Author: Harjyot Banwait

Deadly Prison Riots In Ecuador

At least 116 people were killed and 80 injured in an Ecuadorian prison riot that broke out on September 28th. Many bodies were discovered across the Litoral penitentiary in the city of Guayaquil, as security forces fought to retake control from the cartels. The killings were brutal; many people were

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Venezuela’s Justice System Perpetuating Human Rights Abuses

On 16 September, the United Nations (UN) Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela released a report. It alleges that Venezuela lacks judicial independence, and its justice system is perpetuating human rights abuses. This includes instances of judges allowing evidence obtained through torture. There is also a

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Electoral Violence In Mexico

Mexico held elections on 6 June. A range of political offices were up for election, including governorships, mayorships, local seats, and all the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Mexico’s Congress of the Union. Leading up to these elections, violence has been a prominent issue. Between

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Coronavirus Surges in Nepal

As neighboring India is experiencing a second COVID-19 wave, the number of cases in Nepal have also surged, raising significant concerns. Daily cases hit a high of 9,070 on Thursday, May 6 2021. This represents a massive increase over the 298 daily cases from a month ago. Cumulative deaths from

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Abortion Bill Passes In Argentina

The Senate in Argentina voted 38-29 on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 to approve a bill to legalize abortion. The law legalizes abortion for all cases of pregnancy for up to 14 weeks, which represents a significant shift from the status quo, which only allowed abortion in cases of rape or

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US Industry Lobbying Against Kenyan Plastic Laws

It has been found that the oil and chemical industries, in the midst of negotiations between the US and Kenya over a bilateral trade deal between the two countries, have been asking the US to put pressure on Kenya to change its plastic waste policies. The request was in an

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The Continuing Exploitation of Venezuelan Refugee Women

In the midst of the humanitarian crisis that has followed the economic collapse of Venezuela, in which approximately 5.2 million Venezuelans have escaped the country, female refugees have faced a significant cost with their vulnerability to exploitation, including sexual and labour trafficking. There has been a mass movement of Venezuelans,

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The Unequal Pandemic In Singapore

While Singapore was praised early on for its response to COVID-19, with less than 600 cases by the beginning of April, that number has since increased to over 17,000. As of May 6 2020, 17,758 migrant workers living in dormitories tested positive for the Coronavirus. This figure represents 88 per

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A Measles Outbreak In The D.R.C. During The Coronavirus Pandemic

While the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.) grapple with its latest Ebola outbreak and  COVID-19, other conditions remain a major issue. Resources have been diverted towards fighting a 19-month long outbreak of Ebola that has killed over 2,000 people. In turn, this has weakened the fight against containing measles. Since

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Argentinian President Backs Abortion Bill

Argentinian President Alberto Fernández announced in the National Congress on Sunday, March 1 2020, that he will be backing a bill that seeks to legalize abortion in Argentina. The Argentine government has estimated that about 350,000 illegal abortions take place annually, with human rights groups estimating an even higher, 500,000.

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The Locust Crisis In East Africa

As Uganda and Tanzania hurry to respond to the largest locust outbreak in parts of East Africa in decades, the United Nations (UN) has warned that immediate action is needed in this vulnerable region, before more rainfall weeks from now allows for vegetation growth that would feed generations of locusts.

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UN Calls For Increased Aid To Zimbabwe

According to the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP), nearly 8 million people in Zimbabwe face food insecurity in the midst of an extensive drought and an ongoing economic crisis in the country. The WFP now plans to increase the number of Zimbabweans it provides aid to, to 4.1

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Seven Sentenced In The Murder Of Honduran Environmental Activist

Seven men were sentenced to between 30 to 50 years for the murder of Honduran indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres. In November 2018, a Honduran court ruled that her murder was ordered by executives of DESA, the company constructing the Agua Zarca dam. They found that this action was motivated by

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Mexican State Of Oaxaca Passes Abortion Bill

In Mexico, the southern state of Oaxaca decriminalized abortion in a 24-10 vote in the state legislature, on September 25 2019. Abortion restrictions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy were lifted. This decision makes this state only the second part of Mexico to decriminalize abortion. Mexico City, capital of

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Amazon Wildfires Threaten Indigenous Peoples

Ongoing wildfires in the Amazon rainforest have been such in magnitude that they have raised significant environmental concerns, including threatening the Indigenous tribes residing in it. The fires have been raging across the Amazon, which spans many South American countries, although the focus has remained largely on the rainforest that

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Heatwave in Western Europe

On Sunday, it appeared that an ongoing four-day heatwave in western Europe, which had killed seven people, began to ease up. Temperatures are set to gradually decline while wildfires are being slowly controlled. In the Gard region of France, a national record temperature of 45.9 degrees Celsius was recorded during

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Life Expectancy Stalls In Canada Amid Opioid Crisis

Opioid-related overdoses and deaths have been a significant public health crisis in Canada for some time, with the province of British Columbia (B.C.) having declared a public health emergency in 2016. In B.C. life expectancy fell in 2017, for the second year in a row. Nationally, it is now apparent

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