Each week, we bring you a roundup of some of the biggest stories making headlines around the world.
Here are nine things that happened outside of Vancouver last week that you should know about (in no particular order):
On February 8, the Pentagon confirmed that North Korea launched a satellite into orbit on February 6. While North Korea claimed that the satellite will be used for space exploration and collecting weather data, the United Nations says that it could be a cover for a missile that is possibly targeting the United States. The UN Security Council took a strong stance against the satellite launch and says that it will increase sanctions against North Korea.
Two female suicide bombers have killed at least 58 people at a refugee camp for displaced peoples in northern Nigeria. The attack took place on Tuesday at a camp located in Diwka, Borno State. The two female bombers entered the camp, disguised themselves as refugees and proceeded to detonate their bombs. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency stated that the majority of those killed were women and children. Seventy-eight others were injured in the attack.
Japan’s Mt. Sakurajima erupted on Friday, creating a “dirty lightning” storm. Volcanic lightning lit up the sky causing an amazing sight. Mt. Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. It last erupted in September 2015.
Pope Francis began his five-day tour of Mexico on Saturday, but it was Sunday’s visit to the high-crime city of Ecatepec that drew the largest crowds. An estimated two million people were lined up along the streets of Ecatepec to see Pope Francis with his motorcade.
Ecatepec is a city struggling with drug-related violence. Residents say the Pope’s Mass will bring comfort to the struggling region. In his address, Francis condemned the greed of Mexico’s rich and elite. “That wealth which tastes of pain, bitterness and suffering. This is the bread that a corrupt family or society gives its own children,” said Francis.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 14, 2016
Love is in the air, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Pakistan and Iran, where political leaders and authorities in both countries are condemning Valentine’s Day. Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain stated that the holiday was a Western tradition and did not coincide with Muslim beliefs. Some local governments in Pakistan have also ordered police officers to halt the sales of flowers and cards at shops. Iran is following in a similar fashion as police have been told to crack down on stores encouraging “decadent Western culture through Valentine’s Day rituals.”
Three deaths caused by the Zika virus have been reported in Venezuela. The mosquito-borne virus has turned into a health crisis, having a heavy impact specifically in South American countries. Venezuela’s outbreak was presumably spread from neighbouring Brazil, where over one million people have been infected. Over 5,000 Venezuelans have been diagnosed with the virus, and 68 have been hospitalized.
One of the most conservative judges of the US Supreme Court has died, sparking debate over when his successor should be appointed. Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, passed away in his sleep on Saturday. President Obama said that he would nominate someone to replace Scalia but Republican candidates for the upcoming presidential nomination want the decision to be delayed until after the 2016 election. The US Supreme Court held a 5-4 conservative majority before Scalia’s passing.
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook New Zealand on Valentine’s Day at 12:13 local time (00:13 GMT). The quake caused cliffs to collapse in the city of Christchurch on the South Island. New Zealand’s seismological organization GNS Science called the earthquake “severe” in impact.
Protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on February 8 following Lunar New Year celebrations. The protests began after authorities attempted to remove unlicensed street vendors from a busy residential and commercial neighbourhood. The demonstrators threw bricks and rocks at police and authorities retaliated by firing shots into the air. Sixty-five people were arrested and 100 were injured. Among the protesters were local activists who are against Beijing’s influence on the city.
Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying condemned the protesters calling them “jobless” and claiming that their political views did not align with the rest of Hong Kong. China’s central government expressed their support for Hong Kong’s authorities, stating they took the right approach in arresting protesters for rioting. This is the worst violence that has taken place in Hong Kong since the pro-Democracy rallies in 2014.