Important bits of information around the world

Moscow is experiencing unusually high temperatures this year, image via The Guardian
Moscow has been forced to use fake snow for New Years celebrations

Moscow is experiencing its highest December temperatures in around a century and has not had any snowfall this time. Flowers in the capital have bloomed early due to the lack of snow and the government has been forced to use artificial snow to create snowboarding slopes. Temperatures there have even reached 5.4 degrees celsius.

climate-change global-warming russia new-year moscow snow

Mon Dec 30 - TheMoscowTimes
2019 sees the most recorded mass killing incidents. Image via AP.
US database reveals most recorded mass killings in 2019

A US database shows the highest number of mass killings, with 211 lives lost in 41 incidents, in 2019. 33 of these incidents, where four or more people were killed, involved firearms. Since this database began recording in 2006, this year has seen the most mass killings, the second-most being 38 incidents in 2006. The yearly tally comes as debates over gun control and weapons in circulation are stalled.

international 2019 weapons firearms databse gun-violence killings incidents mass-killings

Sun Dec 29 - TheGuardian
This hot zone is the result of extreme climate change, image via Getty Images
Large patch of very hot water found off the coast of New Zealand

Satellite imagery has found a large patch of ocean the size of Texas that is 5 degrees hotter than the water around it. This is a giant difference in temperature and is likely caused by global warming. This heatwave could result in the death of thousands of fish and other marine life.

climate-change global-warming water sea ocean new-zealand

Sat Dec 28 - CNN
Police said the incidents were a civil matter, not criminal, image via Getty Images
Disney World actors accuse guests of inappropriate behavior

Actors who play heavily costumed characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Disney World have complained about being touched inappropriately by guests. They have repeatedly complained to the authorities about being groped or hurt by inconsiderate visitors. Police have said that these are all civil cases, not criminal ones.

disney disney-world mickey-mouse minnie-mouse costumes actors groped inapropriate

Sat Dec 28 - BBC
He did not pursue any criminal charges against Spacey, image via Shutterstock
Ex-husband of Norwegian princess Ari Behn dies by suicide

Ari Behn, a writer who accused Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, was found dead in his home in Norway. His death has been ruled a suicide and Norway's royal family released a statement saying they still have many good memories of him. Behn wrote some books and plays including 'Sad as Hell' and 'Trist som faen'.

suicide abuse sexual-abuse mental-health kevin-spacey ari-behn

Sat Dec 28 - CBS
Several rescue personnel digging through the wreckage of the Bek aircraft. Image via
12 die in plane crash near Almaty in Kazakhstan

A Bek Air plane crashed near the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan shortly after takeoff on Friday. At least 12 of the 100 passengers died while 22 more were severely injured and taken to two hospitals. Pending an investigation of the crash, all Bek Air and Fokker 100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended.

crash investigation flight aircraft almaty kazakhstan bek-air fokker airplane

Fri Dec 27 - AlJazeera
Nigeria has some very strict anti-Gay laws, image via Reuters
47 men accused of homosexuality to be taken to court in Nigeria

The Nigerian police have arrested 47 men at a hotel and have charged them with 'committing homosexual acts in hidden places'. The men claimed they were just attending a birthday party and are currently being represented by a human rights group. Many of them have lost their businesses and families due to the accusations.

court trial nigeria law lgbt gay hotel

Thu Dec 26 - CNN
Japan's birth rate hits record low
Thu Dec 26
The Japanese government has been trying to increase the birth rate for years, image via CNN
Japan's birth rate hits record low

The Japanese government has announced that the number of babies born in 2019 decreased by 5.9% when compared to previous years. The government has been trying to boost the birth rate in order to offset the growing senior population. The decline in birth rate can be attributed to cultural factors that are difficult to quickly change.

japan birth-rate death-rate population

Thu Dec 26 - NPR
The ship was headed for the UK with the drugs, image via The Royal Navy
$3.3 million worth of drugs seized by the Royal Navy before they reached the UK

The Royal Navy has announced that they seized around 131 kg of meth in the Arabian sea on a 'suspicious-looking' ship. The ship was headed for the UK and was spotted by the navy's patrols that are looking out for smugglers. The ship had no flag and did not seem to be fishing.

security drugs narcotics royal-navy meth smuggling

Tue Dec 24 - BBC
Syrian advance in Idlib worsens the country's refugee crisis as tens of thousands flee from the ensuing violence. Image via Reuters.
Syrian attack in Idlib leaves tens of thousands of refugees

Syrian military forces, with Russian support, have been steadily advancing north in the province of Idlib, towards the country's border with Turkey, which has created tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the ensuing violence. After the fall of the Hama province and the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, the rebels are swiftly losing foothold in their last held territories.

russia turkey military refugee syria rebels idlib thousands hama province khan-sheikhoun

Mon Dec 23 - AlJazeera
The chemical could cause cancer and is very toxic, image via Pixabay
Mysterious toxic ooze seeps onto highway in Michigan

Authorities in Michigan have been forced to shut down a highway after a mysterious toxic green ooze began oozing onto the road. The ooze was found to be Chromium, an incredibly toxic cancerous chemical that was coming from a local commercial business. The goo has been scooped up and officials are working to ensure that it does not spread.

america leak factory pollution cancer toxic

Mon Dec 23 - ABCNews
Pakistani court sentenced Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer, to death for committing blasphemy. Image via Daily Times.
Pakistan court hands death sentence to lecturer accused of blasphemy

Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Multan's Bahauddin Zakariya University, was charged with committing blasphemy, on Facebook and in person, against Prophet Muhammad and the Quran. He was imprisoned in 2013, and after six years, during which his lawyer was murdered and his judges changed eight times, he has been sentenced to death by a court in Multan, a decision lamented by human rights agencies and activists around the world.

facebook pakistan university court blasphemy quran muhammad prophet junaid-hafeez lecturer death-sentence

Sun Dec 22 - AlJazeera
The fire in April caused a large amount of damage to the building, image via Getty Images
Notre-Dame Cathedral will not be holding Christmas mass this year

The famous Notre-Dame Cathedral will not be holding Christmas mass this year for the first time in two centuries. The cathedral is still under construction as the government is still repairing the damage that was caused by the fire in April. $1 billion has been raised to make repairs to the building.

france paris mass christmas notre-dame cathedral

Sun Dec 22 - BBC
Both men could be facing 20 years in prison, image via Getty Images
American market owners charged with fraud over food stamp scheme

Men who own a market in Kentucky have been charged with fraud involving more than $2 million dollars. They were attempting to gain benefits from the state by buying food stamps at discounted rates and then collecting money from the government. The fraud took place over the course of 5 years.

america fraud market scheme food-stamp

Sun Dec 22 - APNews
The police have said that there is no danger to the public at this time, image via National Guard
Woman in Utah charged with possessing biological weapon of mass destruction

A woman from Utah has been charged with obtaining a biological weapon of mass destruction. Neither the FBI nor the local police were willing to disclose the details of the case so the exact nature of the weapon is unknown. The police have said that they did not think the woman intended to use the weapon.

america crime mass-destruction bioweapn utah weapon

Fri Dec 20 - DesertNews
Researchers expect the record to be broken again later in the year, image via Bloomberg
Australia is experiencing its hottest day on record

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has announced that the country is experiencing its hottest day on record. Australia is currently going through extreme drought and heatwave, while also fighting against numerous wildfires all over the country. Scientists expect temperatures to rise even further later in the week so this new record may soon be broken.

australia climate-change global-warming heat hot-day

Wed Dec 18 - BBC
UN report on Chile protests finds severe human rights abuses. Image via Yahoo News.
UN investigators blast Chile government's treatment of protesters

The United Nations has released a special report on the political violence that has spread throughout the South American country of Chile over the last two months. The investigators castigated Chilean police and government for serious human rights violations against the protesters, including acts of murder, torture, rape, and the firing of live ammunition on civilians.

protest violence report chile united-nations human-rights violations south-america

Sat Dec 14 - AlJazeera
Haftar's Libyan Nationa Army will attack Tripoli one final time. Image via AFP.
Libyan rebel leader Haftar announces final attack on Tripoli

In the political upheaval following NATO's 2011 removal of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the country split into a western wing controlled by UN-backed Government of National Accord, and an eastern wing controlled by General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army, with 200 civilians and 2000 soldiers dying in the ensuing violence over the years. Haftar recently announced one final decisive push to retake Libyan capital Tripoli from the GNA.

attack nato libya muammar-gaddafi libyan-national-army khalifa-haftar government-of-national-accord tripoli capital

Fri Dec 13 - AlJazeera
Authorities announce 16 dead in White Island volcano eruption, rescue mission planned. Image via The Independent.
White Island eruption death toll reaches 16

New Zealand authorities have confirmed 16 deaths due to the eruption of the active White Island volcano, located off of North Island. Eight Australians and eight New Zealander are confirmed dead, with authorities planning to recover their bodies tomorrow. While some victims were rescued alive from the island, they have since succumbed to severe burn injuries.

australia bodies new-zealand volcano white-island eruption north-island death-toll victims

Thu Dec 12 - Reuters
Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi denies allegations of Rohingya genocide by Myanmar military. Image via Sky News.
Rohingya genocide hearing, Suu Kyi denies allegations

At the International Court of Justice's Hague hearing regarding the alleged genocide perpetrated by the Myanmar establishment against the Rohingya minority, Aung San Suu Kyi defended the country's military establishment and denied Gambia's allegations of genocide. Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for her decades long struggle against Myanmar's dictatorial rule.

rohingya myanmar genocide military international-court-of-justice suu-kyi nobel-peace-prize hague icj minority

Thu Dec 12 - AlJazeera
Rescue teams have found debris belonging to the plane, image via CNN
Cargo plane carrying 38 people crashes on way to Antarctica

The Chilean air force has said that a cargo plane carrying 38 people that was headed for Antarctica, has crashed before reaching its destination. Rescue teams have been unable to find any survivors but did find debris belonging to the plane. It is currently unknown what caused the crash although an investigation has been launched into the matter.

plane crash chile plane-crash air-force

Thu Dec 12 - Guardian
Third round of elections expected in Israel amid deepening political crisis. Image via New York Times.
Israel might be having a third election this year

In a historically unprecedented turn of events, Israel may be forced to conduct its third elections this year, amid political mistrust and a deepening divide along party lines in the country. While the parties of both prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz believe the new election results will only be marginally different, all parties have agreed to dissolve the legislature and conduct a fresh vote.

elections israel vote unprecedented benjamin-netanyahu benny-gants party

Wed Dec 11 - TheGuardian
Congress will approve bills to form two new bodies to monitor research in the country. Image via Xinhua.
Two new US bodies formed to regulate foreign influence on research

Congress is passing a landmark resolution that will form two new US governmental bodies to watch over the country's research practices and prevent foreign powers from wielding too much influence in US research. One will be based directly in the White House and will be responsible for coordinating with various agencies to prevent exploitation or undue access to crucial research being done in US institutions.

research government congress foreign united-states white-house influence exploitation

Wed Dec 11 - ScienceMag
The man was criticizing how easy it is to register an emotional support animal, image via Shutterstock
Man registers bees as emotional support animal in US

A man in Arizona has managed to register a swarm of bees as his emotional support animal. He filled out the form and made the registration to prove how easy the entire process was and how easily it could be abused. His viral post may lead to changes within the system.

bees emotional-support mental-health animal

Wed Dec 11 - FoxNews
Cosby's appeal has been rejected, image via Star Tribune
Bill Cosby to serve full sentence, appeal rejected

Bill Cosby has lost the appeal to overturn his sexual assault conviction despite the fact that his defense team argued on 8 separate issues, many of the technicalities. The judge who passed the ruling said that the trial was a sign that no one is above the law. Cosby can now go to the Supreme Court to consider his appeal.

trial rape sexual-harassment bill-cosby sexual-abuse cosby

Wed Dec 11 - APNews