[Dawn]: US President
Donald Trump announced last Saturday that Abu Bakr
Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the terrorist group Islamic
State – also known as ISIS – was killed in
northwestern Syria. The US special operation
team and the Syrian Democratic forces raided
the compound for two hours where Al-Baghdadi and
other people were hiding. A military dog on the U.S. team chased Al-Baghdadi and
three of his children into a hidden tunnel where he
detonated his suicide vest, killing himself
and his children. A DNA analysis on the
remains of his body confirmed his identify. His whereabouts was tipped
off by his close aides who were previously arrested
and interrogated. US and world leaders,
and military experts hailed Al-Baghdadi’s death but
were cautious in expressing optimism, fearing possible
retaliatory attacks by other ISIS militants and by
the possible successor to ISIS. ISIS still poses a
security threat even after the death of Al-Baghdadi. -Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was
born near Samarra, Iraq in 1971. Following the
2003 war in Iraq, he was arrested for his
involvement in the insurgency against
the US forces in Iraq. He was released in late 2004. He later became the
head of ISIS in 2013. ISIS refers to “Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria”, a terrorist organization
attempting to establish an Islamic rule. From 2014 to 2015, they
began gradually taking over parts of the region in
Syria and Iraq, killing thousands and displacing
millions of people. The coalition forces in
Syria and Iraq fought back capturing or killing
hundreds of ISIS fighters, and many have fled
to other countries. [Alessio]: People around
the world are increasingly speaking out on
different causes. In the several past weeks,
major protests were held in seven countries. Angry people in Bolivia
protested election results showing President Evo
Morales as the winner which the political opposition
claimed a cheat. In Ecuador, people
protested the government’s decision to end fuel subsidies. In Chile, demonstrators
complained of a jump in public transport fares. In Hong Kong, protests
led to withdrawal of the extradition bill with China. In Catalonia, protesters
led a march to protest lengthy prison sentences
given to nine Catalan leaders and activists
fighting for independence from Spain. In Lebanon
and Iraq, people protested government corruption,
deteriorating public services,
and rising unemployment. -Economic experts believe
while there are different reasons for each protest,
many share similar issues. More protesters are
also expressing their frustrations through social
media which has also made them aware of global
inequalities and inspiring others to take similar actions. [Dawn]: The October 31
deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the
European Union has been delayed for the third time. The European Union has
agreed to grant UK a three-month Brexit
extension until January 31, 2020 to finalize
the exit agreement. The Parliament rejected
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s motion to approve
the latest agreement draft, so he has scheduled
a general election on December 12 this year. This decision to have the
election is an attempt to break a deadlock over
the Brexit issue. -Both major political
parties in the UK, the Conservative Party, and The
Labour Party are fighting over Brexit. The Conservative Party
wants to leave the EU, even without a deal. The Labour Party in most
part supports the idea of remaining in the EU. If the Labour Party wins
the general election, they want to ask the British
people to vote again whether to leave the EU. Other political parties
have mixed opinions, and the Scottish National Party
(SNP) opposes Brexit and seeks independence so
Scotland can become a full member of the EU. [Alessio]: In the US state
of Maryland, a Deaf woman, Denise Sansonese, received
a surprise water bill for nearly $5,000! She faces an October 31
deadline to pay, or water service would be shut off. Sansonese and her roommate
are both Deaf and did not hear their toilet running
continuously after a water pump malfunctioned until
Sansonese’s hearing son discovered it while
visiting his mother. A legal agency, Frederick
Community Action Agency (FCAA) has stepped in and
is trying to deal with the city water department
to reduce this charge. [Dawn]: Science may make
it possible to edit gene in the baby during pregnancy
to prevent the baby from being born Deaf. Denis Rebrikov, a
Moscow-based biologist and DNA specialist is
conducting lab research on genetically modifying human
embryos for pregnancy. By modifying cells, the
infant would be guaranteed to be born hearing. Yevgenievna, a Deaf Russian
woman with a cochlear implant, and her husband,
who is also partially deaf, says they may consider
correcting a hearing mutation in their embryo’s
DNA when they decide to have a child. The DNA specialist,
Rebrikov, cautions however that this procedure
may create potentially dangerous mutations. News
of Rebrikov’s lab research has raised red ethical flags. The Russian Ministry
of Health immediately intervened, declaring
it was too soon to make gene-edited babies. Rebrikov has halted his lab
research and is awaiting permission from the
Russian authorities. [Alessio]: Residents in
Norfolk Island, located in the South Pacific Ocean
east of Australia and north of New Zealand, are
debating whether they want independence from Australia. They seek free association
with New Zealand, which would allow them to
self-govern the island, and receive defense support
from New Zealand. The island had been under
Australian control since 2015. Most residents are
of European or combined European-Tahitian ancestry. An unofficial survey
released this month showed that more than 36% of
people wanted to be associated with New Zealand
– meaning that the island would govern its own
domestic affairs but rely on New Zealand for defense
and foreign policy. Many residents are not
pleased how Australia governed the island, and
felt Australia was showing “lack of respect” towards
the culture of Norfolk Island. They were impressed
how New Zealand has dealt with other South Pacific
island nations where self-governing was possible. The island was first
discovered by the British explorer Captain James Cook
in 1774, and was once a British colony. [Alessio]: A group of
Indonesian scientists and designers have proposed a
unique approach: they think it can help
‘refreeze’ the Arctic. They have designed a
submersible vessel that would produce hexagonal
icebergs that are about 25 meters wide and five
meters thick in depth. More research work is
needed to determine its feasibility, considering
the current climate challenges and the size
of the Arctic Region. -Global warming is a major
concern and scientists all over the world are finding
ways to reverse the damage and re-freeze the Earth’s poles. Scientists predict that
by 2050, if no actions are taken to reduce the amount
of carbon dioxide released in the air, the ice in the
North Pole would be so thin that ships could finally
sail right across it. [Dawn]: A female doctor,
Tatu Kamau, is proposing to have female genital mutilation
become legal in Kenya. It is the ritual cutting or
removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. She explains that women
who are over 18 years old should have a right to
choose what they do to their bodies and can choose
to undergo female genital mutilation if they wish. She prefers the term
“circumcision” as she finds the term mutilation
“offensive”, and it does not reflect the
cultural significance of the practice. She claimed that girls,
who were circumcised, were being taken care of and
have become respected members of society. She has filed a petition
against the government, arguing that it’s an
age-old Kenyan tradition and that a ban on
circumcision infringes on a woman’s right to exercise
her cultural beliefs. Human rights activists who
campaign against female genital mutilation are
outraged by her claim. -In Kenya, female genital
mutilation is illegal for both women and girls. Any individual involved
in the practice could face three years of jail. Despite this law, many
women undergo circumcision in rural parts of Kenya. It was the cultural and
traditional belief that that female genital
mutilation would help reduce a woman’s desire for sex. According to the World
Health Organization (WHO), female genital mutilation
is a violation of the human rights of women and girls. It can cause severe
bleeding and other health issues, infections,
infertility and complications in childbirth. -Thank you for watching
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