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Markets Fall, Oil Prices Rise As Syria Spooks Investors



LONDON — Oil prices have risen to a five-month high, stock share prices are falling, and demand for safe-haven assets has risen amid international fears about the Syrian crisis and the anticipation of U.S. and possibly European military intervention there, Reuters reports.

After U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said publicly that President Barack Obama was consulting with allies before deciding how to respond to the Aug. 21 chemical gas attack outside Damascus, U.S. stocks ended 0.4 percent lower Monday.

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New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Rahav Segev - Rahav Segev/ZUMA

The Guardian reports that Europe’s stock markets fell steadily Tuesday during the first two hours of trading, with the London FTSE 100 currently down almost 1%.

European shares were down 0.6 percent in early trading, and the major Asian markets all lost ground overnight. Tokyo's Nikkei closed at 0.69 percent lower, while the safe-haven yen rose broadly.

The Italian stock market, which is down 266 points, has suffered some of the most significant losses, mostly because of the instability triggered by Silvio Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction.

Reuters video :

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How WeChat Is Helping Bhutan's Disappearing Languages Find A New Voice

Phd candidate Tashi Dema, from the University of New England, discusses how social media apps, particularly WeChat, are helping to preserve local Bhutanese languages without a written alphabet. Dema argues that preservation of these languages has far-reaching benefits for the small Himalayan country's rich culture and tradition.

A monk in red performing while a sillouhet of a monk is being illuminated by their phone.

Monk performing while a sillouheted monk is on their phone

Source: Caterina Sanders/Unsplash
Tashi Dema

THIMPHU — Dechen, 40, grew up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Her native language was Mangdip, also known as Nyenkha, as her parents are originally from central Bhutan. She went to schools in the city, where the curriculum was predominantly taught in Dzongkha, the national language, and English.

In Dechen’s house, everyone spoke Dzongkha. She only spoke her mother tongue when she had guests from her village, who could not understand Dzongkha and during her occasional visits to her village nestled in the mountains. Her mother tongue knowledge was limited.

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However, things have now changed.

With 90% of Bhutanese people using social media and social media penetrating all remotes areas in Bhutan, Dechen’s relatives in remote villages are connected on WeChat.

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