The world news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 29, 2014 covers top news stories around the globe. As the fighting in Syria and Iraq increases, United Kingdom has upgraded the level of a potential terrorist threat to severe. Meanwhile, the civil war in Syria has resulted in 3 million refugees to neighboring countries. In Africa, the Ebola virus continues to spread rapidly, resulting in closure of borders and airports in some countries.
United Kingdom Raises Threat Level to Severe
United Kingdom has raised their terror threat level to ‘severe’ as a response to the developing events in Iraq and Syria. United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement on Friday, calling the situation in Iraq and Syria as the worst threat to U.K. security in history. The rapid expansion of the Islamic State caliphate has caused great concern among many world leaders.
Although no information about an upcoming attack was made available, the ‘severe’ threat level indicates that the likelihood of a terrorist attack is high. It is the second-highest threat level in the United Kingdom. Many British citizens have been radicalized, with as many as 500 people traveling out of United Kingdom to fight with the Islamic State militant group. Prime Minister Cameron also announced that he is in the process of creating a new legislation that will help prevent the spread of the ideology of Islamic extremism.
Three Million Syrians Left the Country as Refugees Since the Start of the Civil War
Since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011, three million people have been forced out of the country, fleeing to neighboring countries as refugees. Most of the refugees are women and children who have been left to fend for themselves as the fighting intensified. At least six million others have been displaced. Before the conflict started, Syria had a population of 23 million. The recent numbers show that one of every 8 Syrians has fled, which is a tragic statistic. United Nations (UN) has described the situation as the biggest humanitarian crisis of the century.
Fighting seemed to intensify in recent weeks as Islamic State militants gain control over wide areas. Last week, the extremists captured hundreds of Syrian soldiers, and on Thursday, a video showing the execution of the soldiers was released. The war has been spilling into Iraq, with militants seizing the town of Mosul and resulting in military action from the United States. Islamic State militants were also responsible for the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley.
Ebola Virus Continues to Spread, Results in Closure of Airports and Borders
Just days after the World Health Organization (WHO) released a warning which stated that as many as 20,000 people could become infected with Ebola as a result of this outbreak, Senegal has confirmed its first case of the virus. According to the Health Minister of Senegalese, Awa Marie Coll Seck, the patient is a Guinean national who was travelling to Senegal at the time and has been quarantined. Last week, Senegal took aggressive measures in order to prevent an outbreak by closing its borders with Senegal and preventing the touchdown of planes from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia on Senegal soil.
Five countries in Africa have been affected by Ebola this year, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea seeing the bulk of the infections. So far 3,069 people have been infected and more than half of those who were infected have died. Nigeria has also seen the spread of the virus, spreading through a Liberian-American man. In Congo, a different strain of Ebola has infected 24 people, 13 of whom have died. Forty percent of the infections have occurred in the past three weeks, raising the fears that the outbreak is still far from over. Scientists have also noted that the virus has mutated since the beginning of the outbreak, which makes the diagnosis and treatment of the virus more difficult. Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, has stated that the Ebola crisis is far worse than was anticipated.
World Commentary by Ivelina Kunina
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