has allowed to the Pentagon to continue to operate the controversial ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. The policy bans openly gay people from serving in the army. Several gay rights groups have expressed their disappointment at the ruling.[/mmplace]

[mmplace location=”LYON, FRANCE”]
The French Senate has passed the pension reform bill that has caused strikes and riots all over the country, the most violent of which occurred in Lyon. The bill means the retirement age has been raised from 60 to 62, whilst the age people can attain a full state pension rose from 65 to 67.[/mmplace]

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