Global Recap: Locals in a Chinese town complain of food difficulties amid lockdown, woman of color completes solo journey in Antarctica


Michael Crimmins, News reporter

There is no shortage of newsworthy topics here in the United States. At times it is easy to get lost in it all, but equally crucial things happen all over the world.

They can shed light on political relationships, on humanitarian issues and keep you up to date on global events.

These global headlines are complex. It is highly encouraged to follow the links to the stories provided and read the story in its entirety. 

Here is a quick look at some global events that made the news last week.

Man accused of setting fire to South African Parliament building appears in court

The man who allegedly set a fire in a South African Parliament building was caught with explosives in his possession, according to the BBC.

Zandile Christmas Mafe appeared in court this past week and is facing five charges.

He is charged with “Housebreaking” with intent to steal and theft of “laptops, crockery and documents,” two counts of arson, possession of an explosive device and destruction of essential infrastructure, BBC reports.

Mafe has denied all charges and his lawyers are claiming this as a case of mistaken identity.

Mafe’s lawyers also claim the government wanted a quick scapegoat for the fire that burned for several days 

“What interest would that poor man have in Parliament?” Mafe’s lawyer said.

The New York Times reports that the prosecutors are confident they have the right man.

“He had things that people in the area who work don’t have,” Patrick Nkwela, Mafe’s neighbor, said. “How do you explain that?”

More charges are likely to be filed on Jan. 11, the prosecutors said in the New York Times article.

Locals in Chinese town complain of food scarcity amid strict COVID restrictions

Residents of Xi’an, a Chinese town, are complaining of food difficulties as they are confined to their homes by COVID-19 restrictions, according to an article by the Associated Press. 

The complaints are coming despite Xi’an authorities’ assurances that they could provide food to the 13 million in the area, according to the article.

“Can’t leave the building, and it’s getting more and more difficult to buy food online,” one resident of Xi’an, who posted on the social media platform Weibo under the name Mu Qingyuani Sayno, said. 

The residents of the town have been confined to their homes since Dec. 23, according to a similar BBC article.

BBC reports that local authorities have been providing food, but still some residents complain about food shortages. Some social media posts show locals trading cigarettes for cabbages and smartphones for rice.

“People are swapping stuff with others in the same building, because they no longer have enough food to eat,” a resident surnamed Wang told Radio Free Asia. 

Woman of color completes 700-mile solo journey in Antarctica

Preet Chandi is believed to be the first woman of color to complete an unsupported expedition in the South Pole, according to an NPR article.

The 32-year-old, British-born Indian announced on Jan. 3 she had completed the solo journey in just 40 days, stated in a similar CNN article. In the same article, Chandi said she hoped the completion of her journey would inspire others.

“The expedition was always about so much more than me,” Chandi wrote in an update on her blog. “I want to encourage people to push their boundaries and to believe in themselves, and I want you to be able to do it without being labeled a rebel.”

She logged her journey with daily updates to her Instagram account.

Chandi began planning her expedition two years ago, NPR reports. Chandi said she did not know much about Antarctica except for its reputation as the coldest place on Earth.

“By promoting and completing this challenge, it allows me to act as a role model to young people, women and those from ethnic backgrounds,” she wrote.

Brazil’s president hospitalized with intestinal blockage

President Jair Bolsonaro has been hospitalized with an intestinal blockage after he said he began to feel ill while on holiday, according to a BBC article.

Bolsonaro has been repeatedly hospitalized since he was stabbed in the abdomen during his 2018 campaign, BBC reports. Doctors said on Monday that his condition was improving.

The medical team said on Tuesday that Bolsonaro’s condition would not require any surgery, according to a similar Washington Post article.

Bolsonaro posted an update on his Twitter account that explained his condition.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm