It’s been a long summer and a busy fresher’s period so you may be forgiven for feeling slightly lost and confused if you are looking at headlines from around the world and wondering what has been going on. This latest edition of Wessex Scene’s ‘World Stories You May Have Missed’ looks again to shine a light on some of the lesser known and more unusual recent news stories from around the globe.
China bans use of anti-Islam words on social media
In a rather interesting and ingenious move by the Chinese Government to prevent bias against Islam, authorities have blocked “Islamophobic” terms used by Chinese internet users to stigmatize Muslims. Discontent and fears of Muslims have been on the rise on China’s internet in recent years. Complainers target Chinese authorities’ affirmative discrimination policies toward ethnic minorities, especially Muslim groups. This ban has been undertaken while the Chinese government is also undertaking a crackdown on Islamic State-linked groups within their country.
Malcolm Turnbull, Australian PM, Baby and Beer picture controversy
Malcolm Turnbull, or that guy Trump hung up on if you’re an American, has come under fire after a photo of him holding his grandchild and a beer became a topic of much discussion. The picture was uploaded to his Facebook page alongside the caption: ‘Multitasking at the footy.’ However, it prompted some comments criticising Mr. Turnbull (pictured above in happier beer picture times) over the presence of the beer. Some social media users described the incident as ‘disgusting’ and ‘irresponsible’ while other Australians came to the defence of their leader, calling the outrage ‘absurd’ and the picture ‘beautiful’. Even the opposition leader Bill Shorten came to the PM’s defence and senator Matthew Canavan shared his own image of him holding a beer and his child in support of Turnbull.
Panama declares public holiday after qualifying
The President of Panama has declared the 11th October to be a national holiday after the country qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever. Juan Carlos Varela said on Twitter: “The voice of the people has been heard… Tomorrow will be a national holiday.” The small Latin American country has attempted to qualify for every World Cup since 1978 and they have finally been successful through some luck in the same group that contained the United States, who put up a spirited campaign in the last World Cup, failing to qualify.
Shark costume mascot fined under Austria’s ‘burka ban’ law
The Austrian ‘Burka Ban’ claimed an unexpected victim recently when a man dressed up like a shark was charged and fined £135 because the shark mask technically defied the ban as it covered his face in a public place. However, he is not alone as a woman was charged while riding a bike for having a scarf round her face to protect her from the cold wind, while a group of buskers also were fined for wearing animal masks while they performed.
However, it turns out that the man in the shark suit was only doing so as part of his job at a local electronics store which was trying to get publicity on the local streets. ‘The shark was fined because he refused to take his mask off,’ Daniel Fürst, a police spokesman, told Heute newspaper.
Half-smoked Winston Churchill cigar sold for $12,000
And to finish, a story a bit closer to home. A cigar once smoked by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has sold for $12,000 (£9,000), according to the Boston-based RR Auction house. It’s said to be a cigar that Churchill smoked at an airport in Paris in 1947 and was kept by the British airman who had piloted Churchill that day. It also included a photo dated by the airman as proof showing both Churchill and the cigar at the airport. This is not the first time a Churchill cigar has fetched some cash at auction. In 2015, a chewed up Churchill cigar butt was sold for £2,000 at a British auction house.
Wouldn’t it be handy for the student loan if your grandparents happen to have one of Winston’s cigars…