In Arnhem on Sunday, April 2, five teenagers attacked a gay couple when they held hands while walking down the street. This sparked protests in the couple’s town, The Hague, and also in Eindhoven this past Saturday, April 8. Among the demonstrators was a politician, who sent a photo of himself holding hands with his male colleague. This created a ripple effect that spread to the Dutch Embassy in London and New York, with Dutch ambassadors holding hands—all of which have gone viral on the internet in protest of the brutal beating of the couple. The investigation of the teenage assailants is still ongoing.
Africans travelling to Europe are being kidnapped and sold in slave markets or kept for ransom. The men are beaten and forced to call their family who might be able to pay for their release. If the families cannot pay, the men are killed or starved to death. A victim whose family got him out was immediately sent to the hospital, and weighed only 77 pounds due to malnutrition. The women are sold as sex slaves to private Libyan clients.
Across a large portion of the continent, three extinct species of marsupial family were discovered in 13 million year old fossils called the Palaeothentidae. Some of the ancient marsupials were fruit-eating, while others ate insects or a combination of both. Scientists are uncertain as to why the creatures went extinct, but the shrew-opossums are thought to be their only descendants. A theory of their extinction was climate change, but currently scientists have no evidence. There’s a possible fourth species as well, but researchers are still investigating.
Off the coast of Australia lies a strange island known as Ball’s Pyramid, with a soaring mountain that reaches to 1,844 feet at its peak. The mountain is the remnants of an ancient volcano. The island, along with its strange and exquisite inhabitants, such as tree lobsters — black insects about the size of a human hand — was discovered in 1778 by the British Navy. This species was previously thought to have gone extinct after black rats from the navy’s ships devoured most of the insects. Now, however, Australian scientists have found a 24 member colony of them living on Ball’s Pyramid in the mountain. The scientists are trying to help rebuild the species’ number.