News in brief
A plane carrying the Brazilian soccer team Associação Chapecoense de Futebol, 21 journalists and a crew of nine crashed on Nov. 28 near Medellin, Colombia. Of the 81 people on board, only six survived. Between 2009 and 2014, Chapecoense was promoted three times and reached Serie A, the top tier league in Brazilian soccer. This season, they advanced to play the Colombian club Atlético Nacional for the Copa Sudamericana championship. In response to the tragedy, Nacional petitioned that Chapenoense be awarded the 2016 Copa title.
On Nov. 25, former Cuban President Fidel Castro died at the age of 90. After the Cuban Revolution ended in 1959, Castro led the nation for nearly half a century. Under his leadership, Cuba defied several U.S. attempts to overthrow the government and endured an ongoing economic embargo. However, several human rights abuses and violations occurred in Cuba during Castro’s reign. “I hope that Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to The Guardian.
In the United Kingdom’s High Court, a case between two Nigerian groups and Royal Dutch Shell draws to a close. According to The Independent, fishermen from the Ogale community and the Bille Kingdom on the Niger Delta argue Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary have damaged the region’s environment and harmed the livelihoods of inhabitants. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands but incorporated in the U.K. In 2004, Shell admitted their activities in the region contributed to conflict and corruption, according to the BBC.
In a recent speech, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to kill human rights activists that accuse him of ordering executions. Since taking office in June, Duterte has taken a hard-line stance against the illegal drug trade, drug dealers and drug users. In the same speech, Duterte accused former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III for allowing drug activity to proliferate within the country. He dismissed claims that he would face punishment from the International Criminal Court.
Since late October, a series of wildfires have raged in the Appalachian Mountains spanning Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia. The latest fire began Nov. 28 in the Chimney Tops of the Great Smokey Mountains. High winds and dry conditions spread the fire to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, forcing residents to evacuate and leave in nearby Pigeon Forge. According to the United States Drought Monitor, 73 percent of the Southeast experienced conditions ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought” during the week of Nov. 22.