WORLDSIGN | Netflix Cartoon Deaf Character, Deaf Canadian Rally for ASL, and Iranian Parade Attack

Dawn: Last Thursday, a ferry in Tanzania, called MV Nyerere, was carrying 260 passengers when it capsized in the middle of Lake Victoria. Approximately 227 people died in the sinking and 41 people were rescued. The ferry was disembarking from Ukara Island when it tipped over 50 meters away from the dock. Witnesses on the shore watched in horror.. The cause is said to be overloading as the ferry’s maximum capacity was 25 tons and 101 people. -President John Magufuli ordered the people responsible be arrested, including the ferry captain who left the steering to someone not trained. “This is a great disaster for our country,” he said. An inquest was launched on Monday, and prime minister Kassim Majaliwa expects a report within 30 days. He also ordered a new ferry to be built with capacity to carry 50 tons and over 200 passengers as the ferry which transports passengers between Ukara and Bugorora Islands is critical to the local economy. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: Last Saturday, members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard marched in a parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz when they were attacked by assailants. Over 25 were killed, and 60 were wounded during the parade which was to honor soldiers who fought in the Iran-Iraq War. Iranian officials blamed Arab separatists, known as al- Ahvaziya, for the attack. Ahvaz Arabs are a minority in Iran who reside in the oil rich province of Khuzestan and had been seeking independence from Iran. Iran accused the United States and two unnamed Gulf states of supporting the separatists, who carried out the attack disguised in military uniforms. The commander of the Revolutionary Guard vowed revenge on the countries, including Israel, saying, “You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions.” U.S. denied the allegations and condemned the attack, saying, “it took place because [Iranian president] Rouhani oppressed his people for a long time.” Dawn: On Sunday, in Maldives, a country in South Asia, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, long time opposition candidate to incumbent Maldivian president, Yameen Abdul Gayoom, won the presidential election by 58% of the ballots cast. Voter turnout of the population was 82%. This victory came as a surprise, as the political climate of the Maldives was heading towards autocracy under Gayoom’s rule. Solih had feared Gayoom would tamper with the voting process, but the election was reported to be peaceful and democratic. -Under Gayroom’s rule, political rivals were jailed, a state of emergency was declared, the constitution was suspended, and judges were arrested. Unlike the president, Solih was a democracy activist for decades under autocratic rule and was the Parliament majority leader. Upon the announcement of the election results, Gayoom conceded defeat. In his victory speech, Solih “called the election results a moment of happiness, hope, and history.” Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: The Dragon Prince’s, a cartoon TV series aired by streaming provider Netflix, marks an unprecedented step to the representation of people with disabilities by with a deaf character, General Amaya, who uses American Sign Language to communicate. Her deafness defines herself, and her way to interact with the world. -The series main writers stated that they reached out to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing organizations to help them understand their experiences so that they could create an authentic character. Amaya’s lieutenant, Gren, is her interpreter who translates her signs. The show has even some untranslated moments on Amaya most intimate moments, destined for deaf audiences, although hearing people can understand the emotion behind these moments. Dawn: Ahead of the International Week of the Deaf that began on September 23rd, thousands of deaf Canadians gathered across the country over the weekend to call on the federal government to recognize American Sign Language (ASL), Indigenous Sign Language (ISL), and Langue des Signes du Quebec (LSQ) as official languages on par with the current official languages of English and French. The urgency for such recognition stems from the proposed legislation of Bill C-81, Accessible Canada Act, which ensures removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility. -This proposed bill does not mention equitable access to sign languages so protestors are demanding recognition of ASL, ISL, and LSQ as official languages to guarantee accessibility in the new Bill for all Canadians, including deaf Canadians, in areas under federal jurisdiction. Worldwide, 43 countries have recognized sign language to date as a national language, and Canada has is lagging behind them in recognizing ASL, ISL, and LSQ as official languages. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: United States Congress is requiring Federal Aviation Administration, a federal agency that regulates flying to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes. This was prompted by airline companies continually reducing size of legroom in their planes. What was standard in the 1960’s of 86 centimeters has gone down to 71 centimeters for passengers in economy class, as companies try to accommodate more people within the same airplane space. A total of 43 flight companies offer less than 76 centimeters as their minimum standard on short flights, and 12 companies for long flights. Now lawmakers in both Republican and Democratic political parties are agreeing that it is time to act on “ever-shrinking seats”. Dawn: The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, reported that more than 3 million people, mostly men, died from drinking too much alcohol. In part, these deaths were from injuries incurred in car crashes, self-harm, and cardiovascular diseases. WHO also stated that current policies do not do enough to reduce consumption, which they predict would increase over the next 10 years. About 237 million men and 46 million women face alcohol problems, mostly in Europe and the Americas drinking each day about two glasses of wine, a large bottle of beer or two shots of spirits. Now, let’s go to next story. Alessio: The last reports from the South Africa government show that killing of rhinos during the first eight months of 2018 declined 26 percent compared to the same period in 2017. This represents total of 508 dead rhinos. South Africa is home to most of the world’s rhinos, and it is a paradise for poachers, especially in the Kruger National Park. The decrease of killings is result of efforts by authorities to relocate rhinos, among other measures. Even while reducing the number of kills, the government says that the white rhino population in the park is declining with an increase on elephant poaching. -Thank you for watching WorldSign Week, visit H3WORLD.TV for more shows, all in International Sign. See you next week.

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