Around the World

Stephanie Simko

News Editor


MONTREAL, CANADA – Canadian former-wrestler dies at 84

Montreal-born former-wrestler Maurice Vachon, known for his tough talk and gravelly voice, passed away last Thursday morning in his home at the age of 84. Friends and family report that he was a man dedicated to the sport of wrestling, and he was passionate about assisting young wrestlers in their athletic careers. Vachon became an international star when he represented Canada at the 1948 London Olympics at the age of 18, during a time when wrestling was not traditional in Canada or Quebec. After taking part in some 13,000 fights and earning 30 titles, Vachon’s last professional bout was in Montreal on October 13, 1986. Colourfully known as “Mad Dog,” he had a short-lived career with the WWE, and he entered the Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.


NEW DELHI, INDIA – Gay rights supporters march against conservative society

Hundreds of gay rights activists marched through the capital city of India, calling for peace and the end of stigmatization of gay people in a society that considers itself “deeply conservative.”  Demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgenders, and also demanded that people be allowed to record the gender of their choice on government documents. Little headway has been made in the country despite having overturned a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex four years ago. In 2011, India’s health minister derided homosexuality as an unnatural “disease” from the West, which sparked outrage with activists who said the comments set back the country’s campaign for gay rights and its fight against HIV. Roughly 2.5 million Indians have HIV, making it the country with the largest number of people living with the virus in Asia.


WARSAW, POLAND – U.N. Climate Talks conclude

The annual U.N. Climate Talk concluded late Saturday with a “modest set of decisions meant to pave the way for a new pact to fight global warming.” More than 190 countries agreed to start preparing “contributions” for the new deal, which is supposed to be adopted in 2015. There was debate as to whether developing countries should have as strict of commitments to cut carbon emissions as industrialized nations; the conference also advanced upon a campaign to reduce deforestation and establish a “loss and damage” mechanism to help island states and other vulnerable countries under threat from rising seas, extreme weather, and other climate impacts. The U.N. climate talks were launched two decades ago in the wake of warnings from scientists that humans were warming the planet by pumping CO2 and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels.


MURMANSK, RUSSIA – Greenpeace activists released on bail

Two Canadian members of the Greenpeace activist group have been granted bail and will return home pending trial on charges of “hooliganism” after taking part in a protest against Arctic oil-drilling earlier in the year. On September 18, two Greenpeace activists were detained after trying to scale a Russia vessel and unfurl a banner protesting oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.  While waiting in international waters for the anticipated release of the pair, the other 28 people on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise were arrested at gunpoint by Russian forces. The 30 activists had initially been charged with piracy, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  Greenpeace is pushing for all of the so-called “Arctic 30” to be released, and are evaluating their methods for future protests.