Written by: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate


Secret service agent awarded medal of honor

Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Shurer II, a US Army Special Forces Medic, Secret Service agent, and cancer patient, has been awarded the US Military’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.

Shurer II won the award for his actions in Afghanistan in April 2008 where he risked his life and sustained injuries to treat at least fourteen others –  four wounded US soldiers and ten Afghan commandos.

Shurer later joined the Secret Service in September 2009 and was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. He is the 12th person to win the Medal of Honor for bravery in the current war in Afghanistan.

With files from NBC News and The Seattle Times.


Yemen cholera epidemic worsens

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Yemen’s cholera epidemic, which began in April 2017, is worsening.

Data shows a rate of around 10,000 new infections weekly. The first week of September alone saw almost 11,500 suspected reported cases. 1.2 million cases and 2,515 deaths have been reported since the epidemic began, with 30% of the cases comprising children.

The WHO is distributing vaccines in areas susceptible to disease outbreak, with 387,000 people receiving initial doses. The WHO hopes to distribute vaccines to other parts of Yemen in the future.

With files from Reuters.


Ex-South Korean President convicted for bribery and embezzlement

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been convicted of bribery and embezzlement, among other crimes. The court has sentenced Myung-bak to 15 years in prison, and fined him 13 billion won.

Lee Myung-bak is believed to have accepted a 6 billion won bribe from the electronics company Samsung in 2009. In exchange for the money, Myung-bak pardoned their chairman, Lee Kun-hee, who had been imprisoned on charges of financial wrongdoing and tax evasion.

Myung-bak called the charges against him politically motivated and denies them. He served his term as president from 2008 to 2013. His sentence makes him the fourth former South Korean president to be jailed.

With files from DW and The New York Times.


Scottish independence march sees tens of thousands of demonstrators

Edinburgh saw tens of thousands march for Scotland’s independence on Saturday. The campaigners paraded the Scottish flag through the streets before assembling at Holyrood Park near Scotland’s Parliament for a rally.

The march is believed to have resulted from Scotland’s desire to remain in the European Union, while the rest of the United Kingdom voted for and is struggling with how to handle Brexit. All Under One Banner, the group which organized the march, reported 100,000 participants while the City of Edinburgh Council claimed that 20,000 took part.

A smaller counter-protest was held by those who wanted to stay in the UK.

With files from Reuters and BBC News.