Written by: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate


Ethiopian cabinet sees equal representation in sexes

Women now hold 10 of Ethiopia’s 20 ministerial posts, making it the second African country after Rwanda to have a gender-balanced cabinet.

In a Parliamentary speech on October 16 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said women were “less corrupt [than men]” and could bring change in the country. This push for equal representation is part of Abiy’s reform plan.

Several female ministers will oversee key ministries such as the intelligence agencies. Abiy also reduced the 28 ministries to 20. He has pushed through reforms in Ethiopia since becoming the prime minister in April, releasing political prisoners and easing state economic control.

With files from BBC News and Africa News.



Hungary bans sleeping on the street

Hungary unveiled a law stopping homeless people from sleeping in public. The law, announced on October 15, 2018, is part of a constitutional amendment allowing police to force the homeless population into shelters.

On the same day the law was passed, a significant proportion of the homeless population left the streets of the capital Budapest. Human rights groups say the law, passed without consulting charities, is inhumane and caused homeless individuals to “flee” the streets.

According to the Hungarian government, funds are available to take care of the homeless population and to expand shelters. Prime Minister Viktor Orban added that the law would help homeless individuals secure proper living space.

With files from Reuters.



Warm winter predicted for USA

A NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) report is predicting a mild winter for the USA.

Warm Pacific waters are likely to cause an El Niño event, bringing precipitation to the south and leaving the north relatively warm and dry. The NOAA reports no region will see below-average temperatures, and above-average temperatures will be seen in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, and Northeast regions.

However, the agency emphasized cold temperatures and heavy snowfall are still “likely to occur” in the north. The southeast is likely to have above normal precipitation levels coupled with seasonal regional temperatures, which could bring snowstorms.

With files from CNN.



Joint European-Japanese space mission sends probes to Mercury

Europe and Japan have partnered to send two satellites to Mercury for a seven-year long journey. The program, called BepiColombo, was approved in 2007 and will end in the late 2020s. The probes will take a slower, less direct route to the planet to avoid getting sucked into Sun’s gravity.

Scientists hope to build on previous American missions to Mercury and uncover the planet’s mysteries. The European Mercury Planetary Orbiter probe will study geological and geographical features, such as surface structures, while the Japanese Magnetospheric Orbiter satellite will study the planet’s magnetic field’s behaviour and its atmospheric interaction with the sun’s “solar wind.”

With files from BBC News.


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