Justin Bourque: no parole for 75 years
Justin Christien Bourque, 24, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years after killing three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton in June. The sentence is the harshest in Canada since the abolition of the death penalty in 1976, and it is the longest sentence in Canadian history. Bourque will be 99-years-old when he is eligible for parole. Chief Justice David Smith of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, who handed down Bourque’s sentence, described the shooting of RCMP officers in Moncton as “One of the most horrific crimes in the history of Canada,” according to a CBC report.
Army takes over in Burkina Faso
Protesters set fire to parliament and government buildings in Burkina Faso Oct. 30 after President Blaise Compaore attempted to amend the constitution to allow him to extend his 27-year rule. Soon after the protests, Compaore resigned and urged that elections be held within 90 days to fill the presidency. Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Yacouba Zida has said he has taken over as the transitional head of state, after initial confusion surrounding the position. Crowds cheered in the capital after Compaore’s resignation was announced, but some are unhappy that Gen. Traore has been appointed as transitional head of the country.
Eight Egyptians jailed for gay marriage
Eight Egyptian men were sentenced last Saturday to three years in jail after appearing in an online video claiming to show the country’s first gay marriage ceremony. They were charged with spreading indecent images and inciting debauchery. After their prison sentences are complete, they will be subject to police supervision. Gay marriage is not legal in Egypt, and the video, which was posted on YouTube, went viral in August, caused a stir throughout the country. Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed, but discrimination is common and gay men are occasionally arrested. This draws wide criticism from human rights groups.
Yousafzai gives $50,000 for school
Malala Yousafzai has donated $50,000 of her Nobel Peace Prize to rebuild a UN school in Gaza which was damaged during this summer’s Israel-Hamas war. This announcement by the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees came soon after the 17-year-old Yousafzai won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. She won the award for promoting girls’ rights in Pakistan, where she is originally from, two years after she survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman.
Boko Haram leader denies ceasefire
The leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has announced that more than 200 girls kidnapped in April have all converted to Islam and are married off. Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, denied that a ceasefire with the Nigerian government existed after the military announced one last week. He also threatened to kill an unidentified German hostage. Germany’s Foreign Minister told reporters that he had no new information about a German abductee. Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the abducted girls have been divided into groups and that some have been carried across borders into Cameroon and Chad, and that they were forced to marry fighters.
Pakistan blast kills 45
At least 45 people were killed and 60 were injured the morning of Nov. 2 in a suspected suicide bombing at a Pakistan-India border town. The dead include three members of the border force, BBC reported after speaking with a senior security official. The explosion happened on the Pakistan side of the border, where crowds gather everyday to watch soldiers conduct a lowering of the flags ceremony. The explosion reportedly came at the end of Sunday’s ceremony.