Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Ethiopia
Image: © STR AP/Press Association Images

Ethiopia protests, Yemen bombing, and Samsung slump. 8-14 October: What just happened?

Anti-government protests continue across Ethiopia, Yemen bombing raises questions over arms trade, and Samsung withdraws exploding smartphone. Here's our review of the news over the last seven days

Huge protests continue in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency following massive street protests and attacks against foreign-owned businesses. The protests have been going on since last November and some reports say up to 500 people have been killed in clashes with government troops so far. The reason for the demonstrations is complex but has to do with the fact that people are questioning whether the benefits of Ethiopia’s economy, which has been doing well recently, are being distributed fairly – there’s a lot of opposition to foreign farming and manufacturing projects, which they see as taking over their land. The Los Angeles Times has all the details.

Yemen funeral bombing raises questions over arms trade

A person holds up a protest poster against the war in Yemen
Image: © Hussein Malla AP/Press Association Images

Last Saturday’s attack on a funeral in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, which killed at least 140 people, is “strongly believed” to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition air force. The conflict has been going on for around 18 months and shows no sign of ending. One of the big questions being asked is whether it’s right for Western countries to sell the weapons to Saudi Arabia which are being used to bomb Yemen. The UK is reckoned to have sold over $4 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the conflict began, and many campaigners are calling for this to stop. The Independent has the full story.

The curious case of the exploding smartphones

A damaged Samsung Galaxy 7 phone following its battery catching fire

South Korean tech giant Samsung have stopped production of their Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after loads of incidents of batteries catching fire. It’s a huge blow for the company, and could cost up to $2.3 billion in profits. Plus, rivals like Apple and Huawei are likely to overtake them as the biggest player in the smartphone market while they’re trying to recover. For now, Samsung are still the biggest player, taking 22.8% of global handset sales compared to Apple’s 11.9%. There’s more in the Guardian’s report.

The Great British Marmite fight


Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are among dozens of brands being taken off Tesco's website because of a price dispute. Yes, there are apparently now parts of the UK with NO MARMITE. Even worse, Pot Noodle stocks are also running low. The whole problem is to do with a row between Tesco and Unilever, who produces them (and pretty much everything else). Unilever want to put the price up to make up for the loss they're making from the low value of the pound (here's our explainer on why it's so low.) Meanwhile, people have taking to post pictures of empty supermarket shelves on social media…

In other news…

Oil crisis. The price of olive oil is expected to rise after crop failures in some of the major growing countries. The global demand is 2.9 million tonnes, but the supply is only estimated to be around 2.75 million.

China-rdonnay. Chinese wine-tasters have beat the French in a tasting competition IN FRANCE, sending shockwaves around the wine world. The Chinese wine industry is booming, with the amount of land devote to vineyards (1.97 million acres) now second only to Spain.

Choccy Horror Show. Brits have been expressing their anger over a favorite chocolate treat that’s been reduced in size (but not price). Terry’s Chocolate Orange is now 10% smaller, something called ‘shrinkflation’ - a way for companies to reduce production costs and so keep up.

Forget the lawnmower, scything is back in the big time

Aidan Turner

The traditional art of scything is making a comeback in the UK after popular TV show Poldark featured its main character doing it topless. The scythe has been used for thousand of years to cut grass but its use died out after farming was mechanized. But Brits won’t let historical obsolescence and economic development prevent them from getting involved when there’s an opportunity to be like the nation’s favorite TV celebrity hunk Aidan Turner. No, they’ve been signing up to courses in record numbers. Perhaps now the UK’s fields and meadows will be full of topless men strutting their scything prowess. For anyone up for it, here’s how it’s done.

Recent articles

Reader Comments