World News

Compiled by Stephanie Meyer

UK

The United Kingdom’s International Trade Minister Mark Garnier is being investigated after allegations that he asked his personal assistant to buy sex toys and used a sexual slur against her. Garnier asked her to buy two sex toys, one for his wife and the other for another woman in his constituency office. The investigation was ordered by British Prime Minister Theresa May after the Daily Mail newspaper published Garnier’s personal assistant’s allegations on Sunday, Oct. 29. Garnier admitted to the Daily Mail that both events did occur but said they did not constitute as sexual harassment. Garnier claimed the sex shop incident was just “hijinks” and the sexual slur was used humorously. However, Garnier’s assistant says that Garnier used the sexual slur in front of others when he was worried that she was going to leave him to work for another government official. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

China

On Monday, Oct. 31, China arrested several North Koreans who were allegedly plotting to assassinate the North Korean leader’s nephew, Kim Han Sol. Han Sol is apparently disliked by Kim Jong Un, presumably because he is a threat to his rule. Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother who was poisoned in February by a nerve agent, allegedly by two North Korean women. The South Korean newspaper, JoongAn Ilbo, which worked with The New York Times, said that Chinese officials discovered the plot last week when monitoring North Korean activities during the Communist Party Congress. The newspaper reported that two of the seven spies had been arrested, and the other five were being interrogated outside of China’s capital, Beijing. China’s Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed or denied these reports.

Papua New Guinea

At an Australian-run immigration processing center in Papua New Guinea, more than 700 men from Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Myanmar are refusing to leave. This immigration center has been reopened since 2012 when there was a rise in boat arrivals carrying more than 20,500 refugees. The immigration center was supposed to be cleared on Monday, Oct. 30, however many of the refugees and asylum seekers fear they would be attacked if they left the compound. The refugees and asylum seekers say that they have been attacked, several by knives, and harassed when they have ventured outside of the compound. The Australian government is currently trying to move the remaining men in the compound to two other locations.

World

According to the annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which is compiled by the World Meteorological Organization, carbon dioxide concentrations were record-breakingly high in 2016. The World Meteorological Organization reported that the levels of the gas were the highest they have been in 800,000 years. Earth experienced similar carbon dioxide levels three to five million years ago; then, the temperature was two to three degrees Celsius warmer and sea level was 10 to 20 meters higher than Earth’s current state. The report blamed “human activities” and the “strong El Niño event” for why the carbon dioxide levels were so severe. The World Meteorological Organization warned that if Earth’s carbon dioxide levels were not reduced soon, the planet would experience threatening temperature increases, well above the target set by the Paris agreement by the end of this century.

Saudi Arabia

In a statement released Sunday, Oct. 29 by Saudi Arabia’s General Sport Authority, starting in 2018, women will be allowed to be spectators in three of the country’s sport arenas. The government appears to have chosen the biggest and most notable stadiums in the country as the sites to institute this change: the stadiums are home to six teams in the Saudi Professional League, which is the country’s top division, and two of the stadiums have the highest seating capacity in the country. The actual seating arrangements of the stadiums are to be determined, however, traditionally, Saudi men and women are usually separated. This reform follows September’s decree, allowing women to drive. Saudi Arabia follows Sunni laws, and under this, women cannot marry, divorce, get a job, get surgery or travel without the permission of their male guardians (their fathers or husbands). Women cannot talk to the members of the opposite sex and must wear a full-length black abaya when in public. The move towards giving women more freedoms is because of the reforms laid out by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Salman hopes to pursue a “more moderate Islam.”

 

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