Long distance calls, mummies, and more world news

Published 1:20 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

With a world population of several billion people, there are definitely too many things happening across the globe to be able to keep up with everything. But that doesn’t stop me from trying! Here are a few different world news topics that have caught my eye over the past month or so:

Mysterious Egyptian sarcophagus: CNN reported recently on a mysterious sarcophagus (that’s a fancy word for coffin) uncovered on a construction site in Alexandria, Egypt. Unlike most burial finds in Egypt, this one didn’t have any inscriptions on it, leaving the contents a mystery, and it was made out of black granite. Once opened, however, the archaeologists discovered three mummies inside. There’s some speculation that the bodies may have been soldiers or perhaps the sarcophagus was used more than once over the years. Investigations continue.

Flooding in Western Japan: The Japan Times has provided extensive coverage of heavy flooding in Western parts of Japan earlier this month. Along with broken levees adding to the flooding, residents had to contend with landslides too. Over 200 people were killed in what is now being called an “extremely severe disaster.” Now everyone is working together to recover, but it will be a long road to travel.

Kazakh Olympian murdered: CBS News reported last week the tragic death of Denis Ten, an Olympic figure skater from Kazakhstan. He was the first Olympic athlete from his country to win a medal at the global sporting event, winning bronze in 2014. Ten was stabbed to death after confronting thieves who wanted to steal the mirrors off his car. He was 25.

Ethiopia and Eritrea: NPR reported a heartwarming story recently as relations between neighboring countries Ethiopia and Eritrea begin to tentatively heal after 20 years of animosity between the two. Leaders of both countries have agreed to work together to end their conflict. One result of that is disconnected phone lines between the countries are now working again. NPR’s story interviewed several people who randomly dialed phone numbers in their neighboring country just to say hi to strangers. It’s certainly nice to see both sides wanting to connect again after being separate for so long.

Myanmar genocide: The New York Times reported on a study by a rights-advocacy group on the alleged genocide that’s been taking placing in Myanmar since last year. So far, it’s been reported around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority group in the country, have been forced to flee the country in the wake of entire towns being slaughtered. The rights-advocacy group’s findings held the Myanmar military responsible for plotting and carrying out the killings, but they’ve continued to deny responsibility. Several other advocacy groups have continued to insist that the United States should start placing sanctions on the military of Myanmar to stop the violence.

British butterfly count: NPR had an article on July 20 about the start of the UK’s Big Butterfly Campaign which will last for the next few weeks. The idea is simply to spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot taking note of each butterfly which passes by (and use a phone app or paper chart to keep up with the results). Over 60,000 people participated last year. Sir David Attenborough encouraged people to take part, not only to help gather information about the butterfly population, but to improve people’s mental health.

The article quoted Attenborough as he explained: “Just to take off 15 minutes every now and again, find a nice patch of sunshine, sit there and think of nothing but what butterfly is that and counting them – it’s very good for the soul.”

As you can see, some of these stories are tragic while others are interesting and positive. We can probably find some of these global issues relatable, and others completely foreign. But no matter the perspective on the story, it’s good to know what’s going on. Even if it’s just a little bit.


Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or by phone at 252-332-7206.