9 things that happened around the world last week

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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):

1. UN accused 99 cases of abuse in ten peacekeeping missions

The UN is facing 99 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in 10 different countries. 22 of those allegations are from a UN mission in the Central African Republic. Peacekeepers were reportedly involved in buying sexual services from civilians and abusing minors. “I am ashamed to call myself a peacekeeper when I think of some of these cases,” undersecretary general Atul Khare said, according to The Guardian. “Anyone serving under the UN flag and preying on the vulnerable is truly an abomination.” The remaining abuse allegations stem from the Congo, East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sudan, and Cyprus.

2. Flowers bloom in Death Valley

Death Valley is one of the driest places in North America. But heavy rainfall has led to a spectacular ‘super bloom’ of golden flowers all over the desert that stretches between California and Nevada.

3. At least 36 people killed in Russian mine explosion

At least 36 people have been killed after a coal mine collapsed in the northern Komi region of Russia. The first two blasts occurred on Thursday and resulted from a methane gas leak. Four miners were killed in the incident and 26 were trapped. The third explosion occurred on Sunday causing the mine to collapse and killing the 26 trapped miners. Five rescuers also died in the explosion.

4. Four nuns killed in Yemen attack

Four nuns and 12 others have been killed during an attack on an elderly care facility in Aden, Yemen. The gunmen entered the care home pretending to visit their mothers. They proceeded to open fire, killing the nuns. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although Yemeni authorities believe the Islamic State is to blame. According to the Vatican, two of the nuns shot were from Rwanda, one was from India and the other was Kenyan. “[Pope Francis] sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence,” said Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

5. Turkish government takes over country’s biggest newspaper

The Turkish government has ordered for the nation’s most popular opposition newspaper, Zaman, to be managed by government trustees. A Turkish court ruled the decision on Friday. The seizure of the newspaper prompted protesters to gather outside the newspaper’s head office. Police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to remove protesters from the site. “The Istanbul court’s decision to appoint trustees to run Zaman newspaper and other media is nothing but a veiled move by the president to eradicate opposition media and scrutiny of government policies,” stated Emma Sinclair-Webb, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

6. Google’s self-driving car causes first accident

Google’s self-driving cars have a pretty good track record of being accident-free. The cars have driven over 1 million kilometers without causing any collisions on the road. But that all changed on February 14 when a Google self-driving car hit the side of a bus while trying to merge into another lane. “We clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision,” said Google in a written statement. No one was injured in the accident.

7. Never-before-seen ‘ghost’ octopus discovered in Hawaiian waters

A “ghostlike” octopus has been discovered in the waters off Hawaii’s Necker Island. Scientists aboard the Okeanos Explorer spotted the never-before-seen creature at 4,290 meters below sea level. The octopus, nicknamed “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” is categorized as an incirrate octopod. “This animal was particularly unusual because it lacked the pigment cells, called chromatophores, typical of most cephalopods, and it did not seem very muscular,” said Michael Vecchione, a research zoologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

8. North Korea threatens US and South Korea with nuclear attacks

North Korea has threatened nuclear attacks against the U.S. and South Korea. A statement released by North Korea by its Central News Agency warns of launching “all-out offensive” nuclear attacks against “U.S. imperialist aggressor forces bases in the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. mainland.” The nuclear attack warnings come as the U.S. and South Korean troops being their annual military training in South Korea.

9. Georgia store clerk scares off armed robber

The viral video of the week definitely goes to this Georgia store clerk who managed to scare off an armed robber. Video surveillance footage shows a young man approach the counter with a can of Mountain Dew. He then pulls out a gun, threatening to shoot the clerk but she manages to grab a hammer and chase him out of the store. The 17-year-old suspect is in custody and the clerk is uninjured from the incident.

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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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