By: Nathaniel Tok

MYANMAR – Thousands of people flee violence in the country

Members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar witnessed over 2,600 of their homes burned down last week. The United Nations refugee agency said that the situation has forced approximately 58,600 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. Myanmar officials have accused the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group that attacked military posts last week, for the burning of homes, but the Rohingya say that the government’s army is responsible. The tension between the Rohingya minority and the government is a significant hurdle for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Buddhist-majority country does not regard the Rohingya as legitimate citizens.

With files from Reuters and AP News.

KAZAKHSTAN – Record-breaking astronaut returns to earth

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to earth after 288 consecutive days in space, bringing her time away from Earth to a total of 665 days. This trip breaks records for both NASA and female astronauts worldwide for the most time spent in space. The only American astronaut to have completed a longer period in space during a single mission is Scott Kelly. The new International Space Station commander was quoted by The Guardian thanking Whitson and her fellow astronauts for “the supreme dedication that you guys have to the human mission of exploration.” Whitson, who is a biochemist researcher, also broke a record for being the oldest woman in space.

With files from The Guardian.

CHINA – President promotes globalization at BRICS conference

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the BRICS bloc to liberalize trade and open up the world economy during the latest summit in southeastern China. Xi believes that the BRICS emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa will help to grow the world economy. Xi also called for a new “global value chain,” and encouraged Chinese companies to invest abroad and for the firms of the world to invest in China. It has only been a little over a week since China and India ended a two-month border standoff.

With files from Reuters.

USA  – Los Angeles declares wildfire emergency

The city of Los Angeles, California evacuated hundreds of homes as 5,000 acres of fires threatened the city last week. The fires, which started on September 1, are considered the largest in the city’s history. At least three homes have been destroyed but now some residents are being allowed to return home. The fires follow a heatwave and strong winds in the city, which helped to spread the fire. LA mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown have issued emergency orders and declarations to allow state and federal funds to be provided. Wildfires also forced Montana and Washington state in the Western US to declare states of emergency.

With files from BBC News.

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