World News – December

Maria Wikstrom
Copy Editor

North America
The U.S. government released a jobs report that disappointed the hopeful nation.  The economy added only 39,000 jobs in November when the original hope was to add over 70,000 jobs.  Furthermore, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke responded to the report saying, “At the rate we’re going,  it could be four, five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate.”

South America
At least 83 people were killed and several more injured at a fire that broke out during a riot at the San Miguel prison, just south of the Chilean capital.  Fourteen people were hospitalized as well as four of the rescuers.  No names were given out, even to worried families and friends who swarmed the prison after the fire.  But other aspects of the prison came to light under all the media attention, including the fact that the prison was built to hold 1,000 inmates but it currently housed 1,961 inmates.

35-year-old South African Hendrik Coetzee was guiding a group of Americans on a kayaking trip to the Congo when he was attacked by a crocodile and dragged away.  The attack occured Tuesday Dec. 7 along the Lukaga River.  Coetzee’s body has yet to be recovered, but the group of Americans paddled back unharmed.

An off-duty police officer named Angel leaped off a subway platform Friday Dec. third in Madrid, Spain and dragged a fallen man off the tracks just as the train arrived.  “I observed a stir at the station, and then I saw a man who had fallen on the tracks,” Angel said.  “I ran out, took off my jacket, and threw myself onto the tracks.  At the same time I had to maintain my awareness of the train that was approaching because it was just about to arrive.”

The train barely missed both men as onlookers waved frantically at the train operator.  The officer then scooped the man up in his arms and placed him on the platform. “This has been a very particular experience, but they prepare us for this sort of thing,” Angel said.

On Dec. sixth in Isamabad, Pakistan a teenage suicide bomber killed 18 innocent civilians and wounded 33 others aboard a bus.  According to the city’s police chief, Dilawar Bangish, the teenager denotated the explosives just as the bus was about to leave for the Tirah Bazar market in Kohat.  The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Dec. eighth, bringing forth a condemning response from the U.S. embassy located in Islamabad. “By attacking a market place where innocent men, women, and children were gathered, those responsible for this blast demonstrated inhuman disregard for human life.”