Around the World

Written by: Lana Al Doori

Iraq: “Going to claim my rights” Iraqi protestors attest  

On Oct. 1 2019, mass demonstrations in Iraq were assembled against corruption, unemployment, outside interreferences (Iran in particular), and political quotas. During those two days 107 people were killed and 2458 people injured in Baghdad. According to BasNews, 23,545 people have been injured and more than 500 killed since Oct. 1. Demonstrations have been occurring periodically over time, but the October protests were different. It has completely turned into a revolution. The difference about this revolution is that it’s driven by the viewpoint of post-2003 generation.  

Mada Masr news article “Forty Days of Revolution in Iraq” by Ahmed Youssef, propose that the demonstration is not lead by any religious or political officials. It’s also independent of any communal or ethnic group. It is guided by a conscious generation that is aware of politics, security issues, and the forged social services. Young Iraqis assembled in Baghdad Tahrir Square. They were peaceful as they chanted against corruption and Iranian interference in the Iraqi Government.  

According to Youssef, Riot police or “unknown forces” responded with violence. They used hot water cannons, tear gas, live bullets, as well as snipers. All the weapons used were made by Iran and have long been expired. First, they were shooting tear gas canisters indirectly at the demonstrators. This did not stop the Iraqi people, so the government started to shoot the canisters directly at the people; hitting them in the head and neck. The cannons were getting lodged in the skull, leading to the death of too many peaceful demonstrators. 

The violent response of the government did not stop the revolution. On Oct. 24, the young Iraqi people returned and concentrated in and around the ‘Turkish Restaurant’, a place the snipers were shooting from. This building has been a strategic place for the government to use against demonstrators to fire live ammunition and tear gas canisters for many years.  

Taking over the Turkish restaurant gave and advantage to the Iraqi people, allowing them to continue. Men and women were taking shifts regulating visitors and guarding the building. The tuk-tuk is an official transport of the October revolution. Anyone who entered Tahrir Square was given a helmet and gas mask, provided by donation, for protection.  

Families set up tents in the square to prepare free food for the protestors. Through donations, funds were used to purchase blanket and beddings. Stationary and mobile medical, including medical students and military medics who have had their weapons revoked due to their support for the demonstrations, are volunteering around the Square  

The government has not met any of the demands and continue to use violence against the demonstrators. The revolution continues.  

China: Coronavirus  

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an outbreak of coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China. Thousands of infections have occurred and are continuing to be spread in many parts of the country. The numbers are continuing to increase in international locations including the United States. The first confirmed person-to-person spread of the virus was confirmed in the U.S. by the CDC on Jan. 30, 2020. The CDC has taken actions to prevent the spread and control the virus. On Feb. 11, the World Health Organization named the virus “COVID-19.”  

 Genome sequencing showed that the origins of COVID-19 virus is from an animal reservoir. Wuhan, China has a large sea food and live animal food market suggesting an animal-to-person spread. There has been person-to-person spread of COVID-19 among travelers, but the virus is not currently spreading in the United states. As of Feb. 19, 2020, the CDC claims that there are 42 states and territories with persons under investigation in the United States, seven states have confirmed cases of the virus thus far. Entry into the United States has been suspended for those who are foreign nationals that have visited China within 14 days. There are also preventative measures implemented for those who are allowed to enter into the U.S. which include permanent residents and Citizens.    

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or any other respiratory infection. This includes runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes fever.  The complete clinical aspect of the virus is still not understood; however, there are ongoing investigations to learn more about the virus.    

In response to this spread of the public health threat, the CDC “recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.” If you notice any symptoms make sure to call your doctor. Finally, maintaining proper hand washing is one of the best ways to keep good hygiene. By following those recommendation, everyone can contribute to the prevention of the spread germs.  

Sweden: 18 Years of Solar Energy Storage 

According to science writer Carley Cassela, solar thermal fuel has been developed by scientists in Sweden, and it can store suns energy for nearly two decades. The fluid is composed of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. When the sun hits the fluid, the bonds are rearrange resulting in isomer; an energized version of itself. The energy from the sun becomes trapped between the isomer’s chemical bonds, which stays there even at room temperature.   

When energy is needed, a catalyst is used to return the molecule to its original form. This process releases energy in the form of heat. The goal for the future is to be able to use this system for domestic needs such as powering water heater, dishwasher, clothes dryer, etc. Researchers claim that the fluid can hold 250 watt-hour of energy per kilogram. There has been progress in the development of the energy system. Yet, there is still room for improvement “With the right manipulations, the researchers think they can get even more heat out of this system, at least 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit) more,” said Casella. With further research, this technology could be available for commercial use within the next decade.  

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