International News Briefs

U of M graduate awarded U.S. medal of honour
Yvonne Brill was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S. President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House on Oct.21, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

The award is the highest honour which recognizes scientists, engineers and inventors in the United States.

Brill, a former Winnipegger, graduated with a bachelor of science from the University of Manitoba in 1945.

Brill was recognized for her longstanding career as a rocket scientist, including her work for the United Nations’ pioneering satellite space agency, the Maritime Satellite Organization.

‘Seven Billionth’ babies honoured worldwide
Countries around the globe celebrated the world’s population reaching seven billion on Oct. 31 with ceremonies for newborn infants, reported CBC News.
Although demographers are not certain exactly when the world’s population will reach seven billion, the United Nations chose Monday to symbolize the milestone. A series of festivities took place around the world, with a number of “seven billionth” babies being born on the day.

The celebrations began in the Philippines, with the birth of baby Danica May Camacho, who technically arrived two minutes before midnight on Sunday.
The landmark celebration comes with a warning that there may be too many people for the planet’s resources. Some UN estimates project that the world population will reach eight billion by 2025 and 10 billion by 2083.

Tunisian election results flooded by appeals
Over 100 appeals have been filed with a Tunisian court following the results of the North African nation’s recent election, reported the Globe and Mail.

A legal analyst for the European Union observer mission, Tommaso Capriogli, said most of the appeals were related to the fourth-place finisher Areedha Chaabiya, or Popular Petition party, and Ennahda, an Islamist party that won the Oct. 23 elections.

Under Tunisian law, the court has one week to study the appeals followed by three days to determine its verdict.

Mine blast in China kills 29
A gas explosion at a coal mine in central China killed 29 workers, reported CBC News.

The chief of the provincial coal mine safety told China’s state television, CCTV, that the explosion was most likely caused by a large outburst of gas being ignited by sparks from machines.

CCTV reported that the mine’s operating license had been revoked earlier this year because it did not take proper measures to pump out dangerous gases from underground, but that the mine continued without permission.

Six miners survived the blast at the state-owned coal mine in Hengyang city in Hunan province. Five of the workers were rescued from 250 metres underground, while one climbed out of an air shaft at the mine.