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On U.S. Labor Day, September 4, 2017

World News Roundup

September 4, 2017
Plain English Version

Myanmar

Refugees on the road to Bangladesh. CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

The Rohingya are a Muslim community. They live in Myanmar where the majority religion is Buddhist. For many years the Rohingya have been subject to abuse by the Buddhist majority. Thousands have left for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a majority Muslim country on the Myanmar border.

Recently, Rohingya militants attacked a Myanmar police station. They killed some police. This action gave Myanmar an excuse to strike at the Rohingya people.

The result is a ‘Trail of Suffering.’ The Rohingya people are poor. With little on their backs and no food in their packs, they are making their way to Bangladesh. Their suffering, according to observers, is overwhelming.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of Myanmar. She won a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end the previous military rule of her country. Last year other Peace Prize winners wrote her a letter. They said her country’s actions were “a human tragedy. They amounted to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

Venezuela

A nearly empty refrigerator. Credit goes to Meridith Kohut for The New York Times.

Venezuela is running out of everything. That includes fuel. Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Now the people are cooking with firewood.

The Venezuelan currency is the bolivar. Inflation is now making it almost worthless.

The government of Nicolás Maduro has become a dictatorship. He rules a new constitutional assembly. It has the power to overrule the courts and the legislature.

Workers have lost their jobs. Family members have lost weight. A 49-year-old waiter in Caracas worries about losing his wages and tips. They are vanishing. He said some people still are well off enough to eat at a restaurant. But, he said, even they cannot carry enough bills to leave even a small tip on the table.

There are demonstrations occurring in the streets. No one knows when or how Venezuela’s woes will end.

Syria

The convoy of buses stalled in Syria. CreditLouai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Islamic State, or ISIS, is fading. It is not going without resistance, but it is going. An example. Defeated ISIS forces made a deal with Syria and Hezbollah. The deal was their safe passage to an Islamic State run city in Syria. In return, ISIS would return some war dead to Lebanon. Hezbollah is the Iranian military proxy in Lebanon.

ISIS forces and family members got on buses for the trip.

The United States backs Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the area. All agreed not to give safe passage to terrorists. The buses are not getting to where they want to go. U.S. planes are bombing the roads in front of them and knocking out bridges.

The U.S. said it would destroy the convoy but for the women and children on the buses. Reports said some of the fighters are trying to get to safety in taxis. In Syria, enemies and allies change every day. Iraq was and is an ally of Iran. In this case, Iraq opposed the deal Iran backed by Hezbollah.

The Islamic State is still holding territory. Its days may soon be over.

Kenya

The Kenyan Supreme Court upholds a petition challenging the results of the August 8 vote.

There was an election for president in Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta beat his opponent, Raila Odinga.

The Kenyan Supreme Court made a decision that stunned the nation and the world. It said the election was invalid. In two months Kenyans will vote for president again.

Most of the people of Kenya supported the decision. This included supporters of Kenyatta. The reason? It showed how a democratic country could work. It also showed how a government institution could make the difference.

African nations, such as Ghana, Gambia, and Nigeria are other examples of where democracy is working. No one says the movement to democracy is complete. Things can always change. Countries such as Turkey and Venezuela show how fragile democracies are.

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