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

Dec 20 2017, 1:54 am

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):

October 2 to 9, 2015

1. New images by NASA reveal blue skies and ice on Pluto’s surface

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New images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft show a brilliant blue sky exists over Pluto’s surface. The blue sky is known as an atmospheric haze, which is actually composed of red and grey particles. These particles scatter blue light resulting in a twilight scientifically known as the Kuiper Belt.

Scientists have also discovered a number of icy patches on Pluto’s surface. The ice is an unusual red colour and only appears in some places on the dwarf planet. Scientists are still unsure why the ice is red and can only be found in certain spots. “Understanding why water appears exactly where it does and not in other places is a challenge we are digging into,” said Jason Cook of Southwest Research Institute.

2. Russian missiles aimed for Syria crash in Iran

On Thursday, a Russian ship in the Caspian Sea fired several missiles aimed for Syria, which ended up landing in Iran instead. U.S. military and intelligence officers reported the incident to CNN, claiming that they witnessed four missiles crash and land in Iran.

According to the officials, some buildings were damaged and a few civilians were injured by the impact. The Russian military has denied the report and took to Facebook to express their dismay with CNN. “Unlike CNN, we don’t report quoting anonymous sources, but we show launches of our missiles and the targets they hit in real-time mode,” the statement on Facebook read.

  • Read more on CNN

3. President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, suspended for 90 Days

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On Thursday, FIFA announced the suspension of the organization’s president, Sepp Blatter, for 90 days. Blatter was not the only one to receive a penalty, as UEFA President and FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke also were handed suspensions.

FIFA is currently investigating corruption scandals involving several senior officials including Blatter, Platini and Valcke. Former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years from the organization for being involved in a voting-scandal. FIFA Vice-President Issa Hayatou, who is also the head of Africa’s soccer confederation, has been announced as acting president while Blatter is serving his sentence.

4. Fourteen elephants poisoned to death in Zimbabwe

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Poachers in Zimbabwe have killed 14 elephants by poisoning them with cyanide. The dead elephants were found at three different sites. Testing found cyanide present in all of the dead bodies. In 2013, cyanide was used to kill more than 200 elephant’s in Zimbabwe’s Hwange Park.

  • Read more on AP

5. One person killed in shooting at Northern Arizona University

An altercation between students has left one person dead and three injured in a shooting at Northern Arizona University. The shooting happened on Friday morning at 1:20 a.m. outside a campus dorm building. Eighteen-year-old Steven Jones has been taken into custody as the main suspect. The incident comes only a week after another college shooting in Oregon, where nine people were killed.

6. Guatemala landslide kills at least 220

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A landslide in Guatemala’s Santa Catarina Pinula municipality has taken the lives of at least 220 people. More than 300 are still missing as rescue crews struggle to send out search parties due to harsh weather conditions. Some survivors were found after being trapped in rubble and mud for over 15 hours. The National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED) reports that the death toll could rise to almost 600 in the coming days.

7. Tu YouYou announced as the first female Chinese scientist to win Nobel Prize

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On Monday, it was announced that Chinese scientist Tu YouYou was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering qinghaosu, which is used to treat malaria. The 85-year-old scientist is the first female Chinese citizen to win a Nobel Prize. Dr. Tu’s research is based on how traditional Chinese medicine can be used to combat malaria. Much of her work was conducted in secret, during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution- a time when many Chinese scientists and academics were being punished and imprisoned for their research.

8. President Obama apologizes to Doctors Without Borders for airstrike on Afghanistan hospital

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On Wednesday, President Obama issued an official apology to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for a U.S. airstrike on Kunduz Hospital in Afghanistan. The airstrike killed 22 people, including MSF doctors and patients. Obama made a personal call to Joanne Liu, MSF international president, to apologize for the attack, which the U.S. is calling a mistake. MSF is asking for an independent investigation into the airstrikes, as the organization believes it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. “The strike was not just an attack on our hospital, it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated,” Liu said in a statement.

  • Read more on CBC

9. ISIS destroys “Arch of Triumph” in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra

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ISIS militants have destroyed the “Arch of Triumph” in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The monument is considered an icon of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Activists acquired footage of the Arch of Triumph being blown up by militants.

The monument has stood in Palmyra for over 2,000 years and now only a single pole from the structure remains. ISIS took over Palmyra in May, and continues to destroy the site because they believe it is pagan and sacrilegious. They have reportedly been selling artifacts from the site on the black market in order to raise money for their military operations.


DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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