USA – Hurricane devastates Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma has left millions of people without access to power, fresh water, and gasoline and virtually flattened communities. In the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm, approximately 25% of the community has been destroyed. Around 65% more homes have also been damaged by the storm. Many people have been left with absolutely nothing to return to, and remain stuck in at-capacity hotels. Despite the devastation, many in the Keys are optimistic about rebuilding and look forward to restoring their community.

With files from CBC News.

MEXICO – Mexicans still recovering from massive earthquake

The recent earthquake that struck Mexico was the strongest in a century. The 8.2 magnitude earthquake has caused a death toll of nearly 100 people near the epicentre in southern Mexico. Tens of millions in both Mexico and Guatemala were able to feel the tremors, and Mexico City itself was affected by the earthquake. After a plea from the Mexican government, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Spain had all offered assistance to the devastated country. It will be much needed in the city of Juchitán, as councilwoman Pamela Teran told local media that approximated 20–30% of homes were destroyed there by the quake.

With files from New York Times and CBC News.

AUSTRALIA – Same-sex marriage legislation goes to postal survey

Australia is one step closer to equality as legislation on same-sex marriage will be going to a public vote. Over 20,000 supporters rallied in Sydney this weekend supporting the motion. An issue that has been polarizing the country, Australia is one of the few nations that is English-speaking and developed, but has not yet legalized same sex marriage. Rally attendee David Long has been with his partner for 21 years and told Reuters he is excited for the possibility of legal marriage, noting they’ve had “the world’s longest engagement.”

With files from Reuters.

JAPAN – Japanese group lets cats roam on train

In Japan, you can now commute with friendly felines. In order to raise awareness about stray cats and to prevent the possibility of culling, an NGO called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary partnered with Yoro Railway Co Ltd to create the cat train café in the Japanese city of Ogaki. Currently the cat population in Japan is 9.8 million, and while the number of cats that has been admitted to shelters has been decreasing, a participant in the cat train event told Reuters she thinks it is important for people to continue to be aware about stray kittens.

With files from Reuters.