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

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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):

January 16 to 23, 2016

1. Six Canadians killed in Burkina Faso hotel attack

Six Canadians from Quebec were among the 30 people killed in a hotel attack in Burkina Faso on January 15. Four al-Qaeda attackers stormed the Splendid Hotel and the nearby Cafe Cappuccino, located in the country’s capital of Ouagadougou. “On behalf of all Canadians, we offer our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of all those killed and a speedy recovery to all those injured. We are deeply saddened by these senseless acts of violence on innocent civilians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

2. Richest 62 people as wealthy as half of world’s population according to Oxfam

The world’s 62 wealthiest people are worth $1.76 trillion. This means they own as much capital as half the world’s population of 3.5 billion people. The latest report by Oxfam released reveals that that the wealth of the richest people has grown by 44% since 2010. Conversely, the wealth owned by the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people fell by 41 per cent in the same time period. According to the report, the majority of the world’s wealthiest are from the United States and Europe, while the remainder reside in China, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

3. Taliban attack on Pakistan University kills at least 21

At least 21 people have died and 22 people have been injured after a Taliban attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. The attack occurred on Wednesday during a celebration ceremony at the university, located 32 kilometres northwest of Peshawar. Four Taliban militants stormed the campus and the raid lasted for several hours. Pakistani military forces killed all four assailants. A branch of the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for siege, but a spokesperson for the main Taliban group denies any connection to the attack, calling it “un-Islamic.” A nationwide day of mourning was held on Thursday, in memory of the victims.

4. Gunmen attack popular Somali beach killing at least 17

Two carbombs and gunmen killed at least 17 people at a popular beachfront area in Mogadishu, Somalia. The first car bomb exploded at 16:30 GMT and then gunmen entered the The Beach View and Lido Sea Food restaurants. An unspecified number of civilians were trapped in the restaurant. The militant group Al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

5. Archeologists discover earliest remains of warfare in Kenya

Scientists have discovered what they believe to be the oldest evidence of human warfare at a site called Nataruk in Kenya. Archeologists unearthed skeletal remains of 27 adults and children that are believed to be 10,000 years old. The remains show that the ancient hunter-gatherers were involved in a violent conflict with a rival group. “The massacre may have resulted from an attempt to seize resources – territory, women, children, food stored in pots – whose value was similar to those of later food-producing agricultural societies, among whom violent attacks on settlements became part of life,” said Cambridge University researcher Dr. Marta Mirazón.

6. Taiwan elects first female president

Taiwan elected its first female president on Saturday, January 16. Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won the election with 56% of the votes. The win by Tsai and the DPP has ended the eight year rule of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT). Tsai promises to revamp Taiwan’s lagging economy by strengthening trading relationships with South and East Asia. “We will put political polarization behind us and look forward to the arrival of an era of new politics in Taiwan,” said Tsai, according to TIME.

7. President Barack Obama declares state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, as city’s water supply contaminated with lead

U.S. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, last week, after the city’s water supply has been contaminated with heavy traces of lead. The water crisis in Flint began in 2014. The municipality stopped its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewage system and started accessing water from the Flint River. Immediately after this change residents noticed the difference of colour and taste in their water. Many also complained of hair loss, rashes, and other side effects after consuming the water.

Eighty-seven cases of legionnaires’ disease have been documented in Flint since the change of water supply, and ten people have died. The water was tested and results found fecal coliform bacteria and chemical compound trihalomethanes (THMs). Michigan’s attorney general began an investigation into this ongoing health hazard last week, and Obama issued $5 million in aid to Flint.

8. German authorities make first arrest in New Year’s Eve sexual assault attacks

German police made their first arrest in connection to the Cologne New Year’s Eve sexual assault attacks. A 26-year-old asylum seeker from Algeria was arrested at a refugee home in Kerpen, Germany. Two other individuals from Algeria were arrested in relation to robberies that occurred during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

9. Astronomers discover possible ninth planet in Solar System

Astronomers have found evidence of a possible ninth planet in the Solar System. Two scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered through their computer-based modelling study that there is a planet that exists beyond Pluto. They believe that the gas-giant planet is 5,000 times the mass of Pluto and orbits the sun several billion miles beyond Neptune, making it extremely hard to detect. The discovery is still preliminary, and more research has to be done to determine if this will be the Solar System’s official ninth planet.

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Simran Singh is a Contributor at Vancity Buzz. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. She is a big fan of coffee, writing and exploring Vancouver. Send a story idea her way at simran@vancitybuzz.com
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