Thursday, March 23, 2023


You Are Now 1 of 8 Billion People on the Earth

There are now 8 billion people on the earth, and the growth rate is steadily slowing down since people are living longer and are having fewer children.

Experts predict sub-Saharan Africa will soon lead the world’s population, overtaking China and India.

Key Points

  • Tuesday marked the day the earth reached 8 billion people, representing a milestone in human development.
  • The global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 percent in 2020.
  • India, by next year, will lead the world’s population, surpassing China.
  • The increase in population reflects the advancements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine and high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries.
  • Asia accounts for most of the growth, adding some 700 million people in 2011. India added about 180 million people.
  • U.N. predicts the world population will reach 9 billion in 2037.
  • It is also projected the global population will hit 10.4 billion people in the 2080s and remain at that level until 2100.
  • Population shift is expected before the peak, with a concentration on sub-Saharan Africa, moving away from China and India.

Why it matters

Experts say the increase in population also means more pressure on nature and the effects of climate change will expand causing mass migration and conflicts in the coming years.

Putin Dangerously Escalates War Strikes and Threatens More Missile Attacks

President Vladimir Putin ups the ante and threatens more missile attacks on Ukraine after Russia hit Kyiv with an intense barrage of strikes.

“It was not possible to leave [Ukrainian attacks] unanswered. If attempts at terrorist attacks continue, the response from Russia will be severe and correspond to the level of threat,” Putin said on Monday at a televised meeting of his Security Council.

“Let there be no doubt about it.” 

The big story

Ukraine blasted a key bridge to the Crimean Peninsula over the weekend which is marked as Putin’s flagship project.

Putin launched attacks on Ukraine in February fearing that its neighbor Ukraine was leaning toward Western ideals and was a constant threat to Russia’s existence. 

Thousands of people have since died since the war started, towns and cities in Ukraine such as Mariupol lie in ruins and over 12 million people are displaced. 

Why it matters

It marks a dangerous new escalation since the war started. The world fears Putin may resort to nuclear weapons.

What Ukraine President Zelensky says

On his Telegram channel, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the Earth.” He urged Ukrainians to stay in bomb shelters as air-raid alerts echoed in every region of the country.

“Unfortunately there are dead and wounded.”

The Bahamas Votes to Suspend Russia From Human Rights Council After Putin’s Warning

The Bahamas and 92 other countries voted to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council following its “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine.

Twenty-four other countries voted ‘no’ while 58 countries abstained from voting.

Why  it matters

Russia warned that any country voting yes or abstaining will be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” and will suffer consequences for bilateral ties.

The big picture

The United States moved a motion to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council, saying it was hypocritical for the Putin-led country to be on the council.

Some countries like Brazil, India and Mexico which abstained from voting called for further investigation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, before its removal.

The UNGA needed only a two-thirds majority to suspend Russia. It is the second country to be removed from the council following Libya’s suspension in 2011 due to atrocities on protesters by Muammar Ghadafi-led forces.




Putin Drives One Million People From Ukraine. Where Are They Going?

One million people have fled Ukraine as Putin intensifies the attack, according to the United Nations.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, said in a Twitter post, “In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.

“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”

Earlier Wednesday, the United Nations estimated that nearly 874,000 people fled Ukraine. That number spiked by Wednesday evening.

UNHCR revealed that the majority fled to Poland while other segments of the population headed to Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and beyond.

Nearly 43,000 have also moved to Russia, according to reports.

UN says more than half fleeing Ukraine are children, escaping with families walking long distances in cold weather.

Tania, who is from the city of Chernivtsi, located in western Ukraine near the border with Romania, escaped with her sister Sophia, 19, and daughter Mia, 2, just days after Russia launched the military offensive on 24 February.

“The decision was taken in just a few moments because the situation in Ukraine is very hard and you don’t know what it will be the next minute,” she told UNICEF.

Photo credit: Washington Post

The Bahamas Votes Against Vladimir Putin in UN Resolution

The Bahamas joined 141 countries on Wednesday, in condemning the war actions of Russia against Ukraine, demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from the neighboring territory.

Five countries including Russia opposed the UN resolution– Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.

Thirty-five countries abstained from voting, including China, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Why it matters

The vote helps to isolate Russia. The resolution, though non binding, shows global unity.


What President Zelensky is saying

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the outcome of the vote, tweeting, “I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history.”

The results “convincingly show that a global anti-Putin coalition has been formed and is functioning. The world is with us. The truth is on our side.”

Haiti Gets New Prime Minister

Ariel Henry was officially sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Haiti, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, nearly two weeks.

Henry’s official appointment comes as a power struggle intensified in the Caribbean nation and its government hastened to front strong leadership after Moise was killed.

Ariel Henry at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Claude Joseph is seen in the top left photo.

Though an interim Prime Minister, Henry replaces Claude Joseph, who became the face of the Haitian government after Moise’s death.

Henry is backed by the Core Group which is comprised of ambassadors from Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Brazil, Spain, France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

The 71-year-old neurosurgeon and former cabinet minister stated at his swearing-in ceremony, “One of my priority tasks will be to reassure the people that we will do everything to restore order and security,” according to AFP news agency.

Why it matters

Joseph, the country’s foreign affairs minister, held the post of interim prime minister while Jovenel served as President.

One day before Jovenel died, he appointed Henry to the position to replace Joseph. But Henry was never sworn in.

After the assassination, Joseph asserted himself as leader causing a power vacuum.

However, on Sunday, Joseph said he would step down “for the good of the nation.”

“Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle, or in any kind of power grab,” Joseph said.

“The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him.”

The big picture

Moise was killed by assassins at his home in the early morning hours. His wife was injured during the attack, received medical care in the United States and this week returned to the troubled island nation.

Nearly 28 foreign mercenaries were arrested after the attack, including two US citizens of Haitian descent and 26 Columbians which included ex-military men.

State of play

Moise’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Haiti’s election is expected in September.

Why People May Be Released Early from Prison During the Pandemic

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said nearly 60 prisoners could be released early from the Bahamas Department of Corrections as COVID-19 cases climb exponentially in New Providence.

“To date, the Committee has recommended for approval, by the Governor-General, the release of 57 persons and others are currently being reviewed and considered for the same,” he said.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Health Organisation, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have jointly encouraged institutions of detention around the globe to consider the release of inmates, as COVID-19 undermines hygiene, health and safety due to social distancing limitations.

Why it matters

The Bahamas Department of Corrections has an inmate population of 1,489, with many crammed in small spaces, sharing cells, showers and toilet spaces, making them susceptible to the virus.

The cramped spaces make it impossible to social distance, poor hygiene exists and like in many prisons, hand sanitizers are not permitted as they can be used to brew alcoholic drinks.

This is a big move. Who will be released?

The Prerogative Board of Mercy Committee has begun reviewing the files of inmates to determine who would be considered high-risk for contracting the virus.

The board is considering the following people for release:

  • the elderly
  • people with comorbidity
  • people who have completed more than half of their sentences with good behavior
  • people sentenced for minor, non-violent offenses that don’t compromise public safety

The virus may be rising within the prison. Reported COVID-19 prison statistics

There are two confirmed positive cases of the virus which represent 0.1 percent of the total inmate population.

  • The first case was recorded in August, five months after the first case was recorded in the Bahamas. The inmate contracted the virus while receiving medical care for an unrelated illness outside of the prison.
  • The second reported case is a  male inmate who tested positive on September 23rd.