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Did You Hear What Happened Last Week?

News In Focus: A Look At This Week’s Most Interesting Stories

China: Bold tourists crossing a glass walkway — placed 1,080-metre (3,540 feet) off the ground — panicked when a number of panes cracked under their feet on Monday.

The Yuntai Mountain Walkway is located in a geological park — hung above a canyon overlooking scenic spots in in China’s Henan Province.

The walkway was opened to the public last month just in time to attract the legions of holiday-goers, who ran for their lives towards each side of the walkway.

The park management promptly closed the attraction for repairs.

According to the People’s Daily China, the cracks were caused when someone dropped a steel cup onto the glass surface.

The company responsible for the walkway claimed that it was still safe as the other two layers of glass underneath the damaged pane were still intact.

This raw footage from the Associate Press captures some of the damage:

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Middle East: U.S. officials are apparently perplexed by the large amount of Toyota trucks and SUVs showing up in ISIS parade videos – and have asked the carmaker about it.

Toyota’s representatives claim they do not have a clue how the terrorists come by their brand of vehicles.

According to the International Business Times, Toyota’s director of public policy and communications in Washington, Ed Lewis, declared that the company has a “strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities.”

ISIS is not the only group that has a crush on the Toyota family of utility vehicles.  A report by Business Insider found that Somali pirates, Sudanese fighters and Pakistani militants have all driven Toyotas.

For more, we go this ABC News report:

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US: Twelve countries, comprising the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations, concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in Atlanta on Monday.

The agreement, the fruit of five years of negotiations, covers 40 percent of the global economy, and will create a Pacific economic bloc with reduced trade barriers.

Being the largest regional trade accord in two decades, TPP is intended to break new ground and establish rules for 21st century commerce, and herald the beginning of a new era of trade liberalization globally, according to the Financial Times.

The agreement is seen to be a personal victory of the U.S. president, Barack Obama, and one of the legacies of his presidency.

But the agreement is expected to be subject to months of critical scrutiny in the U.S. Congress where some bipartisan opposition was immediate.

Parliamentary opposition in countries such as Australia and Canada is also likely, as critics see the agreement as biased towards corporations.

Here’s a BBC report on the subject:

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Literature: Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in literature.

The Swedish Academy praises her polyphonic works as a “monument to suffering in our time.”

Alexievich has written short stories, essays and reportage, and she has also recorded voices of thousands of individual in the former Soviet Union.

The Nobel laureate was born on 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk to a Belarusian father and a Ukrainian mother.  The family lived in a village in Belorussia where the parents made their living as as schoolteachers.  Alexievich became a reporter in a local paper in the town of Narovl.

Often critical of the Soviet and then the Belarusian regime, Alexievich has periodically lived abroad, in Italy, France, Germany and Sweden.

Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, recommended  “War’s Unwomanly Face” (published in English in 1988) to those who are unfamiliar with the Alexievich’s works.

Amazon.com describes the book as “a confession, a document and a record of people’s memory with more than 200 women speak in it, describing how young girls, who dreamed of becoming brides, became soldiers in 1941.”

We present you a 2013 interview between Alexievich and broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

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Have a story that you’d like us to cover or review? Contact NewsWhistle’s Tony Church at Tony@NewsWhistle.com

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com