At least seven people have died amid caste protests that have involved tens of thousands of protesters across India. The protesters are from the Dalit caste, a group of citizens who were previously labelled as “untouchable.” They are protesting a Supreme Court order that weakens a law designed to protect lower caste groups. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act protected Dalits by making discrimination against them a punishable offense, but the court order ends these legal obligations. The court has been asked by the federal government to review its decision.
After weeks of protest and uncertainty, Ethiopia’s parliament has sworn in a new prime minister, Abiye Ahmed, on Monday, April 2. He is succeeding former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned unexpectedly in February. Ahmed is Ethiopia’s first Oromo prime minister. The Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, make up about a third of the population of the country. Ahmed’s swearing in is seen as an attempt to calm divisions in a country which has seen two years of protests and has been in a state of emergency since Feb. 16.
In Murcia on Monday, April 2, five elephants forced the closure of a highway after escaping from a crashed vehicle believed to be a circus truck. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but one elephant died from its injuries, and two more were hurt in the escape. In order to remove them from the motorway, the elephants had to be lifted out by crane. Local authorities are looking after them until they can be transferred elsewhere
Amid a corruption scandal, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski announced his resignation on Wednesday, March 21. His announcement came just one day before a congressional impeachment vote, although Kuczynski continues to deny any involvement with the $800 million of alleged bribes from the Brazilian construction firm, Odebrecht. Kuczynski is being accused of receiving more than $4 million from the firm and is the latest public figure involved with the scandal.
A 2,500-year-old sarcophagus, previously classified as empty, has been discovered to hold the remains of a mummy. The coffin had been left untouched in a Sydney university museum for more than 150 years and was only opened for the first time last year. The sarcophagus held remains of human feet and bones, but the relics were previously damaged, likely by tomb raiders. Based on hieroglyphics, the coffin dates to about 600 B.C. and was built for a woman named Mer-Neith-it-es. The discovery of the remains, only now being made public, may present research opportunities as people work to stabilize the remains and properly conserve them.