Here’s some tragic and altogether unusual news: Officials said yesterday that a man in India died over the weekend when a rock from outer space hit ground near him. Three others were injured, too. The meteoroid—that’s right, a meteoroid—somehow survived entry into the earth’s atmosphere and smashed a four-foot crater into the ground. If verified, this would be the first time in recorded history that a person was killed by a meteor. “There was a noise like a big explosion,” G. Baskar, principal of the college in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district where the asteroid landed, told the Wall Street Journal. “It was an abnormal sound that could be heard till at least 3 kilometers [about 2 miles] away.” The explosion, according to authorities, broke windows of the school’s classrooms and windshields of cars parked nearby. The man who died, V. Kamaraj, drove a bus for the college. Discuss
The highest ranking member of China’s officially recognized Protestant church has been imprisoned after he vocally opposed the government’s plan to demolish crosses displayed on churches in the province of Zhejiang. According to reports from the group China Aid, Pastor Gu Yuese has been placed in a “black jail” and is under “residential surveillance.” Gu’s wife and several family members are also now missing.
In a statement, the president and founder of the group China Aid, Bob Fu, said, “His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses. He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.” Government officials have disputed the details of his imprisonment, saying that he is being investigated for “suspicions of economic issues, including embezzling money.” Activists and supporters, however, have said that the arrest was motivated by Gu’s opposition to the government’s recent crackdown. Discuss
Nobel laureate and education advocate Malala Yousafzai will be speaking at a conference about the Syrian conflict later this week, and according to Reuters, she plans to ask world leaders to provide $1.4 billion to assist in giving refugee children education opportunities. Currently, there are more than 700,000 children in refugee camps throughout the Middle East, who have been displaced by the on-going civil war in Syria. In an interview with Reuters, Malala explained,
I have met so many Syrian refugee children, they are still in my mind. I can't forget them. The thought that they won't be able to go to school in their whole life is completely shocking and I cannot accept it. We can still help them, we can still protect them. They are not lost yet. They need schools. They need books. They need teachers. This is the way we can protect the future of Syria.
The 18-year-old has become an important voice for education advocacy. Back in 2012, she survived being shot in the head by Taliban forces in Pakistan, who targeted her for attending school. In 2014, she was given the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for education rights. The U.N. is currently attempting to raise nearly $8 billion, in addition to Malala’s call for education funding, to help those suffering during the humanitarian crisis. Discuss
This weekend, the radical Islamic group Boko Haramattacked a village in Nigeria as well as two refugee camps in the country, slaughtering at least 89 people. Among the victims were reportedly children, who witnesses say were burned alive when the terrorists firebombed their huts. Dozens of others were injured. According to the AP, the attack lasted for almost four hours and even after security officials arrived, they were outgunned and were unable to immediately stop it. The militants set residential homes on fire and shot the villagers during the attacks. Even after groups managed to escape, three female suicide bombers killed scores more while they were fleeing. Since their rise to power nearly six years ago, the group has killed almost 20,000 people and displaced 2.5 million. Boko Haram has routinely attacked villages, indiscriminately slaughtering civilians and has abducted hundreds of young school girls. Discuss
According to a heartbreaking report out of Greece, 24 migrants drowned yesterday when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. At least 10 of them were children. Though the Greek Coast Guard has undertaken a rescue operation, the death toll could still rise, as at least 11 are still missing. Since last year, more than a million migrants and refugees have escaped violence, poverty and the spread of ISIS in parts of the Middle East and North Africa, by making the dangerous voyage to Europe. A report from the International Organization for Migration that said at least 3,811 died at making the trip across the Mediterranean last year, and 224 drowned this month alone. Discuss
Nearly 25,000 children in the isolated country of North Korea are in desperate need of food aid. According to a new report from the United Nations Children's Fund, a drought in the country dramatically cut the nation’s ability to grow and produce food. In response to the 20 percent decline in food production, the government—which is ruled by dictator Kim Jong Un—has cut rations, causing tens of thousands of young children to experience severe malnutrition. In response, the U.N. is asking the global community to donate $18 million to assist in their food aid efforts in North Korea. Discuss