Compiled by Dannielle Konz
Former international football player George Weah was sworn in as the twenty-fourth president of Liberia on Monday, Jan. 22. Weah was elected president in December 2017 and his election will be Liberia’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. In Weah’s inauguration speech he said he would not offer “quick fixes” but rather he will be aiming for a steady progress towards Liberia’s goals. His biggest priorities for the country include the fighting of corruption as well as paying civil servants a “living wage.”
Electricians are finding fascinating things as Buckingham Palace is undergoing a ten-year electrical update. Workers have been discovering hidden pieces of history as they replace the wiring all over the 775-room building, such as pieces of newspaper published during Queen Victoria’s reign 130 years ago as well as vintage cigarette packets. The royal family has been sharing the findings on social media and more historical tidbits are bound to be unearthed as the decade-long project continues.
A Roman Catholic deacon who has been accused of killing at least 10 elderly patients, including his own mother, has gone on trial as of Monday, Jan. 22. The former deacon and nurse, Ivo Poppe, was suspected of killing by injecting air into his victims’ blood, causing a fatal embolism. The murders were said to be committed both when he was working in a clinic as well as when he was in a pastoral role. Poppe, nicknamed the “Deacon of Death,” denies the charges against him.
Over 27,000 people have been evacuated from the Philippines as the eruption of Mayon Volcano may be imminent. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level from three to four last week when the country’s most active volcano showed increasing seismic activity, lava flow and summit explosions. The public has been advised to stay clear of the danger zone which covers a five-mile radius from the volcano summit.
As of Monday, Jan. 22, the Australian government has announced a $48 million plan to aid the health of the Great Barrier Reef. In 2016 to 2017 the reef suffered coral bleaching due to warmer ocean temperatures, damage from crown-of-thorns starfish and cyclones. The new plan will include spending on restoring vegetation to offset erosion, increasing culling vessels to get rid of the crown-of-thorns starfish, developing ways to make coral more resilient and employing more field officers to warn about bleaching. The plan is part of a commitment by the government to spend $2 billion (1.6 billion USD) on improving the reef over the next ten years.