Earthquakes plague Japan
Following last Thursday’s earthquake, which hit the Kyushu region, another tremor struck the island nation over the weekend. In the middle of the night a 7.3 magnitude quake was recorded in the town of Kumamoto. While Japan has strict building codes to prevent against an earthquake’s damage, this weekend’s was strong and wide enough to have caused alarming damage. It’s origin had been shallower than past quakes’ and the fault line comparably longer. A large dam in Nishihara broke, resulting in the evacuation of an entire village, while some buildings collapsed in on themselves, trapping numerous inside. Hospitals have been deemed unstable, and have also been closed. Hundreds have been seen in blankets sleeping outside or convening in hotel lobbies that have remained open. Over forty-thousand people fled their homes after Thursday’s quake, and now many more are expected to follow suit.
U.N. criticizes Trump
Zeid Raad al-Hussein is the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. This weekend, without explicitly naming the candidate, he delivered a speech targeting Businessman Donald Trump at a conference in Cleveland, OH. He focused on his policy regarding those identifying as Muslim, or from the Middle East in general, as well has his renowned support of torture. He went on to eventually label Trump a bigot. “Hate speech, incitement, and marginalization of the ‘other’ are not a tittering form of entertainment, or a respectable vehicle for political profit.” He continued to reiterate that Mr. Trump had enthusiastically supported,” inflicting intolerable pain on people, in order to force them to deliver or invent information that they may not have.” Many other leaders around the world have vocalized their distain for the U.S. presidential hopeful. In addition to Mexican President Nieto and Pope Francis, British Prime Minister David Cameron also made statements not long ago, at which time he referred to Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim travel as “divisive, stupid, and wrong.”
U.S. releases more from Guantanamo
Just days prior to U.S. President Obama planned to travel to a summit of the Gulf Arab allies, he arranged for the release of nine Yemeni men from the infamous Guantanamo Bay Prison. The event is part of has been a long-standing deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to release men classified as ‘low-risk’, and complete closure of the prison is a one of Obama’s goals before he leaves office. In a statement released by the Pentagon, Press Secretary Peter Cook announced that “The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay facility.” He continued to mention that, “Mr. Ba Odah’s transfer today ends one of the most appalling chapters in Guantanamo’s sordid history,” Mr. Tariq Ba Odah is the most notable man amongst the nine being released, and has been force fed every day since he commenced a hunger strike back in 2007. More releases are to follow in the coming year.
No suicide tourism
Last week, a bill that would legalize the use of euthanasia for purposes of physician assisted suicide was presented to the Canadian Parliament. The Canadian bill acknowledges the doctors’ oaths to ‘do no harm’ and aims to protect those very “conscience rights of medical practitioners.” Should this bill, which is supported by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pass, it would completely negate the Canadian Supreme Court’s law that bans suicide in the medical setting. That became law only last year. Now this new bill must be voted in the Canadian house, as well as the senate. Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Canadian Justice Minister, made announcements to the public with the hope of clarifying some of the bill’s components. A notable point he made was that only those with fatal illnesses would be considered, and those with mental and psychiatric disorders, as well as anyone who was not a Canadian citizen, would not be eligible. “We have considered this question in the context of Canada and Canadians.