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):
1. Taiwan earthquake death toll rises to 18
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake killed at least 18 and trapped over 130 people in Taiwan. The quake struck at 4 a.m. local time (20:00 GMT) on Saturday, which also marked the beginning of Lunar New Year celebrations. Buildings were destroyed, many of them apartments housing hundreds of people. Over 200 people were rescued from a 17-storey apartment tower in Wei Kuan, but two adults and an infant died. The epicentre and the worst-hit city was Tainan, but tremors were felt almost 300 kilometres away in Taipei. The quake was followed by five aftershocks.
2. On-flight explosion causes emergency plane landing in Somalia
An explosion went off on a commercial flight resulting in an emergency landing at the Mogadishu international airport in Somalia on Tuesday. The explosion blasted a hole into the side of the Daallo Airlines plane just a few minutes after it took off from Mogadishu. Two people were injured and 74 passengers and the crew were evacuated. The aircraft was was headed to Dijbouti, located in the Horn of Africa. One body was found several miles away from the airport and authorities believe it is the remains of the person responsible for causing the explosion.
3. Militants burn village and residents in Nigeria
A Boko Haram attack killed Dalori villagers and some from a camp for those who already lost homes to militants https://t.co/9394zX8End
— Dionne Searcey (@dionnesearcey) February 2, 2016
Islamic militants killed dozens in the northeastern Nigerian village of Dalori on January 30. Extremist group Boko Haram set the entire village on fire and shot those trying to escape. At least 85 people, including children, were killed in the attack, according to AP.
4. Drone footage reveals destruction in Homs, Syria
New drone footage shows the devastating destruction in Homs, Syria. Once a bustling city home to over 800,000 people, Homs became the known as the “capital of the revolution” where the masses gathered to protest against president Bashar al-Assad. You can check out what Homs used to look like here before the political unrest of 2011. It is a stark and shocking difference to the drone video recently captured by a Russian broadcast company, which shows how Homs is now made up of crumbling towers and rubble.
5. First case of Zika virus spread through sexual intercourse reported in U.S.
The first case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sexual intercourse, and not a mosquito bite, has been reported in Dallas, Texas. According to the Center for Disease control (CDC) the individual was infected by their partner who recently returned from Venezuela. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Zika was officially a global health emergency.
6. Indian Supreme Court to reconsider homosexuality ruling
— BuzzFeed India (@BuzzFeedIndia) February 2, 2016
On February 2, the Indian Supreme Court announced that it would consider revoking the 2013 ruling that upheld the nation’s colonial law criminalizing homosexuality. The law, known as Section 377, dates back to 1860. The law banning homosexuality is not strictly enforced in India, but it can result in ten years of jail time. The Supreme Court has called upon a five-judge bench to re-examine Section 377 in order to determine if it can be repealed.
7. Rare drone footage captures blue whale mother and calf
Drone footage has captured a blue whale mother and her baby swimming through the ocean off the coast of Antarctica. Blue whales are endangered and this type of footage is very rare. The video was shot by the animal activist group Sea Shepard Society while they were protecting the waters from poachers.
- Read more on National Geographic
8. Edward Snowden, Greek Islanders, and Donald Trump among Nobel Peace Prize tips
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) February 4, 2016
Greek islanders helping Syrian refugees to safety and American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden were among the tips for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize at the end of the nomination period on February 1. Snowden is predicted to be a top runner for the award. “2016 may finally be Edward Snowden’s year… His leaks are now having a positive effect,” said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, according to Reuters. Activist group Avaaz has collected over 600,000 online signatures to nominate the Greek islanders welcoming and rescuing Syrian refugees.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has also been nominated by an anonymous supporter for “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, Isis, nuclear Iran and Communist China.” However, Harpviken did not mention Trump as a candidate for having a chance of winning the prize.
9. Italian student found dead in Egypt
The body of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge graduate student from Italy, was found was found with stab wounds and cigarette burns near Cairo, Egypt. Regeni was missing since January 25, which also marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the Egyptian Revolution. His body was discovered on Wednesday and his identity was confirmed by his roommate. Ahmed Nagi, who is the lead investigator on the case, says that authorities are still examining the cause of death. Italy is demanding that its authorities be involved in the investigation.