UN to reduce number of peacekeepers - The UN has voted to reduce the number of peacekeepers that are working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Approximately 19,000 peacekeepers were in the African country as a part of the peacekeeping mission, Monusco. The UN is planning to keep only 3,000 peacekeepers. The Monusco mission is the largest and most expensive UN peacekeeping mission. The Trump administration has expressed its desire to cut spending and it is the UN’s largest donor.
Nigerian judge calls for warning label on Fanta and Sprite products Nigerian Justice Adedayo Oyebanji issued an order for written warnings on Fanta and Sprite bottles. The Nigerian judge ruled that high levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives could cause health issues.
South Korea searches for missing ship - South Korea has requested help from Brazil and Uruguay as the country searches for a cargo ship. The ship was carrying 24 people in the South Atlantic. One of the 24 people aboard the ship sent a text saying it was taking on water. A spokesman for the Uruguay Navy said strong smells of fuel were reported. Amongst those aboard the ship were 16 Filipinos and eight South Koreans.
Xinjiang issues new laws against Muslims - China has introduced new laws in Xinjiang in an effort to combat Islamist militants. The new laws include restrictions on “abnormally” long beards and it also bans the wearing of veils in public places. The Uighurs, a Muslim group, call Xinjiang their homeland. The new law will also prohibit Uighur children from attending government schools and it also bans marriage through religious process. Rights groups said they are concerned that the new laws will push Uighurs into extremism.
EU rules out free trade talk with UK In a draft of new EU guidelines after Brexit, the EU has ruled out free trade talks with the UK. The draft will have to be approved by 27 member states of the EU before it becomes official. European Council President Donald Tusk said, “Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our future relationship.” Tusk assured the EU would not “pursue a punitive approach” towards the UK. Aside from trade, the EU and the UK will have to determine the status of three million EU citizens who are living in the UK.
Protests in Russia continue - More protests occurred in Moscow over the weekend and at least 29 people were arrested in demonstrations. Protestors are calling for the resignation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev has been accused of corruption charges involving his ownership of mansions, yachts and vineyards. Medvedev’s spokeswoman said the allegations are “propagandistic attacks.” Medvedev has yet to make an official response to the allegations made against him.
Mudslides kill 200 in Colombia Soldiers and police in Colombia are searching for missing people due to a deadly mudslide. Heavy rain in Colombia has caused huge mudslides and more than 200 people have died. In a statement the Colombian army said at least 400 people were injured from the mudslides and 200 others are still missing. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the government will do everything possible to provide help.
Inmates escape from Mexican prison - Authorities in Tamaulipas, Mexico are on the search for 14 inmates who escaped from prison. Twenty-nine inmates initially escaped the prison, but 15 of them were captured. The inmates escaped through an underground tunnel that measures out to be 40 meters long. The inmates were in prison for committing numerous crimes, including robbery, assault, homicide and kidnapping. The prison was built in the 1940s and authorities say security is not up to standard. Tamaulipas is looking into building a new, secure jail.
Bill O’Reily under scrutiny - At least five women have accused Bill O’Reilly of harassment. According to a New York Times article, O’Reilly allegedly paid the women $13 million to not bring their cases to a jury. O’Reilly, the host of the Fox News’ show, The O’Reilly Factor, said he was vulnerable to lawsuits because “individuals want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.” Two of O’Reilly’s cases had already been made public. However, the New York Times article mentioned two new cases, one of them involving sexual allegations.
Ford recalls thousands of vehicles - The motor vehicle company Ford has recalled over 50,000 of its F-250 pick-up trucks. Ford advised people who own the truck to use their hand brake when shifting the truck into park mode. The vehicle has an error in which the truck will roll when it is in park mode. The recall on the truck marked Ford’s third recall in only a week. Ford recalled over 211,000 vehicles in North America due to defective side door latches. The company also recalled 360,000 vehicles in North America and Europe due to fire hazards.