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):
A historic agreement to combat global warming was reached on Saturday between 200 countries after nearly two weeks of negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris. The Paris Agreement’s long-term goal is to keep the global temperature increase below 2o C by 2100 and will also aim to meet a maximum temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. The Paris Agreement is the first worldwide climate change deal achieved. “This is truly a historic moment. For the first time, we have a truly universal agreement on climate change, one of the most crucial problems on earth,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Three people have died and over 700,000 have been forced to leave their homes after typhoon Melor hit the Philippines on Monday. Heavy winds reaching 170 kilometres per hour and rain have left seven provinces without electricity. The typhoon grounded 40 domestic flights and over 7,000 airline passengers were stranded in airports.
Women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to vote and run for office in the country’s municipal elections on Sunday. Nearly 130,000 women registered to vote and 978 ran as candidates. Twenty women won seats as municipal councillors. Saudi Arabia is the last country in the world to allow women the right to run for office.
— Scientific American (@sciam) December 17, 2015
Greenland’s ice melt speed has doubled at an alarming rate, according to a new study published by an international environmental research team. Greenland’s ice melted twice as fast between 2003 to 2010 than it did from 1900 to 1983. During the 2003 to 2010 timespan, the nearly 186 billion tonnes of meltwater were added to the world’s oceans as a result of Greenland’s disappearing glaciers and ice sheets.
On Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered a 48-hour nationwide service ban on WhatsApp, the popular free phone messaging app. Ninety-three percent of Brazil’s internet subscribers use WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family. Brazilian officials did not disclose details about why the ban was put in place but said it was related to a criminal case. Outrage spread across the nation as Brazilians took to other forms of social media to express their dismay with the ban. Brazil’s WhatsApp withdrawal lasted about 12 hours, and on Thursday Judge Xavier de Souza ordered that the ban should be lifted immediately.
At least 22 people were killed and 50 were wounded after a bomb went off at a busy market in Pakistan on Sunday. The blast occurred in Parachinar, a town located in the country’s northwest region. Officials are still investigating if the attack was a suicide bomb or the result of a remote-controlled explosion. Sunni jihadist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The notorious pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was arrested by the FBI on Thursday morning after being charged with securities and wire fraud with his former company Retrophin and his hedge fund. Shkreli sparked outrage in the U.S. after raising the price of the pharmaceutical drug Daraprim by 5,000 per cent, pushing the fee from $13.50 to $750.
Russian president Vladimir Putin foresees a friendly relationship with Donald Trump if he is elected as the next U.S. president. At his annual press conference with journalists on Thursday, Putin complimented Trump calling him a “bright and talented person without any doubt” and went on to say that Trump is “the absolute leader of the presidential race.”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 18, 2015
A second smog red alert has been issued in Beijing, China. This comes several days after the first red alert was ordered in the city. The National Meteorological Centre reported that the heavy smog will last until next week and the alert will restrict car use and manufacturing plant operations.