Ecuador – The death toll continues to rise after a powerful earthquake in Ecuador’s northwestern coast shook the nation on Saturday, April 16. 246 people have been pronounced dead and hundreds more are wounded; the country declared a state of emergency.  The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was larger than the recent earthquake in Japan, flattening buildings and leveling entire towns. The nation’s president, Rafael Correa, has stated that the immediate priority is to rescue people in the rubble.

Kumamoto, Japan – Japan remains in a disastrous state following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck close to the city of Kumamoto on Thursday. Thousands of buildings were damaged and hundreds more destroyed. 180,000 people are currently living in temporary shelters as more than 62,000 homes remain without electricity and over 300,000 without running water.

Ethiopia – Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Getachew Reda has stated that members of South Sudan’s Murle tribe have killed over 140 people and abducted at least 39 children near the Ethiopian and South Sudanese border. The community that the event took place in has had several conflicts since 2011 between neighboring tribes that live on the borders of the two countries.

Turan, Iran – During its “National Army Day,” Iran showcased many parts of a new air defense system. The Russian-made equipment include S-300 missiles and advanced radar equipment. Iran insists that the system is necessary for its defense; however, Israel and the U.S. have criticized the sale. The parading of such equipment is one of many displays of force since international sanctions on the nation were removed. The missile was paraded behind large signs with anti-Israel sentiment. 

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