What we’re reading: survivors return to Auschwitz, coronavirus outbreak sparks global economic fears



Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in a subway station, in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The first case of coronavirus in Macao was confirmed on Wednesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The infected person, a 52-year-old woman, was a traveller from Wuhan. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

By Reagan Eyler

Holocaust survivors return to Auschwitz on 75th anniversary of liberation

The 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was attended by fewer than 200 survivors, many for likely the last time.

Most of the survivors are over 90 years old, and a team of 80 medical professionals was present at the ceremonies Monday to assist them.

The survivors remained confident that their legacy will be carried on.

“I feel uplifted when I see so many of you here who will carry the memory of innocent people from all nations of the world who met their death here,” Batsheva Dagan, 95, said to the crowd, as reported by the New York Times. “You will make sure that those horrors are never repeated.” 

Others emphasized the need to continue returning to the camps to remember what occurred.

“People would love to forget the hard truths and that’s why we need to keep coming back here to refresh our memories and keep the world from acquiring amnesia,” said survivor Ben Lesser, 92.

Auschwitz survivors lay a wreath Monday. Photo courtesy: Omar Marques/Getty Images

Global economic fears rise as coronavirus influences markets 

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China has brought back fears about the health of the global economy.

Markets have gone into a tailspin as the virus spreads beyond China’s borders, provoking alarm for the global economy, according to the New York Times.

The recent trade truce between the U.S. and China and the stalemate between the U.S. and Iran were offset by the shock of the virus.

“It’s the uncertainty of how the global economy is going to respond to the outbreak,” said Philip Shaw, the chief economist at Investec. “We don’t really know the answers to any of these questions.” 

Netanyahu changes election with immunity bid withdraw

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withdrew a request for immunity from prosecution on corruption charges and will head into the country’s March 2 elections as a defendant in the case, according to the New York Times

The election is the country’s third in the last year. Since Netanyahu withdrew his immunity request, his opponents in parliament will no longer be able to debate the request in the weeks leading up to the election.

The case against the prime minister is based on charges that Netanyahu offered to take official action benefiting wealthy media tycoons in exchange for benefits and lopsided coverage.

Africa experiences worst locust infestation in decades

The worst locus infestation to hit East Africa in 70 years has devoured farmland in an area that already suffers from extreme hunger, according to Fox News.

The changing climate contributed by providing the locusts with good breeding conditions, said Nairobi-based climate scientist Abubakr Salih Babiker.

With over 172,973 acres of land overrun, the locust swarms in Kenya is the biggest outbreak in the past quarter century.