This week around the world: Aug. 19–25

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Aug. 19 Bogota, Colombia

After being ousted by the Venezuelan government for her increasingly vocal criticism of corruption and undemocratic power grabs by the administration, the country’s former chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz fled to Colombia with her husband for fear of her life. Ortega says she has evidence linking Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to a massive ring of corruption involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Aug. 20 Darjeeling, India

A strike for statehood entered its ninth week in Darjeeling, with the Nepali-speaking Gurkha people demanding that they be allowed to split from the Indian state of West Bengal. The strike was a result of an attempt by the West Bengal government to impose the Bengali language in Darjeeling schools, and the strikers have gone without pay for over two months, while millions of dollars in revenue have been lost. Bengal was split 70 years ago, with West Bengal remaining part of India and East Bengal becoming part of Bangladesh.

Aug. 21 United States

The moon’s 70-mile-wide umbra traveled across 14 U.S. states at approximately 1,800 miles an hour during what has been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse.”  To see the next total solar eclipse in 2019, potential eclipse chasers will have to make their way to Chile or Argentina.

Aug. 22 Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump addressed the nation concerning plans to step-up U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, despite refusing to share how many troops would be deployed, a timeline for withdrawal, or military objectives beyond “killing terrorists.” If estimates of a 4,000-person troop surge are accurate, the total number of American troops would number around 12,000—a far cry from the nearly 100,000 U.S. troops in the country nearly 16 years ago.

Aug. 24 Canada

As part of a coordinated government effort to promote equality for LGBTQ individuals, the Canadian immigration department announced Canadian citizens could now identify their sex on passports as “unspecified.” In June Canada amended its Human Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity or expression.

 

 

 

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