Following on from our January edition, WSYMHM (A catchy acronym!) returns. Here are some news segments you may have missed among all the never-ending Western-centric Trump and Brexit-related doom and gloom.
Norway ranked as the country most likely to survive an apocalypse
It may come as no shock that the Norwegians have taken the gold medal for the country most likely to survive a climate change-related apocalyptic event (research conducted by EcoExpert). Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland also took four of the top ten spots. I am starting to wonder whether there is anything the Nordics can’t do better than everybody else…
Quick-thinking kiwis save house from sudden flooding
Students from the University of Otago, Dunedin in New Zealand (students from the university are colloquially known as ‘scarfies’) discovered that water was racing into their back-garden from a neighbouring tennis court after returning from a trip into town. They quickly fashioned a make-shift water course to redirect the water into the street in an impressive 30 minutes!
Spain cracks 500-year old code
A secret code used in letters between the monarch King Ferdinand and a military commander has been cracked by the country’s intelligence agency. Over 200 symbols were used between the two men to convey the code, to minimise any casualties should the code have fallen into the hands of the French, with whom the Spanish fought in the 16th century for control of the Mediterranean.
Austrians petition against smoking ban
The Austrian government were due to implement a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, coming into effect in May. However more than 100,000 Austrians have signed a petition against this motion, which means the issue will have to be debated further in Parliament.
A Malaysian artist has been fined and jailed for depicting Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown
An artist, Fahmi Reza, has been jailed for a month for publishing a caricature of the Malaysian PM looking like a clown. His imprisonment is based on perceived violation of a communications law which outlaws pieces of work deemed ‘obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person’. This ruling will no doubt engender a discussion about the value of freedom of speech in Malaysia, amidst their active discussion of passing legislation to eliminate ‘fake news’.
An Indian minister urinates against a wall amidst governmental campaign to end public defecation
The health minister of Rajasthan state, Kalicharan Saraf, has been pictured relieving himself against a wall in Jaipur despite a current governmental initiative to stamp out public defecation. The campaign is part of a larger movement named ‘Clean India’, aiming to promote cleanliness and hygiene in India. The photo was tweeted by a member of the opposition group, which has since gone viral. Saraf declined to comment on the photo, and reportedly told Indian agencies that the picture ‘was not a big issue’.
Vice-Chancellor of The University of Zimbabwe arrested over corruption allegations
Vice-Chancellor Levi Nyagura has been arrested in relation to the questionable awarding of a PhD to Grace Mugabe. Mugabe (pictured above) enrolled onto the programme in 2014, supposedly completing her qualification within a few months, an unusually short length of time to be able to complete a PhD. The legitimacy of the thesis had been questioned by staff in the sociology department who had not seen any supporting evidence of her work, which was not published alongside other theses at the time.