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

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Image: Sadiq Khan / Facebook

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. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended from her position in a vote made by the nation’s Senate. Rousseff will now be tried for impeachment due to her alleged involvement in a corruption scandal centring around state-owned oil company, Petrobas. Rousseff’s trial could go on for several months, meaning her suspension would continue through the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s Vice-President Michel Temer will now take Rousseff’s place as temporary president.

2. Underdog candidate wins London’s mayoral race

The city of London, England, has elected a new mayor. Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party defeated his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith in the race to become mayor of Europe’s biggest city. Khan’s victory played out like the classic tale of the underdog. He was born to low-income parents who immigrated to London from Pakistan. His father was a bus driver and his mother was a seamstress. While growing up, Khan, his parents, and his eight siblings lived in London’s public housing apartments. Conversely, Goldsmith comes from a family of billionaires. Khan is also the first person of Islamic faith become London’s mayor.

3. Russia accused of using doping program during Sochi Olympics

Numerous Russian athletes participating in the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics were part of a nation-wide doping program, according to a New York Times report released on Thursday. The group of athletes also included 15 Russian medal winners.

 “These allegations are very detailed and very worrying and we ask the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate immediately,” said Mark Adams, of the International Olympic Committee. 

4. Five Pacific Islands disappearing due to rising sea levels

Five small bodies of land belonging to the Solomon Islands have disappeared due to rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to research conducted by Australian scientists. The submerged islands ranged from one to five hectares in size and were uninhabited by humans. However, other small islands in the region have also been submerged, forcing people to leave their villages and relocate. According to researchers, the study “confirms the numerous anecdotal accounts from across the Pacific of the dramatic impacts of climate change on coastlines and people.”

5. George Zimmerman attempts to auction off gun used to kill Trayvon Martin

The gun used to murder African American teenager Trayvon Martin was put on auction by the boy’s killer, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman posted the sale on the website Gun Broker, with bidding starting at $5,000.

“I’m a free American, and I can do what I’d like with my possessions,” Zimmerman told a Florida radio station, in defence of his decision to auction off the gun. However, the gun has since been removed from the website.

Zimmerman, 32, was cleared of all charges of Martin’s killing, claiming he was acting in self-defence when he shot the unarmed teen in 2012.

6. North Korea throws parade to celebrate leader Kim Jong-un

A huge parade was held in Korea’s capital of Pyongyang to celebrate the end of the four-day Worker’s Party Congress and the promotion of President Kim Jong-un to Party Chairman. During the celebrations, Kim also announced that North Korea would continue its development and testing of nuclear weapons. The mass party was attended by tens of thousands of North Koreans.

7. Three bombings kill dozens in Baghdad

Over 80 people are dead as three separate bombings occurred in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. On Wednesday morning, a car bomb exploded in a busy market located in Sadr City, killing 63 people. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Several hours later, a bomb went off in Kadhumuyah killing 15 and another bomb exploded in Baghdad, killing seven. The two bombings injured 165 people. The attacks are being called the worst to occur in Baghdad this year.

8. Over 70 people dead after oil tanker collision in Afghanistan

Over 70 people are dead after two buses collided with an oil tanker on an Afghanistan highway on Sunday. All three vehicles immediately caught fire after they crashed. Over 50 people were injured in the accident. According to health ministry spokesperson Ismail Kawasi, the majority of those killed in the crash were “completely burned” to death.

9. First transgender congressperson elected in the Philippines

Geraldine Roman is the first transgender person to be elected to Congress in the Philippines. Roman ran for the Liberal Party in the Bataan province. Her win is being seen as triumphant because the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country where abortion and same-sex marriage are prohibited. Roman says she is committed to improving the rights of LGBT people in the country.

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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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