Category: Current affairs

What were the 2014 Hong Kong protests (Umbrella Movement/Umbrella Revolution)?

  • Started Sept. 2014 when activists protested outside the HK Govt. HQ & occupied intersections in response to China's decisions on proposed HK electoral reform.
  • Protesters want HK to be allowed to choose leaders in 2017 elections without interference from China.
  • Chinese govt. has said it will allow universal suffrage, but will screen candidates for the chief executive post in advance. Protests continue.

What is OPEC?

  • International organisation whose mission is to coordinate the policies of the oil-producing countries.
  • Since it's inception in 1960, OPEC was able to influence the oil price by acting as an economic cartel - but from Nov. 2014, Saudi Arabia (OPEC's de facto leader) started treating the organisation as increasingly irrelevant.
  • Member countries are Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, UAE, Qatar, Indonesia, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, Angola, & Gabon (note that Russia & Norway are not members)..

What is Ebola?

  • Rare infectious, deadly illness, first detected in 1976 in an outbreak near the Ebola River (Democratic Republic of Congo) in Africa.
  • People get infected only by direct contact through broken skin, nose or mouth or with the blood or bodily fluids of someone infected.
  • 2014 epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa.

What is ISIS?

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a Sunni, extremist and violent political and military group controlling territory in Syria, Iraq, eastern Libya, and Sinai in Egypt.
  • Designated as a terrorist organization by UN, EU among others, and accused of human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing.
  • Principal aim is to establish an Islamic state in Sunni-majority regions of Iraq & Syria. Broad aim is to build a caliphate to emulate the days of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

South Africa in 3 bullet-points?

  • Democratic country on the south end of Africa, one of the few on the continent never to have had a coup d'état.
  • Population 53 million, of whom 80% are black, with 11 official languages.
  • President is Jacob Zuma and the 3 capitals are Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative).

What was the Ferguson Ruling (USA)?

  • Grand jury refused to charge a policeman (Nov 24, 2014) over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
  • Brown was killed by Darren Wilson in Ferguson Missouri on Aug 09 2014.
  • His death sparked weeks of demonstrations and civil unrest, as did the ruling.
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