Headlines from around the world: 10/21/13

Violent protest erupted in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. On September 30, protesters blockaded an equipment storage area owned by Southwestern Energy. Occupiers are protesting the exploration of the Canadian province for shale gas, fearing the invasive procedure will lead to water pollution. Peaceful occupation escalated to violence earlier this week resulting in over 40 arrests. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails towards local police, destroying at least five vehicles.

Oil production halted in Brazil over worker union strike. Approximately 90% of the oil company, Petrobras’ workers went on strike last Thursday, effectively shutting down 42 off-shore rigs. Workers believe that an auctioning of the Libra oilfield will bring in too much foreign competition, threatening local employment. Pay and benefits are also on the table for negotiations. Despite this setback, Petrobras intends to carry out the auction.

The 16-day government shutdown finally comes to an end in the United States. Unable to negotiate a balanced budget, Congress approved a law raising the debt limit to $16.7 trillion and extending the country’s borrowing capability until February 7, 2014. National parks and attraction across the US have reopened for visitors, and millions of government employees returned to work. President Obama publicly announced his disapproval of the monetary situation the country is in and is urging Congress to do whatever it can to reduce the national debt.

A chunk of meteor was finally recovered in Chelyabinsk, Russia. After seven months, scientists finally recover what is believed to be the largest piece of the most recent meteor landing. Upon retrieval, the rock broke into three smaller pieces, totaling in weight over 1250 pounds. It is estimated to be over 4.5 billion years old, and weighed approximately 10,000 pounds prior to entering our atmosphere. The meteor left over 1200 people injured in its wake, shattering glass and loose structures as well.

British government officials offer China shares in new nuclear power plans. Going against the social norm, Britain intends to open 12 new nuclear reactors by the year 2030. British officials are allowing Chinese investors opportunities to invest in the first of many new plants. Negotiations are in place to determine the terms of China’s eventual majority shareholding in Britain’s domestic nuclear power.

Australia suffers from mass wildfires. Close to 100 wildfires appeared last Friday, putting the country on full alert. Sydney is home to the largest concentration of fires, destroying many homes, schools and local businesses. Despite optimal conditions, firefighters continue to struggle against the ongoing threat. One death has been reported, as well as many severe injuries.

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