Here are some of the global news stories covered on Wikipedia this week:
- The European Space Agency’s Philae lander awakens from its comet.
- An outbreak of MERS in South Korea results in over 150 cases and 19 deaths.
- Flooding in the Georgian capital Tbilisi kills 15, and releases zoo animals.
- China’s former security chief, Zhou Yongkang, is sentenced to life in prison.
- Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, evades arrest for war crimes.
From the editors: This news roundup is a new content experiment for the Wikimedia blog. These news updates are based on content created on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. What do you think about this first example? Please share your feedback in the comments below.
Philae, the European Space Agency lander which made history last year by landing on a comet, woke from hibernation on Saturday (June 13) and made contact with Earth. The Rosetta mission took ten years to reach the comet, arriving in November 2014. After an unexpectedly rough landing, however, Philae worked on the comet for just 60 hours before its battery went flat. It has now accumulated enough sunlight to recharge its batteries and resume operations.
South Korean MERS outbreak
International preception of South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, has suffered following the outbreak. Photo by the South Korean Presidency, freely licensed under Korean Open Government License Type I: Attribution.
Since May, there have been 150 reported cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea, the worst outbreak of the disease outside of Saudi Arabia. So far, 19 people are known to have died from the virus. Thousands of schools have been closed across the country as a preventative measure, as well as twenty universities, and almost 4,000 people have been placed in quarantine. International observers have noted the outbreak has had a significant effect on President Park Geun-hye’s public perception.
Learn more in these related Wikipedia articles: 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
Flooding in Tbilisi
On Saturday (June 13), the Vere River valley in Tbilisi, Georgia, was unexpectedly hit by major flooding following hours of sustained rainfall. Fifteen people are confirmed to have died as a result of the floods, which also caused severe damage to highways, homes, and the Tbilisi Zoo. Around half the zoo’s animal population was killed in the floods, while several more are alleged to have been killed by police, who were rounding up several animals who were wandering the streets of the city.
Learn more in the related Wikipedia article: 2015 Tbilisi flood
Zhou Yongkang sentenced to life in prison
Zhou Yongkang, the former Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and a senior member of the Communist Party of China, was convicted on Thursday (June 11) of abuse of power, bribery, and the intentional disclosure of state secrets by the Intermediate Court in Tianjin. Xinhua writes that the total amount of bribes received by him and his family was about 129 million yen, or over 20 million dollars. Zhou was sentenced to life in prison, becoming the most senior-ranked official since the founding of the People’s Republic of China to be convicted of corruption-based charges.
Omar al-Bashir evades arrest for war crimes
The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, evaded arrest on Monday (June 15) after ignoring a South African court ruling forbidding him from leaving the country. al-Bashir was attending a two-day African Union meeting in the country when the High Court in Pretoria ruled he must be arrested under the terms of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009. The warrant relates to his involvement in the ongoing Darfur conflict, and accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Of this week’s articles, Philae saw the largest spike in pageview traffic on the English Wikipedia, surpassing 27,000 views on June 15. Media attention allowed 2015 Tbilisi flood into second place with more than 20,000 views, while Omar al-Bashir attracted 10,000 views.
Although the article with the lowest pageview peaks of the five, 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea saw sustained attention this week, after its creation on June 7. Zhou Yongkang spiked at almost 4,000 pageviews on June 11.
To see how other news events are covered on the English Wikipedia, check out the ‘In the news’ section on its main page.
This news roundup is a new content experiment for the Wikimedia blog, based on content created for Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. What do you think about this first example? Is this type of news roundup interesting to you? Should we consider making it a weekly series? Please share your comments below to help us refine this idea.
Joe Sutherland, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Photo credits from opening montage: ”제22차 국가과학기술자문회의 -무인 이동체 및 엔지니어링 산업발전 전략보고회- (10).jpg” by the South Korean Presidency, Korean Open Government License Type I: Attribution. ”:Tbilisi Flood 3.JPG” by Zviad Avaliani, CC-BY-SA 4.0. ”Omar_al-Bashir,_12th_AU_Summit,_090131-N-0506A-342.jpg” by Jesse B. Awalt, public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.”Rosetta’s_Philae_on_Comet_67P_Churyumov-Gerasimenko.jpg” by the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, CC-BY 3.0 Germany. ”FEMA_-_25380_-_Photograph_by_Barry_Bahler_taken_on_07-27-2006_in_District_of_Columbia.jpg” by Barry Bahler, public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.