International news in brief

Australia plans to close controversial refugee detention center

SYDNEY — On Wednesday, Australia and Papua New Guinea reported an agreement to close an Australian-funded detention center located on Manus Island that currently holds 800 asylum seekers. Australia law dictates that anyone caught trying to reach the country by boat is sent to camps on the island of Nauru or Manus Island. The camps have been criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups, with reports of rampant abuse and self-harm among detainees, including children.

Source: Reuters

At least 12 dead in India after drinking tainted liquor

PATNA — On Wednesday, Police in the eastern Indian state of Bihar reported at least twelve deaths and five illnesses following the consumption of illegally brewed liquor, a common occurrence in India due to the expense of licensed liquor. Chemicals such as pesticides are often added to illegally brewed alcohol to increase its potency.

Source: The Associated Press

Turkey set to release 38,000 prisoners to free jail space following coup

ANKARA — Turkey issued a decree on Wednesday allowing the conditional release of 38,000 prisoners from its overcrowded jails. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of people suspected of involvement in last month's attempted coup have been detained and would be restricted from the specified release if convicted. In a separate decree issued the same day, over 2,000 officers were dismissed from the police force.

Source: The Associated Press

Russia uses Iran military base for Syria campaign

MOSCOW — On Tuesday, Russia launched an airstrike on Syria from an Iranian air base, becoming the first foreign military allowed to operate from Iran since at least World War II. The arrangement allows Russia to bring more firepower to the Syrian conflict, which would give them greater military flexibility and could expand Moscow's political influence in the Middle East.

Source: [ITAL]The New York Times[ITAL]

Chinese swimmer shatters barrier among female athletes by discussing her period

BEIJING — On Saturday night at the Rio Olympics, Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, who had previously captured the attention and affection of many for her exuberance, candidly revealed during a post-race interview that she was on her period, breaking what has long been a taboo subject among female athletes. The interview went viral and prompted a flood of comments online, with many expressing their support for her openness.

Source: [ITAL]The New York Times[ITAL]

World Health Organization launches emergency vaccination campaign for yellow fever

DAKAR — In an attempt to prevent the spread of the yellow fever following a sizable outbreak, the World Health Organization will begin a massive vaccination campaign this week in the Congo and Angola. Aid group Save the Children warns that yellow fever could soon spread globally. The virus is transmitted by the same mosquito species responsible for spreading Zika and dengue.

Source: The Associated Press