9 things that happened around the world this week you should know about

Dec 19 2017, 9:14 pm

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.Colombia grants same-sex couples the right to marry

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry. Judges passed the law in a 6-3 vote. Marriage equality activists celebrated on the streets after the decision was announced.

2. Uganda’s only radiotherapy machine for cancer treatment breaks

The only radiotherapy machine in Uganda is broken beyond repair according to the country’s primary cancer unit. Mulago Hospital in Uganda’s capital of Kampala is looking to replace the machine, which costs over $2.3 million. Mulago Hospital’s cancer unit receives 44,000 referrals around Uganda and from neighbouring countries. Nearly 75% of patients who rely on the radiotherapy machine will be impacted by its breakdown.

3. China’s ‘Leftover Women’ ad goes viral

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An advertisement focusing on China’s “leftover women” has gone viral. Unmarried females in China often face stigma and are referred to as “sheng nu” or leftover. The emotional video created by a cosmetics company called SK-II takes a look at how many Chinese women are feeling pressured to get married before 27 to avoid being labeled as ‘sheng nu.’

4. Scientists propose pumping water into Antarctica to slow rising sea levels

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In the latest efforts to combat rising sea levels, some researchers have come up with a rather interesting plan. The proposal was published in Earth System Dynamics and suggests that large volumes of sea water should be pumped to Antarctica where it will freeze into an enormous man-made glacier.

But the proposal made by German scientists at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is far fetched. It would take nearly 10% of the world’s power input to pump a constant stream of sea water to Antarctica. Guess those scientists need to go back to the drawing board.

5. Paris attack suspect arrested in Brussels

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Another suspect linked with November’s terrorist attacks in Paris was arrested in Brussels. Mohamed Abrini, 31, is also linked to last month’s Brussels bombings. Belgian broadcaster VRT and a police source have confirmed that Abrini has been detained.

6. National Geographic releases 360-degree video of Victoria Falls

National Geographic released a 360-degree video of Victoria Falls. The 350-foot-high waterfall is a UNESCO Heritage Site located between Zambia and Zimbabwe in the southern part of Africa. The footage is absolutely breathtaking. Watch the video here, but keep it mind that 360 videos are not supported by Safari or Internet Explorer browsers.

7. Migrants deported from Greece arrive in Turkey

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A second boat of migrants deported from Greece arrived in Izmir, Turkey on Friday morning. Nearly 200 migrants were deported on Monday due to an EU deal with Turkey to stem mass migration into Europe.

The deal requires any migrants who arrived illegally in Greece since March 20 to be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum. For the migrants who arrived on Friday, non-Syrians will be taken to deportation centres while Syrians will be taken to refugee camps.

8. Drought leaves 6 million children in Ethiopia hungry

Over 6 million children in Ethiopia are going hungry after the worst drought in the country in nearly half a century. The drought is affecting nearly 30 million people in Ethiopia and one-third are in dire need of emergency food assistance.

“Thousands of children are at high risk of malnutrition and waterborne diseases,” aid Helle Thorning Schmidt, of the Save the Children organization. “Families are on the move, desperate to find food and water.”

9. Panama Papers are the world’s largest data leak in history

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On Sunday, 11.5 million files were leaked from the database of Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s largest offshore law firms based in Panama. An anonymous source leaked the documents to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The 2.6 terabytes of data reveal how the world’s rich and powerful rely on tax havens to hide their money. 

According to the documents, at least 72 current or former heads of states are among 143 politicians who have been using offshore tax havens. Earlier this week, Iceland’s prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson announced his resignation after his connections to an offshore company were revealed in the leak.