The Cities This Week: Edition 56

Rio's famous Ipanema beach remained cluttered with litter for days, Source: AFP

Rio’s famous Ipanema beach remained cluttered with litter for days, following an eight-day strike. Source: AFP


Pro-Russian groups have attacked a pro-Kiev rally in the troubled Ukrainian region of Crimea as thousands took to the streets across Ukraine in rival demonstrations, escalating separatist tensions in the ex-Soviet state. Violence flared In Sevastopol when pro-Russian groups attacked a small group of Ukrainians commemorating the 200th anniversary of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s birth and the police had to intervene, according to Reuters news agency. Footage from the event showed a group of men violently kicking one of the Ukrainians as he lay on the ground and a man repeatedly hitting him with a long black leather whip, the agency said. The political tensions in Crimea follows overthrow of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich and the seizure of the peninsula by unidentified pro-Russian gunmen. The standoff has set Europe and the United States against Russia over Ukraine’s future in the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War. Pro- and anti-Russian groups held rival rallies in Simferopol as well.” – Al Jazeera


Rio de Janeiro authorities and street cleaners say they have reached a new agreement to end an eight-day strike which has left tonnes of rubbish on the streets of the Brazilian city. The rubbish collectors have reportedly accepted a pay rise of 37% after an earlier deal was rejected by some of the workers. Earlier, dozens of cleaners staged a protest outside the mayor’s office. The strike had been timed to coincide with the start of Carnival festivities. Authorities, strikers and representatives of the union reportedly took part in Saturday’s meeting in Rio. The new agreement will take the collectors’ starting salary to 1,100 reais ($470; £280) a month.” – BBC News”


“Some good news for students in the capital – London has more of the world’s most prestigious universities than any other city in the world, according to a global ranking of higher education institutions. The capital boasts six universities in the top 100 of The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014, which, according to research, are used as one of the most important considerations for students choosing where to study – above fees and even course content. The universities in the top 100 are Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, University College London, King’s College London, London Business School and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Imperial College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science move up one place to 13th and 24th respectively, while University College London (UCL) is 25th.” – The National Student


Several areas in Johannesburg are flooded, the Gauteng provincial government said on Friday. “Co-operative governance and traditional affairs’ provincial disaster management centre (PDMC), together with emergency management services (EMS), are working round the clock to respond and offer aid in affected areas,” said PDMC head Elias Sithole. The most affected areas in the province were the City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. Temporary accommodation, food parcels and blankets were provided to people displaced by the floods. “About 70 shacks in the Vusimuzi informal settlement near Tembisa, in Ekurhuleni, were flooded, and about 25 displaced families were moved to the community hall,” Sithole said.” – Times Live


“Western Cape police are investigating an incident of police brutality in Cape Town. Video footage shot by bystander (who asked eNCA not to be identified) and posted on social network Facebook on Thursday shows two uniformed policemen kicking the naked man in the groin outside a car. Footage shows three other men – presumably security personnel in the area – holding the man’s arms, while the two SAPS officers take turns assaulting the victim as people walk by. It is not clear what led to the assault. The bystander, who was at work at the time, said one of the policemen approached her workplace after she yelled at the police asking why the man was being assaulted.” – eNCA


The Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has relocated to Lagos in the bid to find a lasting solution to the lingering fuel crisis. The Minister arrived Lagos on Friday and Street Journal gathered that the Minister will have a working weekend in Lagos in order to ease the hardship faced by Nigerians in getting PMS (Premium Motor Spirit). Efforts to ensure that things get back to normal took a new turn earlier in the week when the Minister directed the Executive Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to move to Lagos in  order to ensure that the crisis is brought to an end in a matter of days. The Executive Director’s working visit to Lagos has yielded some results especially in the discovery that some stations have been hoarding fuel for some yet to be explained reasons.” – The Street Journal


“A suicide bomber driving a minibus packed with explosives has killed at least 45 people and wounded 157 in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla, police and medical sources say. The attacker approached a main checkpoint at a northern entrance to the largely Shia Muslim city and detonated the minibus, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. At least 50 cars were set ablaze with passengers trapped inside and part of the checkpoint complex was destroyed, the officer said. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but suicide bombings are a trademark of al-Qaida-affiliated groups.” – The Guardian

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