Here’s What Happened Around The World In April 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in April 2024.

Here’s What Happened Around The World In April 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in April 2024.

1. A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Taiwan, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 1,000 others

A massive magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, at around 7:58 am, killing at least nine people and injuring nearly 1,000 others.

The quake, the biggest in Taiwan in 25 years, damaged scores of buildings and triggered tsunami warnings across the island nation, as well as in Japan, China, and the Philippines.

Taiwanese authorities said the quake’s tremors were felt across the country.

As the earthquake hit, videos and pictures flooded social media, showing buildings across Taiwan shaking wildly.

2. Dominica struck down a colonial-era law banning consensual same-sex sexual activities

In a win for LGBTQ rights, Dominica has struck down a colonial-era law banning same-sex sexual activities.

Due to a law imposed in 1873 during British colonial rule, sexual activities between adults of the same sex are banned in Dominica, even if both people had consented.

But on Monday April 22, the Caribbean country’s High Court ruled that parts of the law is unconstitutional.

The ruling comes after a gay man brought forward a case, saying that the law violated his constitutional rights to “live and express himself freely and in dignity”.

Germany has passed a new law that allows people to self-identify their legal gender.

The law, which passed on Friday, April 12, will allow people over 18 to choose their legal gender through a simple declaration.

Previously, people needed to get two psychiatrists’ assessments and then a court’s approval to change their gender.

Now people simply need to notify authorities three months before that they would like to choose a new gender out of male, female or diverse.

Sweden has passed a new law that would make it easier for young people to change their legal gender.

Previously, people in Sweden needed to be 18 to change their legal gender.

But on Wednesday, April 17, the parliament passed a law lowering the age to 16.

Under the new law, people will no longer need to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria – when people feel distressed because their sex at birth and their gender identity don’t match.

They can now just have a shorter consultation with a doctor or psychologist and get approval from the National Board of Health and Welfare.

5. Poland’s new government agreed to start drafting laws to lift its near-total ban on abortion

Poland’s new government has agreed to start drafting laws to lift its near-total ban on abortion.

In 2020, Poland’s right-wing government outlawed abortions for fetal abnormalities, banning abortions for almost all cases.

Abortions are currently only allowed in instances of rape, incest or if there is a threat to the woman’s health or life.

This accounts for only about two percent of all legal abortions in Poland in recent years, according to the Guardian.

Since 2020, several women have died after they were denied abortions, and others have been sentenced for helping people to get abortion pills and terminate their pregnancies.

But in October 2023, people in Poland voted out the right-wing government for the first time in eight years.

And on Friday, April 12, lawmakers in the new center-left government voted to keep working on four bills that would ease access to abortion.

6. But Italy passed a bill that would allow anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinics

In a setback to women’s rights, Italy has passed a bill that would allow anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinics.

On Tuesday, April 17, Italy’s lower house passed an amendment put forward by far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party.

Anti-abortion activists are currently not allowed into abortion clinics over concerns it will interfere with women’s rights to make their own decision about their bodies.

But the amendment, which is expected to pass the upper house too, will let “nonprofit groups with qualified experience in supporting maternity” enter the centers that issue the certificates for abortions.

7. The UAE was hit by its heaviest rainfall in 75 years

Torrential rains inundated parts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), leading to flooding on major highways and also flights being disrupted at Dubai International Airport.

The region received the highest amount of rainfall in 75 years, according to the government.

Some interior regions of the UAE received nearly 80 mm (3.2 in) of rain in a single day, almost reaching their yearly average of roughly 100 mm.

The downpour flooded homes and roads, stranding vehicles.

Major malls such as the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, as well as Dubai’s metro station, were swamped in ankle-deep water.

8. A man went on a stabbing rampage in a mall in Sydney, killing six people, mostly women, and injuring 12 others

An Australian man attacked a mall in Sydney on Saturday, April 13, stabbing and killing six people, mostly women, and injuring several others, including a nine-month-old baby girl.

Police said the killer first entered the Westfield Bondi Junction mall, briefly in the afternoon before returning alone with a knife and going on a stabbing rampage throughout the mall.

Police said five people – four women and a male security guard – were killed at the scene.

Another victim, 38-year-old Ashlee Good, later died in hospital after she was injured while trying to protect her nine-month-old baby.

Her baby was also severely injured but has since improved significantly after undergoing surgery.

The killer was eventually shot dead by a woman police officer after he lunged at her with his knife.

Iran has sentenced this popular activist rapper to death for singing about the Mahsa Amini protests.

33-year-old Toomaj Salehi was initially arrested in October 2022 during the mass anti-government protests that broke out following the death of Amini.

In July 2023, after 253 days in solitary confinement, Salehi was found guilty of “corruption on earth”, which could result in the death penalty.

However, the supreme court gave him a reduced sentence of six years and three months, according to his lawyer.

But on Tuesday, April 23, a court in the city of Isfahan reversed the Supreme Court’s decision and issued a death sentence.

10. And Iraq passed a law making same-sex relationships a crime

Iraq has passed a law making same-sex relationships a crime.

Under the new law, which passed on Saturday April 27, people can be jailed for 10 to 15 years for being in a same-sex relationship.

In addition, transgender people can be sentenced to one to three years in jail.

People found guilty of “promoting” same-sex relations will be sentenced to a minimum of seven years in jail.

The law also carries a sentence of one to three years for men who "intentionally" act or dress like women and people who perform or undergo gender-transition surgeries.

11. These elderly Swiss women sued the government for not doing enough to fight climate change and won

These elderly Swiss women sued the government for not doing enough to fight climate change and won.

Almost nine years ago in 2016, a group of Swiss women aged 64 and older formed an organization to fight for their fundamental right to life and health in the face of the climate crisis.

In 2020, the group of more than 2,000 women sued the Swiss government at Europe’s highest human rights court for failing to act on reducing carbon emissions.

The women argued that the government's inaction violated the rights of elderly women, who are particularly impacted by heatwaves caused by climate change due to their age and gender.

On Tuesday, April 9, the court ruled in favor of the women, finding the Swiss government had failed to comply with its duties to fight climate change and cut emissions.

12. This Australian former political advisor who said she was raped by a male colleague in parliament finally got justice

This Australian former political advisor who said she was raped by a male colleague in parliament has finally got justice.

In 2021, Brittany Higgins said a male colleague raped her in a minister’s office in Australia’s parliament in 2019.

Higgins said she had gone to the police but dropped the complaint in April 2019 as she was worried it would result in her losing her job.

After she went public, another three women said they had also been sexually harassed and assaulted by the same man between 2016 and 2020, according to SBS.

The women’s stories sparked a #MeToo reckoning in the Australian parliament, and protesters took to the streets to demand an end to violence against women.

Bruce Lehrmann, a 28-year-old former political staffer, was later charged but the trial was dropped due to misconduct from a juror, but there was no retrial due to concerns about its effects on Higgins’ mental health.

Lehrmann, who denied the assault, then decided to sue a local TV station and its journalist for defamation for airing Higgins’ story and identifying him, even though he was not named.

On Monday, April 15, the court in the defamation case found that Lehrmann was “hellbent on having sex” with Higgins, who was drunk at the time, and did not care if she had consented or not.

It found that Lehrmann had “more likely than not” raped Higgins.

Lehrmann will now have to pay the legal expenses of the TV station and journalist.

13. This British anchor refused to use a non-binary guest’s pronouns, saying it’s “grammatically incorrect”

An exchange between a British TV anchor and her non-binary guest has gone viral online after the host refused to use the guest’s pronouns.

Julia Hartley-Brewer, a TalkTV anchor, invited journalist Shivani Dave to discuss the CASS Review – an independent report on gender services for children and young people.

“My next guest is Shivani Dave. She’s a journalist and presenter at Virgin Radio,” Hartley-Brewer said at the start of the interview on Wednesday, April 10.

Dave, who identifies as non-binary trans, then politely corrected Hartley-Brewer for introducing them with she/her pronouns.

“Good afternoon, Julia. You know my pronouns are they/them,” Dave said as they joined the show.

Hartley-Brewer then retorted by saying she prefers to “use correct grammar”.

14. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with a former Taiwan president and said a "family reunion" is inevitable

Chinese President Xi Jinping held rare talks with a former Taiwanese president who favors close ties with China and said that external influence cannot stop the “family reunion” between the two countries.

Ma Ying-jeou, who served as the president of Taiwan from 2008 to 2016, met with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday, April 10.

“Compatriots on both sides of the strait are Chinese... there are no forces that can separate us,” Xi told Ma, adding that the different systems cannot alter the fact that the two sides belong to the same country.

“Interference from external countries cannot stop the historical trend of the country and family reuniting,” Xi added.

Responding to Xi, Ma said if war breaks out between the two sides, it will be unbearable for the Chinese people.

“Chinese on both sides of the strait absolutely have enough wisdom to handle all disputes peacefully and avoid heading into conflict,” Ma added.

15. And this Taiwanese drag queen became the first East Asian person to win “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Taiwanese drag queen, Nymphia Wind, has become the first East Asian person to win “Rupaul’s Drag Race”, garnering the praise of thousands, including Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen.

The 28-year-old competed against 14 other drag queens for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” on the 16th season of the reality show.

On Friday, April 19, the last episode of the reality show aired, with Nymphia Wind named as the winner for her lip-sync performance to Kylie Minogue’s “Padam Padam”, which she did in an outfit inspired by bubble tea, a Taiwanese drink.

“To those who feel like they don’t belong, just remember to live fearlessly and have courage to live your truth,” she said during her winning speech, adding, “And Taiwan, this is for you!”

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