July 2014: This Month in 10 Events

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1. Nicaragua reveals an Atlantic-Pacific Canal route

The Nicaraguan government and the corporation backing it – HKND – announced in early July settled plans to construct a canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the country. It would be around 170 miles (almost 280 km) and stretch from Punta Gorda, on the Carribean, through Lake Nicaragua, all the way to the mouth of the river Brito, on the Pacific. This would become the largest canal in South America – being almost 3 times the size of the famous Panama Canal. Furthermore, with plans of expected construction lasting five years – starting December this year -, it would be completed in half the time the Panama Canal was. As HKND chairman Wang Jing stated, the canal could be “the biggest [project] built in the history of humanity.”

 

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2. Somalia presidential palace attacked
Islamist al-Shabab militants attacked the palace in Mogadishu and went as far as entering the greatly fortified compound. President Hassan Sheikh was not in the palace at the time of the attack. Al-Shabab had announced earlier in the year that it would intensify attacks during the sacred month of Ramadan and this became one of them.

 

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3. Greek public sector workers go on strike
On July 9th, public sectors in Greece held a 24-hour strike to voice their collective stance against austerity measures – which includes a 40% reduction to salaries and pensions. Most were enraged at the continuing cuts in government spending. At the same time the strike was happening, international creditors were visiting Greece to check on the country’s progress. This strike only raised more concerns from the global community regarding Greece’s economic and social stability.

 

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4. Germany takes the Cup

After five weeks of intense competition, passion, and ‘fever’, the World Cup finally came to a close on July 13, 2014. Deutschland came out victorious as the team beat Argentina’s 1-0 with a goal from Mario Götze during the 113th minute of the final. This win gave Germany its first trophy since 1990 and made it the first European team to win one in the Americas. “We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now,” stated goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – recipient of the Golden Glove award.

 

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5. ‘Gaza conflict’ resurges

Despite mediation and ceasefire efforts, the Israel-Gaza conflict was re-sparked this month and only intensified as the month went by. Death tolls from the class reached shocking highs as men, women, and children were killed by bombings and bullets. As time passes, many hope that feasible solutions are discovered and that both sides eventually come to certain agreeable terms. In the meantime, this conflict has thus far been one of the bloodiest religious clashes in world history.

 

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6. Apple criticized by Europe for misleading consumers
Europe recently scolded Apple over the ‘misleading’ of consumers by ‘free’ apps. As many IPhone users know, many popular apps – especially games – are free to download, but most are somewhat structured in a way that tempts consumers to pay for in-game perks (‘enhancements’) to bring forth faster progression. The European Commission demanded that Apple and Google to make the ‘true cost’ of games clear. However, no firm commitment was provided by Apple regarding the implementation of these changes.

 

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7. MH17 crash
As the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane was going over Ukraine on July 17th, a missile reportedly hit it, causing it to crash. All 298 on that plane were reported dead and the remains of around up to 196 people were found on July 20th. Pro-Russian rebels controlling the area from which the missile was allegedly launched came under heavy carping from many European countries for hampering entry to the crash site.

 

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8. TransAsia plane crash
TransAisia Airways Flight GE 222 came under heavy rain and crashed on Wednesday, July 23 as it was trying to land at the Magong Airport in the Penghu Islands. At least 48 people were killed and 10 injured as a result. Family members in Taiwan collapsed, filed with grief of losing their loved ones as footage from ETTV showed.

 

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9. 38 dead in Benghazi
As a result of clashes between Libyan troops and Islamist militants in the city of Benghazi, 38 people were killed. This fighting had been going since the beginning week of the 21st. The main site of the clash is the city’s largest storage area and a major hub for the distribution and transportation of petroleum, so many are left worried about potential devastating explosions.

 

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10. USA imposes new sanctions on Russia
As the crisis in Ukraine furthers itself, Russia, once again, came under sanctions for its support of separatists. Not too far apart time wise, both Belgium and the USA aimed to deprive key Russian economic sectors of growth by discontinuing exports. Obama stated that the sectors that were focused on were: energy, military, and finance. Washington will, from this point on, stop exports of certain technology and tools towards the Russian energy sector. It will also increase sanctions of other banks ad defense areas. Credits from the USA for the financial support of certain development projects in Russia will be officially suspended.