Hard Numbers: Small step for gay rights in South Korea, floods in Brazil, Botswana’s endangered rhinos, India’s heat warning, Roald Dahl rewrites
1: For the first time, a South Korean court recognized the rights of a gay couple after the Health Insurance Service denied the two men spousal coverage. A lower court originally ruled against the couple, but an appellate judge determined that denying the couple coverage was discriminatory despite the fact that South Korea does not recognize same-sex marriage. The case could now be heard by the Supreme Court.
44: The death toll from devastating floods in southeastern Brazil rose to 44 on Wednesday after President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva visited the state of São Paulo. Shoddy infrastructure in Brazil makes homes particularly vulnerable to severe flooding and landslides. Search and rescue efforts continue as dozens remain missing.
33: Botswana says it has seen a surge in poaching in recent years, with one third – 33% – of the endangered species having been wiped out over the past five years alone. Authorities attribute this to a demand for rhino horns in East Africa and say there are fewer than 400 of the animals left in the country.
37: India’s meteorologists issued their first heat warning of the season in recent days as parts of western India are set to reach 37 degrees celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit). Many Indians are extremely anxious after last spring's wet bulb weather brought one of the country’s worst heat waves in over a century and led to scores of deaths.59: Is children’s author Roald Dahl the latest victim of the culture wars? Puffin, the publishing house with rights to Dahl’s classics, is making a slew of alterations to his books, with journalists finding 59 changes to “The Witches” alone. Oompa-Loompas, the beloved characters from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," will now be dubbed "small people,” not "small men.” Dare we ask: What do you think of the move? Please drop us a note with your thoughts.