World News Briefs For Saturday, 7 September 2019
Hello Australia!! - Suffering increases in the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas - A heartbreaker for India's space program - Assessing the mark Robert Mugabe left on Zimbabwe - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The Bahamian government announced it will help victims of Hurricane Dorian, regardless of their immigration status. Right now, only 30 people are known to have died. But with hundreds - perhaps thousands - still unaccounted for, officials are warning residents to brace themselves for a very high death toll from the Category Five storm that lingered over the archipelago for more than two days. British Marines are bringing heavy machinery in to the Bahamas to assist with the clean-up effort as well as food and water rations for a recovery that could go on for years. The US Coast Guard has rescued more than 200 people from devastated villages, but thousands are waiting to get off the islands to safety in the US.
Dorian made landfall on the Carolina Outer Bank islands in the southeastern US, with a storm surge greater than two meters tall. Powerful wind spun off tornadoes, and there's a lot of damage.
India's space agency (ISRO) has lost contact with the Vikram Lunar Lander during an attempt to make history as the first country to land near the south pole of the Moon. "Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 kilometers," said ISRO director K. Sivan, "Subsequently the communications from the lander to the ground station was lost. The data is being analyzed." Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota; despite the increasing possibility of a failed mission, he congratulated scientists and reminded them, "What we have achieved is not small." The fatal crash of the Vikram lander comes just months after Israel's first moon mission met a similar fate, although the Indian orbiter still circles the moon and will feed information back to earth.
With an average age of 47 years, members of Italy's new cabinet is the youngest since the end of World War II. The new government took office on Friday, with seven women in the mix of 21 government ministers. Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who broke up the old coalition by pulling out his far-right, xenophobic League party in a row over immigration, is now being targeted by prosecutors in a libel lawsuit for his verbal abuse of German ship captain Carola Rackete - she famously defied his ban on migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by docking at an Italian port without permission.
Zimbabwe's liberator-turned-despot Robert Mugabe is dead at age 95. Hardened by imprisonment for opposing white minority rule in what was then called Rhodesia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he went on to lead an anti-colonial insurgency and was sworn in as Prime Minister in 1980s. But the liberation that he promised was only for his political allies - repression, vengeance, and death was served up for rivals and opponents by a special military unit trained by North Korea. He lived lavishly while running the economy into the ground, with inflation running at 89.7 sextillion percent year-on-year in mid-November 2008. His most famous policy was to seize white-owned farms and redistribute the land to allies, which disrupted agriculture and led to widespread food shortages. Despite a legacy of failure and the condemnation of contemporaries like South Africa's Nelson Mandela, current Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa (who replaced Mugabe in a coup almost two years ago) chose to honor the memory of the promising revolutionary: "Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people."
In a bow to Japan's ultra-conservatives, the Japanese government is going back to tradition when it comes to names. Like many Asian countries, people in Japan go by family name first, individual name second - in their own language. But more than a century ago, the government tried to conform to Western norms by flipping that order when names are translated into English or other languages. That's why we refer to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instead of Abe Shinzo, or acclaimed film director Hayao Miyazaki instead of Miyazaki Hayao. "It is important for all of us in the world to recognize language and cultural diversity as we live in an increasingly globalised society," said Education Minister Masahiko Shibayama, who will soon be known as Shibayama Masahiko in government documents that are translating into English. Most other Asian countries never made the flip in the first place (hence, Korea's Kim Jong-un and China's Xi Jinping). There's no official start date for this policy, and no indication that there's any public support for rocking the boat after a century.