International News Update 4/24/18

Views 82 | Time to read: 4 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 25 - 2018 | By: Wesley Stenzel

UK goes 55 hours without coal
The United Kingdom has completed a 55-hour period in which the entire country used zero coal for energy. Great Britain was the first country to use coal as an energy resource in 1882, and this week’s milestone marks the first time in 136 years that the country has halted coal use for more than two days. The nation’s previous coal-free record was 40 hours in October 2017. According to The Independent, about 60 percent of the UK’s power came from low-emission and zero-emission sources, including 33 percent from wind and 20 percent from nuclear. The country announced a plan to completely phase out coal by 2025 in January. An energy think tank called Carbon Tracker stated that it foresees “more records to be broken this summer as coal continues its rapid decline.” New EU and UK standards for carbon emissions have led to a significant increase in investment in renewable energy.

North and South Korea to discuss peace
North and South Korea have both agreed to begin preliminary talks to end the Korean War. Leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in will meet this week for an unprecedented summit at the peninsula’s demilitarized zone. The Korean War halted in 1953 with a truce, but never actually saw an official end. This news comes alongside President Trump’s revelation that Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong-un earlier in the month. According to the BBC, North Korea has officially notified both South Korea and the United States that it is ready to begin talks of completely dismantling its nuclear program in exchange for diplomatic security. CNN reports that South Korea also stopped blasting K-pop and news broadcasts on loudspeakers near the border, a form of propaganda that began in early 2016. A South Korean representative stated that the decision was made "to ease military tension between the two Koreas and to create a peaceful environment for the upcoming summit."

World’s oldest person dies in Japan
The world’s oldest person and only remaining person born in the 19th century, Nabi Tajima, has died at the age of 117. Tajima was born in Araki, Japan on August 4, 1900, and could fully recall life prior to World War I. World War II ended when she was 45. According to the Washington Post, Tajima held the title of “world’s oldest person” for about seven months, when the previous oldest person, Violet Brown, died in Jamaica in September. The new oldest person in the world is another Japanese woman, Chiyo Mayako, who was born about nine months after Tajima. The Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s oldest people, reports that there are 36 “supercentenarians” worldwide, 18 of whom are Japanese. The group said that Tajima’s secret to longevity was “eating delicious things and sleeping well.” Tajma’s grandson Hiroyuki stated that Nabi “passed away as if falling asleep. As she had been a hard worker, I want to tell her 'rest well.’”

Cuba names new president
Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel has been named the new president of Cuba after a 603-1 vote from the country’s National Assembly. Diaz-Canel is the first Cuban leader in over 60 years that is not a member of the Castro family, as Fidel Castro held office for overy 50 years until his brother Raul took over in 2008. Raul Castro, Diaz-Canel’s predecessor, will continue his tenure as the primary leader of the country’s Communist Party until 2021, when he expects to hand over the reigns to Diaz-Canel. Some Cuban citizens are cautiously optimistic about the new president. Souvenir salesman Richard Perez stated, “I hope that Diaz-Canel brings prosperity.” However, Cuban-Americans are less hopeful--Wilfredo Allen, a Cuban lawyer in Miami, stated that the transition of power is merely “a cosmetic change” and that “The reality is that Raul Castro is still controlling the Communist Party. We are very far from having a democratic Cuba.”


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