By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
Editor’s Note: This will be the final edition of World Recap, as the Other Press is shifting its news priorities to a more community-based approach that features news relevant to the Douglas College community.
North America: (Canada) BlackBerry, the Canadian-based pioneer of smartphones, is one step closer to insignificance as the company has cut 4,500 jobs and is poised to report a second quarter loss of almost $1-billion. BlackBerry, which has struggled to innovate in recent years, has seen its market share fall as consumers switched to iPhone and Samsung products. BlackBerry’s new Z10 model performed poorly: the company only sold 3.7-million units in the last quarter, most of the sales being from older devices. Compared to Samsung’s 72.4-million units and Apple’s 31.2-million units sold in their respective 2013 second quarters, BlackBerry is clearly on the decline.
(United States) America saw two more mass shootings last week that made national headlines, re-igniting the debate over gun control. One shooting occurred at a naval shipyard in Washington DC, killing 13 people, including the suspected gunman Aaron Alexis, and injuring 14. Another shooting at a Chicago park did not result in any fatalities, but 13 people were injured, including three minors whose ages range from three to 17-years-old. While the shooting in Chicago is believed to be linked to local gangs, the DC shooting suspect is believed to have had mental health concerns.
Africa: (Ethiopia) The African Union (AU) is calling on its member countries to attend a summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa next month to discuss a coordinated, mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The AU’s move comes in response to ICC proceedings set to begin against Kenya’s president and deputy president, who are charged with causing aggression after a disputed national election in 2007, which resulted in 1,200 people being killed. The AU argues that the ICC easily goes after African leaders while ignoring atrocities in other parts of the world.
Asia: (Japan) Caroline Kennedy, the sole surviving issue of former US president John F. Kennedy, is poised to become the next US ambassador to Japan. If confirmed, she would be the top American diplomat to a country her father once fought a war against. President Kennedy was a lieutenant in the navy during World War II and fought battles against the Japanese in the South Pacific.
Europe: (Italy) Members in the higher ranks of the Roman Catholic Church seem to be playing defence after Pope Francis made statements about the Church being too conservative on issues such as homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. While the Pope seems to be sending messages about possible fundamental changes to come during his papacy, conservative Church leaders are downplaying the rumours that Pope Francis will change Catholic doctrine.
South America: (Brazil) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has cancelled a planned trip to Washington to meet with US President Barack Obama after documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden revealed that American surveillance programs were intercepting Rousseff’s confidential communications, as well as keeping tabs on the communications of Rousseff’s aides. Despite Obama’s best efforts to make the visit happen, the Brazilian government was adamant that these intercepts violated their sovereignty. US relations with Brazil have been improving steadily in recent years, an important relationship as Brazil is a fast growing economy and has emerged as a major economic force in the Americas.