Our World This Week: March 6th – March 12th 2015

Our World This Week: March 6th – March 12th 2015 This week, Canadian officials confirmed that there are one-hundred and nineteen cases of measles in Lanaudière, Quebec. Lanaudière is just outside of Montreal, and the spread of measles is the result of two separate families’ exposure to measles during visits to Disneyland in California. Read more about how measles spread to Lanaudière here.  Also this week, Becky Hammon became the first female coach in the NBA. As assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, the defending NBA champions, Hammon is also the first female coach in any major North American professional sport, which, in addition to basketball, includes baseball, football, and hockey. Hammon is a professional basketball veteran having played in the WNBA for years and competed at two Olympic Games, where she won bronze in Beijing.  Read more about Hammon’s road to the Spurs here. Our World This Weeks brings you this week’s list of trending food for thought from both a Canadian and international perspective: Canada: Ottawa to give juries bigger role in determining life without parole – Sean Fine The Conservative’s Life Means Life Act, if passed, would give juries an important role in determining sentencing of individuals convicted of murder. If juries determined that the offence was planned, deliberate, and brutal, juries would be have the option of making a sentencing recommendation to the judge for life without parole. If the judge accepted this recommendation, the sentence would be thirty five years with no possibility of parole. If passed, the Life Means Life Act would mark the biggest change to sentencing since capital punishment was abolished in 1976. IMF sounds fresh alarm over Canadian housing market – Tamsin McMahon The state of Canada’s housing market set off red flags for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week.  In efforts to control the housing market, the IMF called for the federal government to collect more data on the housing market, centralize the oversight of the financial sector, and get the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to implement a deductible on its mortgage insurance program. World: Nemtsov suspect withdraws confession – Matthew Chance, Alla Eshchenko, & Steve Almasy Zaur Dadayev, charged of killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, withdrew his confession on Wednesday.  Dadayev alleges that he pleaded guilty to Nemtsov’s death because he felt he had no other choice; he was tortured and his family and friends were threatened. Russia’s Human Rights Council is investigating the allegations. Utah Passes White-Collar Felon Registry – Ben Protess Utah Legislature approved a measure to build the United States’ first white-collar offender registry. Soon counterfeiters and inside traders will join the ranks of sex offenders and serial killers, with their information displayed on government websites alongside warnings regarding the danger these criminal pose to society.  The implementation of a white-collar offender list marks the second big decision from the Utah Legislature this week; they also reinstated firing squads as a method of execution. Thought Provoking Read: Know Your Oil: Creating a Global Oil-Climate Index – Deborah Gordon, Adam Brant, Joule Bergerson, and Jonathan Koomey The science of oil is changing; technological advances have replaced conventional extraction methods. Technology has made unreachable oil resources reachable, but little is known about the climate impact of new technologies. This week’s through provoking read is the Carnegie Endowment’s Energy and Climate Program, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary’s Oil-Climate Index report. This report launches the Oil-Climate Index as a way of assessing the range of oil resources and their respective climate impacts. Photo of the Week:  Syrian Civil War Four Years Later OWTW Mar 6-12 As the Syrian civil war enters its fifth year the impact of the war is evident from these satellite images. The left-hand image is Syria in September 2011; the nighttime lights of Aleppo and Raqqa are clearly visible. The right-hand image is Syria today; eighty-three percent of the country’s lights have gone out. Aleppo is ninety-seven percent dimmer, and Raqqa, an ISIS strong hold, is almost in complete darkness. Even Damascus is thirty-five percent darker. Since 2011, 3.8 million Syrians have fled Syria, accounting in part for the decrease in lights. (Photo: Xi Li, United Nations via the Daily Star).

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