Current Affairs

Measles Epidemic Intensifies


2015 Measles outbreak in the US


A child receiving measles vaccination at the Department of Health in Manila, Philippines

The world has seen a significant increase in the number of measles cases recently, and the figures are increasing. Based on 2014 data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Asia has the highest number of suspected measles cases: China being the worst affected followed by the Philippines and Vietnam. In China, thousands of people were quarantined and vaccinated due to multiple outbreaks. It was also reported that the measles outbreak in the Philippines caused an epidemic in Ohio, USA, when unvaccinated Amish missionaries brought back measles from the Philippines. Canada also experienced one of the worst measles outbreaks in 30 years. The increased cases in the western countries are mainly due to the reluctance of people getting measles vaccination. The UNICEF, WHO, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Red Cross and UN Foundation have put together a global plan to attempt to eliminate measles by 2020.

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Argentine President Mocks Chinese Accent


Chinese president, Xi Jinping (left) and Argentine president, Christina Kirchner (right) during the welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing

Argentina’s president, Christina Kirchner, posted a tweet, mocking the accent of the Chinese. This was following a visit to China, where she sought investment for Argentina’s recession-hit economy. Although no Chinese officials have yet to comment on the tweet, and President Kirchner quickly followed up with an apology, the tweet had caused dissatisfaction among Chinese users on Weibo.

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Russia + North Korea = BFF?


Russian President, Vladimir Putin (left) and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un (right)

As a result of sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US, Europe, and other ex-trading partners, Russia’s economy is sliding into recession. This has caused Moscow to turn to Pyongyang, with the aim of increasing trade between the two countries by doubling the current amount by 2020. Moscow has allowed North Korean firms to set up accounts in Russian banks, and has also cancelled more than 90% of North Korea’s $11-billion Soviet-era debt. North Korea, on the other hand, has allowed Russia access to its mineral mines and promised to ease up its visa processes for Russian businessmen. Having friendly ties with North Korea may also allow Russia to extend the trans-Siberian railroad into South Korea.

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