This Week in the World: October 10th, 2013

Pope Francis wants to focus on helping the poor

Pope Francis has said he wants to strip the Roman Catholic Church of all “vanity, arrogance, and pride” and serve the poor in society. He wants to create a new Catholic Church that resembles his namesake, thirteenth century saint, Francis of Assisi’s Church of the Poor. At a lunch in Assisi, named for the thirteenth century saint, Pope Francis said he is hoping to create a Church that looks after others, stating that he thinks that the idea of a Church of the Poor is still valid. This is not the only change that Pope Francis wants to make in the Roman Catholic Church: The BBC’s David Wiley said he has become known for his unique and modern views.


Woman killed after car chase in Washington

A federal American law enforcement officer told the Associated Press that after a long car chase on October 3 in Washington, D.C., a thirty-four-year-old woman identified as Miriam Carey was shot and killed. Carey reportedly suffered from mental illness in recent months, and believed that President Obama was stalking her, stemming from a delusional obsession with the president. Carey was unarmed, and her one-year-old daughter, who was in the car during the car chase, was unharmed. The child has since been placed into protective custody. Police officers have confirmed that it was not a terrorist attack. During the car chase, Congress and the Capitol were put on lock down.


Fukushima nuclear plant reports radioactive water leak

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has reported that workers have overfilled a storage tank that was slightly tilting and did not have a gauge, which caused a radioactive water leak. Approximately 340 litres were spilled into a nearby sea, but radiation levels in the sea water samples taken off the coast of the plant have remained below detectable levels. The Globe and Mail reports that the Japanese public has become concerned about the frequent leaks that have been reported at the Fukushima nuclear plant, also causing criticism of the government for the handling of the nuclear crisis. There has been a string of reports of leaks in the past few months, causing the public and experts to say that the water handling at the nuclear plant has been sloppy.


Mexico bus crash leaves fourteen dead

Fourteen people were killed October 4 after a city bus travelling on the outskirts of Mexico City hurtled down a hillside, and veered off the side of the cliff. The bus was plunged down the side of the mountain about 100 or 120 metres. Reuters reports that fourteen people died and twenty-five more have been left injured. The cause of the accident remains unknown, but is one of several seemingly freak motor accidents involving public transit around the world in the past few weeks. One of the more public accidents in Canada in recent weeks involved a public bus and a VIA Rail train collision in Ottawa.


Al-Qaeda leader captured by the U.S.

Abu Anas el-Liby, an Al-Qaeda leader that has been wanted by the United States since 2000, has finally been captured alive near the Libyan capital. The New York Times reported that after a fifteen-year manhunt, Abu Anas is in American custody and is being taken to the United States for trial. Abu Anas is believed to have joined Osama bin Laden’s organization as early as 1990, and was indicted in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. El-Liby was high on the American government’s most-wanted fugitives list ever since. Libyan officials have reported that they had no part in helping capture Abu Anas, insisting that their forces would play no role in any American military operation on Libyan soil. A senior official from the United States has stated, though, that the Libyan government was involved in the capture. Many Libyans are accusing their government of collaborating too closely with the West.


Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons begins

International inspectors from the United Nations have begun the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and the machinery and products used to create them. Officials at the UN could not confirm to the Associated Press exactly what had or would be destroyed, but mentioned that by October 6, a combination of chemical weapons and their production equipment would be destroyed.  The UN has until mid-2014 to destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, as decided by the Security Council after a chemical attack in Damascus in August killed hundreds of civilians.

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