News Breakdown: Nov. 11 – 17

Soldiers on military tanks try to control a euphoric crowd marching on the streets of Harare, demanding the departure of President Robert Mugabe. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press)

Soldiers on military tanks try to control a euphoric crowd marching on the streets of Harare, demanding the departure of President Robert Mugabe. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press)

International

A 7.3 earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border has killed at least 530 and injured 7,460 with thousands displaced.
– The earthquake struck approximately 30 km south of Darbandikhan in Iraq, near its north-eastern border with Iran. Over 200 aftershocks were felt and tremors were felt in Israel, Turkey, and Kuwait. Aid teams have been dispatched to the scene.

The Zimbabwean military has taken control of the country, placing the long-time President Robert Mugabe under house arrest, taking control of state media and international airports, and sending armoured vehicles to the streets of the capital.
– The situation bears all the hallmarks of a coup, but the army’s spokesman denied a military takeover was underway, saying the military was conducting an operation to target “criminals” around the president. This comes after the same army spokesman warned the ruling party over purges designed to ensure the succession of Grace Mugabe to power, which led many observers to believe that the military is backing the ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa in Mugabe’s succession.

A two-month national postal survey in Australia on legalizing same-sex marriage came out with 61 per cent of respondents voting to allow same-sex marriage.
– Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the response to the postal survey had been “overwhelming,” calling for a bill passing same-sex marriage to pass before Christmas. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said the postal vote shouldn’t have been necessary, that it wasted nearly AUS$120 million, and a bill simply should have been passed on same-sex marriage.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun says that the recently-resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri is being held captive in Saudi Arabia, and demanded his return.
– Former Prime Minister Hariri resigned on Nov. 4 from Riyadh, saying that his life was in danger. Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s surprise visit to Saudi Arabia and mounting pressure to have Hariri leave Saudi Arabia, it was announced that Hariri would arrive in France in the “coming days.”

Iraqi armed forces, backed by the US-led coalition, captured the last Islamic State-held urban area in Iraq, a week after the last urban area in Syria was captured by the Syrian state army.
– At dawn on Nov. 17 the Iraqi army and local tribal forces pushed into Rawah from the West. After five hours of fighting they captured the town. This victory leaves the IS without any urban areas under its control, and comes three years after the IS overran a third of Iraqi territory.

An aerial view shows the darkened ground of the oil spill that shut down the Keystone pipeline between Canada and the U.S., in an agricultural area near Amherst, South Dakota. (Courtesy DroneBase/Handout via Reuters)

An aerial view shows the darkened ground of the oil spill that shut down the Keystone pipeline between Canada and the U.S., in an agricultural area near Amherst, South Dakota. (Courtesy DroneBase/Handout via Reuters)

National

TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL pipeline has leaked approximately 800,000 litres of oil onto agricultural land in northeastern South Dakota.
– TransCanada activated emergency response procedures and stopped the oil from flowing and containing the leak. In related news, Prime Minister Trudeau was interrupted in Vancouver during a speech by a couple of activists who challenged him on why he approved the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

After US demands, Canada and Mexico will entertain a five-year review clause, which was modified from the US’ initial demands where the agreement would have to be renewed by all countries every five years.
– Canada and Mexico are looking to change the proposed five-year termination clause into a review clause, avoiding a climate of uncertainty every five years, in which the deal could be cancelled by default.

Canada and the United Kingdom have formed an agreement with 18 other countries to mutually adopt the goal of dropping coal power.
– Environment Minister McKenna and UK Secretary of State for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove launched the Global Alliance to Power Past Coal at a UN gathering in Germany. The Alliance looks to have 50 countries signed on by next year, however the provinces of Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are reluctant to move forward.

Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a proposal to some core members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in hopes that Canada would be allowed to join the Association.
– The opportunity comes as Trudeau makes efforts to raise Canada’s international profile in hopes of pitching for a seat at the UN Security Council. Trudeau also spoke to Prime Minister Duterte of the Philippines to raise concerns over human rights abuses in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

The Chief of the Grassy Narrows First Nation Simon Fobister says that Prime Minister Trudeau has ignored his three pleas for help over upstream mercury contamination.
– The Grassy Narrows First Nation wants the Federal government to help generations of residents with the toxic aftermath of a paper mill.  The Ontario government is putting $85 million towards cleaning up the toxic mess.

A sign protesting the Fall River quarry. On Friday, Nova Scotia announced it had dismissed three appeals against the project. (File photo courtesy Global News)

A sign protesting the Fall River quarry. On Friday, Nova Scotia announced it had dismissed three appeals against the project. (File photo courtesy Global News)

Local

Nova Scotia has dismissed three appeals against the development of the controversial Fall River quarry, located outside Halifax.
– The project received environmental approval on June 19 when the three groups filed appeals on the grounds that it might contaminate drinking water. The Environment Minister found that the watershed in which the quarry lies is not a source of drinking water, but did not discount the risk of groundwater contamination.

The Acadia Axemen won the Loney Bowl against the Saint Mary’s Huskies 45-38 in overtime after a Nova Scotia judge overturned a decision by Atlantic University Sport to cancel the game over an eligibility issue.
– The controversy was over SMU wide receiver Archelaus Jack and whether he was eligible for this season. The Acadia Axemen faced the Western Mustangs in the Uteck Bowl on Saturday.

Halifax’s municipal council is to undergo group sensitivity training due to a number of complaints against council members.
– The decision was unanimous and comes after Counsellors Matt Whitman and Shawn Cleary were involved in a Twitter spat over the racist origins of the word marijuana, as well as Whitman’s use of the word “negro” in an interview.

Lafarge Canada has applied for industrial approval for a controversial plan to burn tires as a source of low-carbon fuel.
– The industrial approval is for a one-year pilot project for one of Lafarge Canada’s cement plants kilns in Brookfield. Last month a petition with 3,000 signatures was presented to the legislature by groups urging the province to deny the industrial approval.

Halifax’s first monument for women was unveiled on Thursday morning and pays tribute to women who volunteered in the Second World War.
– The Halifax Women’s History Society says that up until now the work of these women was never recognized. The monument includes three figures: a young girl, a black woman, and older Mi’kmaq woman.