World in brief: March 9, 2011
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
There has been rapid rise of acidic water streaming from abandoned mines running for kilometers underneath Johannesburg. Toxic liquid has built up in mine shafts for over a century, and will start to empty into low–lying areas of the city most common to tourists, by early 2012. Water with a low pH reading, will negatively affect property and infrastructure in these areas. To prevent any permanent damage the government will install pump stations by March 2012.
The Chinese government issued a decree prohibiting any People’s Liberation Army (PLA) member from online blogging or creating a website. Their hope is to ease confidentiality concerns, and guard against online traps. The ban affects 2.3 million PLA soldiers who are forbidden to blog online in any capacity. Most recently, the directive has expanded to prohibit any military employee from placing job-hunting or mate-seeking advertisements in any media
The Glonass –K satellite was launched as part of a Russian global navigation system that rivals the American GPS, which according to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, “will give the country satellite navigation sovereignty.” The satellite should have been closer to completing the full 24-satellite system but were grounded due to a failures in December. However, plans are in place to have the system finished by late 2011.
164 inpatients escaped a drug rehabilitation centre, fleeing to a nearby sugarcane field where police were waiting with teargas. Approximately 130 returned or were captured, leaving about 60 drug addicts at large. This is one of many mass escapes in recent years. In combination with an elevated relapse rate among drug users, the country’s drug usage laws have become much stricter, increasing governmental right to force treatment upon addicts.
Compiled by Leeza Pece