WORLDSIGN | International Week of Deaf, Indonesia Tsunami, Korean Clears Minefields and more news


Dawn: An earthquake of 7.5 magnitude, and strong aftershocks, devastated the city of Palu on the Sulawesi island in Indonesia last Friday. It was followed by a tsunami which swept away home and people. Indonesian TV broadcasted a video of the tsunami slamming the shores of Palu with people screaming and running, and a mosque collapsing. Residents camped on the streets, afraid to sleep in their homes, and survivors searched for their loved ones swept away in the tsunami. -By Tuesday, the death toll rose to 1,200 and damaged hospitals were operating above maximum capacities to treat thousands of people. Many Indonesians in other cities worried over water, food, and medicine with attention being largely focused on Palu. Australia has pledged $3.6 million (USD) in financial aid, and over 50 medical professionals to treat injured people. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: Update story on recent Iran military parade attack. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched six ballistic missiles toward eastern Syria in response to an attack by militants on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz, Iran. The missile launch killed at least 24 people and wounded over 60. It was the second missile attack by Iran in a month’s time, with missiles flying over Iraq and landing near the city of Boukamal, Syria. Tensions have been rising since U.S. President Trump pulled America out of Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in May, weakening its economy. U.S. sanctions targeting Iran oil industry also contributed to the rise of tensions. Dawn: Federal judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by the United States president Donald Trump to replace a retiring judge on the U.S. Supreme Court, was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday on allegations of attempted rape. Christine Blasey Ford, a female professor had alleged that Kavanaugh tried to rape her during a party in 1982 when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied the allegations. -Kavanaugh’s conduct during his hearing was a concern among some observers who expected all Supreme Court judges to be impartial and diplomatic in all situations. He accused the Democratic judges of sabotaging the process by trying to discredit him. Since then, two more women came forward alleging Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct towards them in college. As a result, President Trump instructed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to “interview anyone it wants by Friday” when the Committee makes its decision whether to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: On the 60th anniversary of World Deaf Day, which was September 29th, Pope Francis delivered a message to Italy’s National Agency for the Deaf. He applauded deaf Italians who are committed to “fighting exclusion and the culture of waste to protect and promote, in every area, the value of the life of every human being and, in particular, the dignity of deaf people.” He encouraged deaf Italians to keep pushing for a culture and a mentality of inclusion that respects dignity and rights of every individual. His message occurred during a “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” celebration underway by Deaf people worldwide coordinated by the World Federation of the Deaf. The message of WFD is to “focus on gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.” Dawn: Over 3 million hard of hearing, 340,000 deaf and 11,000 deaf-blind in Canada do not have access to information regarding national disasters such as ice storms, wildfires or even terror attacks, according to a report prepared for Canadian Hearing Society (CHS). No interpreters accompany officials when warning citizens, no systems exist to communicate with them for preparedness, action and recovery. CRTC, their federal communications agency, has an alerting system that sends an audible tone and it is not deaf-friendly, which makes it difficult to deliver orders of evacuation to deaf people or instructions to stay home. Deaf leaders say they expect a national strategy to address these issues, as Canada has committed to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: North and South Korean troops began removing some landmines planted at their border during the Korean War as result of recent agreements towards peace. About 2 million mines are believed to be scattered through the 248 kilometers that separate the Koreas, along with hundreds of thousands of combat troops guarding the border, as well as barbed wire fences and tank traps. -The process of demining is a result from diplomacy over North Korea’s denuclearization program and negotiations between Koreas and the U.S. The U.S. Secretary of State will visit Pyongyang to try to set up a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Dawn: The New York Times newspaper, on Sunday, published an article by two investigative reporters on about 90 South African politicians who died since 2016, many of them members of the African National Congress. Their investigation found that many of them were killed by professional hit men for accusing members of ANC for rampant corruption, fighting over money, dominance, or power within the party. One member, who went into hiding for acting as a whistleblower, likened ANC to the Mafia. The political murders have become a national crisis,and the police are now tracking and sharing this data for the first time. The current South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has taken little action to stop this violence, and did not provide police protection to two whistleblowers in a key murder case. Members of ANC are carrying firearms on their bodies, in fear of their lives. A South African university professor observed this crisis as the “antithesis of democracy, because people fear to speak out.” Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: An estimated of 180,000 people protested outside the Catalan parliament on Monday, shouting “Freedom for political prisoners” on the first anniversary of the October 1 referendum in Spain. People marched in large numbers in Barcelona with messages on banners that they did not forget what happened last year with Spanish police. Activists blocked railway lines and other major transportation routes, students skipped and boycotted classes. There has been little dialogue between Catalan and Spanish governments other than a few economic funding agreements, and many Catalans still have strong desire for self-determination. Polls indicate 7.5 million residents are still divided over the independence issue. Thank you for watching WorldSign Week, visit H3WORLD.TV for more shows, all in International Sign. See you next week.

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