World in brief

France sends troops to the Ivory Coast

After being the first nation to begin an air campaign in Libya, France has now sent troops to the Ivory Coast to help the UN deal with the internal strife that has claimed at least several hundred lives in the past few weeks. French military troops were sent to an airport in the African nation’s main city, Abidjan, according to the BBC. The military force, which totals about 1,400, backed up UN troops who had secured the airport last Friday, and it will reportedly now be able to open for flights and perhaps the evacuation of foreign nationals. The fighting is the result of conflict between supporters and troops of incumbent Ivorian Laurent Gbagbo and those of his rival, the UN-recognised President, Alassane Ouattara. Tens of thousands of citizens have fled the area amid the fighting, and many refugees have sought the protection of UN peacekeepers and French troops.


Bronx Cobra escapes, joins Twitter, returns

An Egyptian cobra made international headlines last week when it escaped from its cage at The Bronx Zoo in New York. Then, it quickly made headlines again after someone created a Twitter account called @Bronxzoocobra, quickly gaining over 200,000 followers with tweets like “On top of the Empire State Building! All the people look like little mice down there. Delicious little mice.” Shortly thereafter, the snake found itself in headlines once again, after it was found in a dark corner of the reptile section of the zoo, the same building it had reportedly escaped from. And now that the little snake has gained fame, the zoo asked the public to give her a name, taking suggestions on its website until yesterday and putting the top five to an online vote.


Student dies in Bangladeshi protest of women’s rights

After the Bangladeshi government announced plans to increase the rights of women in employment, inheritance and education, a group of hardline Islamists hit the streets in a protest that ultimately left one demonstrator dead, the Associate Press reported. As police moved in, reportedly to prevent the demonstrators from marching, some began throwing rocks at police who fired guns and tear gas in return. Twenty-five people were injured and 19-year-old Ahmed Husein, a student of an Islamic school, was shot and killed. The police have since denied responsibility for the death, saying protesters were also armed. The protesters were pushing for the government to trash a new policy that would see every child inherit the same amount from their parents, in contrast to Muslim family law which states women can only claim a quarter of what men get. A strong majority of the 150 million residents of Bangladesh are Muslim.


Yale opens Singapore wing

For its first campus outside of Connecticut, Yale University has chosen the South-East Asian nation of Singapore. The Ivy League school struck a deal with the National University of Singapore to create a college, Yale-NUS, to be opened in 2013, the Canadian Press reported. Students will go through two years of general education combining Western and Asian perspectives before they move onto a major. The first class will comprise only 150 students, but will expand in the future.



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