What’s Going on in the World (Besides COVID-19) II

Siddharth Srinivasan, Opinion Editor

Chernobyl wildfires reignited, radiation levels rocket

For over a week, fires (believed to be man-made) have lapped at the abandoned forests surrounding Chernobyl, Ukraine, the site of the world’s greatest nuclear catastrophe. Scientists worry smoke clouds so tall they are visible from space might spread long-buried radiation. The radiation levels in the 1,000 square mile Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are already 16 times greater than normal, the fires prowling closer and closer to the devastated nuclear power plant every day. Some filament-thin silver lining, however, is that thanks to the currently enforced c*********s safety measures, most people are staying indoors or wearing masks.


Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa charged with corruption

On April 7, a top Ecuadorian court found former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa guilty of accepting bribes from private companies in exchange for state contracts. The court declared Correa, currently exiled in Belgium, jailed in absentia for eight years. Correa resorted to Twitter to mock his convictors for their inability to fairly vote him out of office, accusing them of “manipulating justice.”


Volatile volcano erupts in Indonesia

An island in a volcanic archipelago in Indonesia, Anak Krakatau, erupted twice in the space of 40 minutes on April 10. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the volcano spew jet-black pillars of ash and lava up to 1,600 feet in the air. However, unlike Krakatau’s previous eruption in December 2018, which triggered a coast-battering tsunami that killed 437, the current eruptions have yet to cause any deaths. Krakatau’s most infamous eruption, Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa” emerged in 1927 as a result of an infamous 1883 eruption, which destroyed several nearby islands and killed tens of thousands of people.


Cardinal George Pell acquitted by Australian High Court

The Australian High Court acquitted Cardinal George Pell of all counts of sexual abuse against minors on April 7, overturning the convictions of two years prior. Less than a week later, on April 13, Australian police announced they would be conducting a new investigation into Pell’s alleged child abuse, which will run concurrent to the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pell, the Vatican’s former finance chief and the highest ranking Catholic official embroiled in the church’s child abuse scandal, decried what he perceived as the church’s passive reaction to the situation, comparing the eradication of ecclesiastical sexual abuse to “cutting out a cancer.”


Shooting for “Madagascar 4” begins in Paris, France

Residents of southeastern Parisian suburb Boissy-Saint-Léger gazed perplexed as a zebra and two horses roamed the virtually abandoned streets. The equids, having escaped from a local zoo cantered nonchalantly down the roads, which were practically deserted due to the c********** lockdown. In fact, as the *********** perennially dissuades people from leaving the security of their homes, wild animals have begun venturing into cities, including deer in Paris; coyotes in San Francisco; jackals in Tel Aviv, Israel; peafowl in Ronda, Spain; boar in Ajmer, India; and puma in Santiago, Chile.