PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

This Week Around the World

July 13 Johannesburg, South Africa: Zindziswa Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, died at the age of 59 in a hospital in Johannesburg. While the cause of her death was not originally disclosed, the Mandela family later informed the public she was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the day of her death. President Cyril Ramaphosa stated he hoped the family’s announcement will “encourage acceptance” of people sickened by COVID-19 in South Africa, where there have been over 320,000 confirmed cases. Mandela was home from her appointment as ambassador to Denmark and was awaiting her next appointment to Liberia. She was an activist and diplomat and often expressed her opinions through poetry, according to The New York Times.


July 14 Beledweyne, Somalia: A United Nations cargo plane carrying food from Djibouti to people in Beledweyne, who were displaced due to heavy rains, crash-landed at Beledweyne Airport before bursting into flames. All three of the crew members on board survived, but the humanitarian aid was burned in the fire and not salvageable. Due to a lack of firefighting equipment, people on the ground were unable to put the fire out and had to wait for it to extinguish on its own. The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but is being investigated by authorities. 


July 15 Bushehr, Iran: A fire at a shipyard in the port city of Bushehr burned for over seven hours before firefighters managed to extinguish the flames. Seven ships in the area were severely damaged by the fire, but there were no human casualties. The cause of the blaze remains unknown, but the incident is the most recent in a series of fires and explosions that have occurred throughout Iran during the last several weeks. According to The Guardian, multiple sensitive sites have caught fire or exploded, causing analysts to speculate the incidents are part of a state-sponsored sabotage campaign. These speculations remain unconfirmed, and the causes of the incidents are under investigation by authorities throughout the country. 


July 15 Van, Turkey: A police-owned and operated plane crashed into Mount Artos, an inactive volcano in eastern Turkey, at an altitude of approximately 7,200 feet on July 15. The plane was returning from a surveillance and reconnaissance mission over Van and Hakkari at the time of the crash, which left all seven security personnel onboard dead. A search party ensued after the plane disappeared from radar at approximately 10:30 p.m., but the wreckage was not found until 3 a.m. The cause of the crash remains unknown, but is under investigation. 


July 18 Totumito Carboneras, Colombia: At least eight members of Colombia’s Peasant Association of Catatumbo (ASCAMCAT) were killed by “Los Rastrojos,” a paramilitary group active in the region, on July 18, according to TeleSUR. The attack forced 120 people to leave their communities in Cúcuta, the municipality where the village of Totumito Carboneras is located, out of fear of possible attack by armed groups. “We urge the Regional Ombudsman’s Office of Cucuta and the municipal authorities of Tibu to initiate an investigation into this violent act,” ASCAMCAT said in a statement, according to TeleSUR

July 18 Alberta, Canada: A bus carrying 27 people on a glacier tour through the Columbia Icefields slid down an embankment, killing three and injuring 24. Of the injured, 14 were taken to the hospital in critical life-threatening condition, according to Alberta health services. The bus was on its way to Athabasca Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in North America, located within Jasper National Park. The vehicle was designed specifically to be able to navigate the rocky and frozen terrain of the icefields. The cause of the crash remains unknown, although authorities have ruled out criminal involvement.