What’s happening around the world?
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Argentina fires on Chinese vessel
The Argentinian coast guard confirmed that it fired on a Chinese boat in the South American country’s waters. The Argentine Naval Prefecture shot at the Jing Yuan 626 after finding it fishing in Argentina’s exclusive economic zone last week. According to ABC News, the coast guard forces pursued the Chinese vessel for almost eight hours, and faced four other Chinese vessels that attempted to ram into its ships. The first boat escaped after the foreign ministry called off the mission following the prolonged eight-hour chase. Nobody involved was detained or injured. The altercation is only the most recent in a string of bizarre instances in Argentinian waters. In 2016, another Chinese ship with 32 crew members was sunk in a similar situation. In a more recent event, a Spanish ship was detained by Argentina with over 700,000 pounds of illegally-caught fish last month.
Putin reveals new Russian nuclear weapons
Vladimir Putin demonstrated his country’s revamped firepower with a video that depicted nuclear warheads falling on Florida. According to CNN, analysts wonder if the use of the state’s likeness is an intentional reference to President Trump’s frequent visits to the Mar-a-Lago resort. The Russian president’s message was delivered at an annual address to the country’s Parliament, the Washington Post reports. Putin stated that "any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies...will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia,” and also that the nation will respond with violent force “no matter what the consequences are." Russian military analyst Alexander Golts described the message as a “shock,” and that Putin’s intent is to bring about the “start of a new Cold War.” Although Russia’s military budget is far smaller than that of the United States, analysts agree that the underlying point of Putin’s message is to assure the world that his country intends to reestablish itself as a major superpower.
Australia may eliminate cervical cancer
Australia is on track to become the first country to completely eliminate cervical cancer. Research leader Suzanne Garland of the Royal Women’s Hospital anticipates that the amount of new cases of cervical cancer could drop to “just a few” within 40 years. According to the Guardian, instances have dropped substantially in the last fifteen years, almost entirely thanks to a vaccine for HPV (or human papillomavirus). HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, is the source of 99.9% of cervical cancers. Beginning in 2007, the vaccine has been distributed to children between 12 and 19, and has subsequently caused the percentage of college-age Australian women with HPV to drop from 24 percent to under 1 percent in ten years, ABC News reports. Professor Ian Frazer, co-creator of the vaccine, stated that “It will be a challenge to get rid of cervical cancer globally, but the tools are there to do it.”
Europe faces Arctic storm
An incredibly extreme Arctic storm has struck massive areas in Europe. The storm, which has been assigned nicknames like “the Beast from the East” in the UK and the “Siberian bear” in the Netherlands has affected countries including Spain, Ireland, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic according to the BBC. At least 60 people have died from weather-related conditions on the continent. Additionally, at least four died in an avalanche near a ski resort in France. Flights have been cancelled and entire airports have closed down due to the harsh conditions. CNN reports that the British military has been deployed to provide aid to drivers that were trapped overnight on highways. English scientist Simon Clark states that it is difficult to determine whether this specific storm is the result of climate change, but that “as the climate warms, we expect the polar vortex to get weaker...we will then see more of these sudden warmings” that result in bizarre icy storms like this one.