News Bites

Christian Village Outside of Damascus Seized by Syrian Rebels The predominantly Christian village of Maaloula has been seized by Syrian rebels. The group forced hundreds of locals to flee the village, which is home to two of Syria’s oldest surviving monasteries. The rebels are said to be led by Al-Qaida-linked fighters, resulting in the Western powers’ hesitation to get involved. The village was captured on Sunday after days of heavy fighting in and around the village.

Kijiji Urged to Ban the Private Sale of Pets

Dog walking business owner Barbara Lapointe has created a petition to ban the sale of household pets on Kijiji. It is Lapointe’s desire that Kijiji follows the example of sites such as Craigslist, which only allow for the sale of pets by legitimate businesses. By banning the private sale of animals, Lapointe believes that the number of puppy mills and the like will decline. Kijiji has made no move to ban the sale of pets.

Tokyo to Host 2020 Summer Olympics Despite Fukushima Power Plant Concerns 

The IOC has named Tokyo as the host of the 2020 summer Olympics, beating out finalist Istanbul. Many fear that the fallout from the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster could be a safety hazard for the games. The Japanese delegates, however, assured the committee that there has never been, and will never be, any risk to Tokyo. Tokyo is about 240 kilometers away from Fukushima, a distance that may not—according to some experts—be enough to safeguard the city.

Centennial Man Goes Out with a Bang

A man of 107 was killed Saturday evening in Arkansas after he entered into a shootout with police. The suspect, with two hostages, took refuge in a home in Pine Bluff. Police were able to safely retrieve the hostages and engaged in negotiations for the suspect’s surrender, but were forced to take action when he shot at officers from behind closed doors.

Brazilians Celebrate Day of Independence in Protest

Protests broke out across Brazil on September 7th—the country’s independence day. Those who participated were in protest against corrupt government and a demand for improved public service. While many protests remained peaceful, a large number of demonstrators clashed with riot police. Riots continued well into the night and ended with dozens of arrests.

South African Mine Owners Strike Golden Deal

Gold mining strikes have ended in South Africa after an agreement was made between miners and employers. After demanding a 60% pay increase, employers offered to match the inflation rate of 6%. It was predicted by mine owners that gold would drop in price if strikes were to continue due to mines closing and jobs being lost. The workers, who are part of one of the largest gold industries in the world, accepted the offer.

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