Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China- This week a car carrying three people crashed into a fence at the south end of the Forbidden City and caught on fire. The crash killed five people including the three inside the vehicle and left thirty-eight others wounded. The authorities in China have not released the identities of the three in the car, but it is known that the other two were tourists. Photos surfaced of the car engulfed in flames near the picture hanging of Mao Zedong, but censors quickly removed them from blogs. As of right now it is unknown whether or not it was a deliberate crash or an accident. The main entrance was closed after the incident, leaving many tourists frustrated and confused. At one point a tourist asked a police officer what was going on and he responded by saying it was, “A special kind of activity, but we don’t know what kind. Don’t worry, it will be over tomorrow.”
Khartoum, Sudan- Citizens of the Abyei region, which is on the border of Sudan and South Sudan, were able to vote on which country they want the region to be a part of. It is said though that much of the voting is not going to be counted because, according to Al-Tayib Zainalabdin, a political-science professor from the University of Khartoum, “Legally, the vote has no value, since most of the engaged parties have decided not to recognize it.” Most of the citizens who voted are from two much divided ethnic groups, the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka. The Misseriya people are nomadic and cross the border between the two countries very frequently, while the Ngok Dinka are more settled and will most likely vote to become part of South Sudan. The Misseriya are worried that if they become part of South Sudan it might be harder for them to cross borders; however they are not expected to vote.
The referendum is concerning some people because this area has seen a significant amount of conflict between these two groups, and this voting might bring old tensions out.
London, England- One of the biggest storms since 1987 hit Western Europe, leaving thirteen dead throughout four different countries. The 99 mph winds knocked over trees and power lines, stopped transportation, and tipped a large construction crane over near the office of England’s deputy prime minister. Between all countries, there were thirteen deaths; six of the deaths were in Germany, five in England, and one each in the Netherlands and Denmark. Most were caused by falling trees. Many power lines are still down, and hundreds of flights are still canceled leaving thousands stranded, but officials are scrambling to get things up and running shortly.
Saudi Arabia- On October 26th several women ignored the de facto ban on female drivers by participating in the Women’s Driving Campaign by getting behind the wheel of a car. However, many of these women are now very concerned that they are being watched and followed by men or even secret police that are angry about them driving. Campaigns like this one have taken place before, but they often result in the participating women losing jobs and having travel bans placed on them. One woman who is a women’s right activist was imprisoned for nine days for driving. The driving ban is not technically legal, but the ban is largely based off of religious text, and many women still support it.
Chickasha, Oklahoma- Four men escaped from a prison in Oklahoma this week and two of them have been found and placed back in custody. The four men made a clean escape through a maintenance hatch in a shower in a Caddo County jail. This is the first successful escape in the jail’s two-year existence. The two men that were captured again were found walking to a convenience store and were very wet and dirty. Three of the men were all originally detained for crimes related to methamphetamine and were waiting to be transferred to a state prison.