Three Top stories from Home and Away
By P.M. Fadden
WORLD VIEW – Bad Blood Over Bread
KHARTOUM, SUDAN – Protests over rising bread prices broke out Sunday, leading to the death of a student and the arrest of a prominent opposition leader as authorities confiscated newspapers and looked to clamp down on growing unrest.
Demonstrations followed a similar protest in the southeastern city of Sennar on Saturday after bread prices doubled following the government’s announcement late last month that it was eliminating subsidies in its 2018 budget.
The removal of subsidies is part of austerity measures as the country struggles in the face of inflation running at about 25 percent and an acute shortage of hard currency that has sapped import activity.
Past austerity measures in Sudan have sparked sporadic public protests. Amnesty International says that up to 185 people may have been killed in 2013 when thousands took to the streets against fuel price increases. Protests have since been much smaller and opposition parties have called for peaceful demonstrations against the bread price rises.
Meanwhile, authorities have blocked the sale of six daily newspapers carrying critical coverage of the subsidy cut and price rises, editors of the papers told Reuters.
Minister of State for the Interior Ministry, Babkar Daqna, denied demonstrations were in response to price rises, stating destructive protesters will be “dealt with forcefully.”
NATIONWIDE – Rough Pre-season for US Olympian
For the second time this season, US ½ pipe snowboarder, Shaun White was injured in a snowboarding crash, reports USA Today.
White withdrew from the Winter Games NZ, a FIS World Cup event, in September after a crash in practice that sent him to the hospital. At the time, he posted that nothing was broken but doctors advised him to take some time off.
Only one month later, the two-time Olympic gold medalist posted a photo to Instagram exhibiting a gash on his forehead resulting from yet another wreck.
White, 31, was training in New Zealand in advance of the season and qualifying for the Pyeongchang Olympics. Following a disappointing fourth-place finish in Sochi, His focus will be solely on halfpipe.
The U.S. Olympic team will be chosen after four qualifying events this winter. The first was in December at Copper Mountain, Colo.
FRONTIER FOCUS – Fecal Flounder
A plane carrying more than 200 passengers from Chicago to Hong Kong was diverted to Alaska after two of the aircraft’s toilets were vandalized with excrement, officials said.
The United Airlines flight was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Anchorage on Thursday evening due to a “passenger smearing feces everywhere.”
According to police, the passenger, a 22-year-old whose name has not been released, was co-operative and faced “no appropriate charges for anything criminal.”
It is not clear what led to the episode taking place, but police did state that the man, a U.S. resident of Vietnamese origin, made no threats.