Our World This Week: January 9th – 15th 2015

Our World This Week: January 9th – 15th 2015 This week, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada called for stricter air-taxi safety measures. This call for stricter measures – including more shoulder harnesses and alternate escape routes – came from a report released on Tuesday that cited poor weather and pilot error as reasons for a deadly plane crash on Vancouver Island in 2013. Read more about the safety factors outlined in the report here.  Also this week, the same day that U.S. President Barack Obama called for new federal laws to tighten personal data protection, hackers called the “CyberCaliphate” took over the Twitter and YouTube channels of the U.S.’s Middle Eastern operations military command. Read more about the hack here. Our World This Weeks brings you this week’s list of trending food for thought from both a Canadian and international perspective: Canada: Tory government will end funding of body that oversees Canada’s health accord – Steve Rennie The federal government announced that the Health Council of Canada, which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the ten year, forty one billion dollar health accord struck in 2004, will no longer receive federal funding. The council relies solely on this federal funding.  The council will receive just over six million dollars to cover operations for the remainder of this fiscal year and another four million dollars to shut down. Harper postpones Three Amigos summit amid chilly relations with U.S. and Mexico – Campbell Clarke Prime Minister Stephen Harper postponed the North American leaders’ summit – dubbed the Three Amigos summit – with U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. With the proposed Keystone XL pipeline at the top of U.S. political agendas, this move allows Harper to avoid a side-by-side news conference with Obama. Officially, the Harper government did not provide an explanation for the postponement.  World: Sri Lanka releases 572 prisoners to mark Pope's visit – Reuters via The Times of India Sri Lankan authorities released 572 prisoners and reduced jail terms of an unspecified number of other prisoners. Typically, on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day, February 4th, authorities release prisoners convicted of minor offences; however, the release occurred early this year to mark Pope Francis’ visit to the country. Mozambique and Malawi floods cause havoc – BBC News Major flooding has left tens of thousands displaced in both Mozambique and Malawi. Hit by late summer storms, the bad weather is expected to continue for several days. Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika declared that a third of Malawi is in state of disaster, and, in neighbouring Mozambique, most of the northern region is without electricity. Thought Provoking Read: Low Oil Prices Could Shake up Africa’s Petro States – Jill Shankleman One in five African states is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues. Yet, these revenues have not generated the forecasted economic and social growth. Shankleman outlines the political, social, and economic consequences of falling oil prices for African states dependent on oil and gas. Shankleman argues that, for these states, the decreasing price of oil may foreshadow that more instability is to come. Photo of the Week: OWTW Jan 9-15 Pictured here is the newest species and the only reptile in the world ever found from its time: 300 million years ago. The fossil was found on a beach in P.E.I by a young boy. The new ancient reptile has been named Erpetonyx arsenaultorum after the family of Michael Arsenault who found the fossil.  (Photo: Sean Modesto/Cape Breton University via CBC News).

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