Nadia Murad Basel Taha, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, ISIS/Daesh Captive, Awarded Human Rights Prize
Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi survivor of ISIS violence and capture, was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights prize by the Council of Europe at a ceremony in Strasbourg, France. She was one of over 5,000 Yazidis captured by the group in August 2014. During her captivity she was raped, tortured, and sold to militants. After escaping in November 2014, she became the face of the campaign to bring awareness to the persecution of Yazidis by ISIS. She was subsequently named a U.N. goodwill ambassador. The most recent human rights award honors outstanding civil society action in defense of human rights. The Yazidis are a minority religious group with communities scattered across northwestern Iraq, northwestern Syria, and southeast Turkey.
21 Chibok Girls Returned, 197 still missing
Twenty-one of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants in April 2014 were returned to their families this week. They were handed over to a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Banki, a town in the Northeast of Nigeria on the border with Cameroon. The government is still negotiating for the release of 197 of the girls, victims of sex slavery and forced marriage to Boko Haram soldiers. The original abduction from the Girls Secondary School in Chibok spurred international outcry with many responding with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls on social media to raise awareness.
Halti Mountain Summit to Remain in Norway
Due to a constitutional provision prohibiting the division of Norwegian territory, Finland will not receive the summit of Halti Mountain as a gift to celebrate 100 years of independence from Russia. Halti Mountain lies on the border between the two countries, with the summit located in Norway. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said that they would have gifted Finland the summit, but due to a constitutional prohibition, they will consider another suitable gift for the centenary.
Kigali Amendment to Limit Hydrofluorocarbon Emissions
Used widely in refrigeration systems, air conditioners and aerosol sprays, hydrofluorocarbons trap heat within the atmosphere. Their use will now be limited and eventually phased out following agreement to the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. Rich countries that agreed to the amendment promise to cut emissions by 10 percent by 2019. China and many Latin American countries will begin freezing HFC emissions by 2024, and developing countries will begin phasing out use by 2028. The objective is to reduce the warming of the planet by another 0.5 percent Centigrade.