Globe at a glance: World news wrap-up

(Courtesy of Elvert Barnes Flickr)

(Courtesy of Elvert Barnes via Flickr)

Brexit

Brexit was named word of the year by Collins Dictionary.

While this win proved a blessing to headline writers everywhere – beating out other contenders such as Trumpism and “throw shade” –  the dramatic sound of a British exit from the EU may be reduced to a “Brex-maybe” following the recent enactment of Article 50.

This means that last week’s U.K. High Court ruled that a full withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU would only be possible with an unanimous full vote of Parliament. The vote is slated to take place in December.

 

“Cash for Kim”

This Vice investigation from May reports that many Polish companies are exploiting North Korean slave labourers whose dismal wages are being sent to Kim Jong-un’s Worker’s Party.   

The UN estimates that there are about 50,000 North Koreans working as slave labourers abroad in Poland, Russia, Qatar and Mongolia among other places, and that their wages earn the Kim regime between $1.2 billion and $2.3 billion per year.

The report showed that two Polish companies, Armex and Alson, distributed North Korean slave labourers to two large shipyards: Nauta and Crist.

The report found that these slave labourers were working across Poland in industries such as surface construction, furniture production, agriculture, metalworking, medicine and finance.

The labourers work 11 to 12 hours shifts, five days per week, live in cramped quarters and do not receive any of the money they make. They were told that their money will be given to them once they return to North Korea.

The labourers are rarely allowed to leave the work sites. They are limited in their contact with their families and Polish locals.

 

240  refugees drown at sea

At least 240 people drowned during a journey from North Africa to Italy. Among those  reportedly killed were small children and pregnant women.

Two inflatable dinghies carrying refugees headed to Italy left Libya on Nov. 2. Just hours after the voyage began on Wednesday, one of the boats capsized in the choppy Mediterranean Sea.

The second vessel is believed to have overturned early Thursday.

Many of the passengers in the boats were reportedly from sub-Saharan Africa.

There were 29 survivors from the first boat, on which there were over 140 people, including pregnant women and about six children. There were just two survivors from the second boat.

This raises the year’s death toll to about 4,220, the highest it has ever been.

With files from Samraweet Yohannes

 

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