News Roundup: February 20th

Good Morning, today is Monday, February 20th, and here are the stories that interest me.

More than 160,000 people protested in Barcelona this weekend to demand the Spanish Government honor their refugee pledges. Spain pledge to take in 17,000 refugees in 2015, but has only taken just over 1,100 in two years. There are overtures of other political tensions as much of the protest was in Catalan and was headed b y Barcelona’s mayor who was once an anti-eviction activist.

The last Farc rebels have moved into demobilization zones in Columbia. Farc was a guerrilla movement in Colombia which has lasted for over 5 decades against the Government. The two sides signed a peace deal in November to finally end the fighting, and to bring the Farc combatants back into normal society by moving combatants and their families into 26 transition zones until May 31. There they will be given government provided training in politics, farming, and other issues. There has been problems in a number of transition zones with little set up or government assisted materials to creates homes for the ex-combatants, but things seem to be keeping stable for now.

SpaceX has successfully launched and re landed a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time since September . The Rocket, carrying supplies to the international Space Station was the first commercial rocket to take off from Kennedy Space Center was delayed for 24 hours after some anomalies were found. This was a major step for the young space venture having grounded all flights since September to redesign some potential flaws in their rockets. The goal is to begin reusing the first state rockets to bring down the cost of entering Space. The Company has a busy schedule in the coming weeks and hopes to launch again from Cape Canaveral within 2 weeks.

And lastly, over 140,000 families have been cut off from receiving childcare benefits in Australia for failing to vaccinate their children. Australia has instituted a “No jab, no pay” policy to bring non-compliant children into line with social and government vaccination standards. The Government has claimed that the policy has seen the vaccination rate in the country rise as a result, it is currently at 92.2%. The areas of highest non- vaccination areas occurred in Sydney’s affluent Northern, Eastern, and Inner West suburbs.

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