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What in the World is Going On?


1.          On Jan. 22, search and rescue teams discovered the 13th body from the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. When the ship hit rocks on Jan. 13, approximately 4,200 people were aboard.  At this time, at least 19 people are still missing. Captain Francesco Schettino who was manning the ship at the time, is currently under house arrest and possibly facing charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

2             President Goodluck Jonathan spoke in Kano, Nigeria on Jan. 22, after bombings the previous Friday killed at least 157 people. Police headquarters and various government buildings were left in ruins. While the daytime curfew has been lifted, an overnight curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. remains.

3.             The second death in the last month in China from the bird flu virus, also known as avian influenza, was confirmed on Jan. 22. The report follows news from Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia about other deaths from the disease. After a large shipment of chickens tested positive for the H5N1 strand, the government recalled a massive amount of birds. The disease has been fatal to humans in at least 60 percent of cases. Although the World Health Organization insists that there has never been a human-to-human spread of the virus, the most recent victim appeared to have no recent exposure to poultry.

4.             Eight men were killed in an attack on a funeral in a rural area of Mexico. This weekend’s death toll has risen to 13 due to drug violence in the area. Three bodies were found in a vacant lot, one was found in a car, and another in a dumpster.

5.             As the new mayor of the Capital District of Bogotá, Colombia, Gustavo Petro is opposing the traditional sport of bullfighting, which is currently both legal and popular. His  responsibilities include managing the district’s properties, and one of those properties is Bogotá’s Santamaría Bullfighting Plaza. It is curious that Petro opposes this kind of spectacle right now, when in 2004 he had no objection to Law 916 of the Chamber of Representatives, which legalized tauromachy in Colombia. Hopefully, steps will be taken to avoid a political train wreck from occuring.

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