The World in 2:00 – January 21, 2016

The World in 2:00 – January 21, 2016

By Luke Vargas   

The Russian Ruble hits an all-time low against the Dollar and the U.N. Security Council mulls sending observers to monitor the disarmament of Colombia's FARC rebels.

From Manila, this is your “World in 2:00.” I’m your host Luke Vargas for Talk Media News.


We’ll have news from here in the Philippines on tomorrow’s broadcast, but today we start in Russia, where the national currency, the Ruble, has fallen to a record low against the U.S. Dollar.

At the end of trading on Thursday, one dollar would net a visitor to Russia more than 82 Rubles. The going rate for much of the 2000’s was around 25, or 30 from 2010 to 2013.

Russia’s financial fortunes began to change around the time of the country’s activity in Ukraine, and the situation has only worsened since.

Also to blame for the currency decline is the price of oil, which continues to squeeze the Russian budget and helped prompt close to 4% contraction of GDP in 2015.


A peace deal to end more than 50 years of civil war between the government of Colombia and FARC rebels looks closer than ever, as the two sides push to complete marathon negotiations taking place in Havana, Cuba.

Last year the parties negotiated a complex framework for transitional justice, which would see certain fighters tried in Peace Courts and given more lenient sentences if they were upfront about their crimes.

One of the few remaining elements of a final accord is disarmament, and this week, the Colombian government and FARC representatives asked the U.N. Security Council to help monitor that disarmament.

According to a draft resolution prepared by the United Kingdom, the Council could send a contingent of unarmed observers to Colombia for a one-year mission to do just that.

If the Security Council passes that resolution and the peace deal is completed it would bring to an end the world’s longest war, one that’s been raging since 1964.

According to the U.N., more than 6.4 million Colombians remain displaced or are considered refugees, due in large part to decades of FARC violence.


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