Good news, bad news
 

Good news, bad news: jail for Oscar Pistorius and global warming for all

The NHL learns a lesson, Boko Haram seizes control, and other good or bad stories that caught our eye this week


 

 

New era: Reform-minded Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s inauguration parade in Jakarta; he now leads the world’s third-largest democracy  Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

New era: Reform-minded Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s inauguration parade in Jakarta; he now leads the world’s third-largest democracy
Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Good News

The right call

Clearly, the NHL learned some valuable lessons from the NFL’s domestic violence debacle. Instead of ignoring an accusation against one of its stars—or downright lying about it—the NHL chose to suspend that player indefinitely, pending the outcome of his criminal case. Los Angeles Kings defenceman Slava Voynov, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, was arrested on suspicion of “corporal injury to a spouse” and at this point is considered innocent unless proven guilty. But until the legal process runs its course, Voynov has no business being around his team or its fans.

Alternative energy

Lockheed Martin plans to build a working fusion reactor within 10 years. Unlike regular fission reactors that split atoms apart, fusion models force atoms together in a process similar to what happens inside the sun. Though many are understandably skeptical, designing a reactor that can safely and economically harness the energy of a star could usher in a new era of clean and dependable electricity sources. That would be a welcome development for residents of downtown Calgary, who recently went four days without power because of an underground fire.

Silver lining

After a stomach-churning week on global stock markets, it was reassuring to see China’s all-important economy still hanging in there. The country of 1.3 billion posted 7.3 per cent GDP growth in the third quarter, the weakest since the Great Recession, but still a far cry from the devastating plunge some predicted. While rising debt, industrial overcapacity and a slumping property market are issues, China is still adding jobs, and the currency continues to rise against the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, Hong Kong officials held negotiations this week with pro-democracy protesters who have paralyzed the city’s financial centre—an important first step toward finding a peaceful resolution.

Great escapes

It was a good week for people coming face-to-face with giant sharks. In Maui, a man swimming with his three young sons managed to scare away a massive tiger shark with only his fists and his surfboard. In California, a woman who was tossed from her canoe by a six-foot bluegrey managed to swim back aboard and paddle to safety. It’s safe to assume that neither will be lining up to see Sharknado 3, now in production.

Survivor: A hiker waits to receive the bodies of his colleagues outside a morgue in Kathmandu, Nepal, where they’d been stranded by deadly blizzards Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Survivor: A hiker waits to receive the bodies of his colleagues outside a morgue in Kathmandu, Nepal, where they’d been stranded by deadly blizzards
Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Bad News

Know your enemy

It appeared, at first, to be wonderful news: the Nigerian government announced a ceasefire deal with Boko Haram terrorists, saying the militants had finally agreed to release 219 schoolgirls kidnapped in April. But the celebrations proved premature, as questions soon swirled about the identity of the group’s so-called negotiator—an alleged “imposter” based in Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, Boko Haram gunmen seized control of three more villages in the northeastern part of the country, wiping away any truth about a truce. Government officials remain optimistic, promising to continue negotiations. With the right people, we hope.

The truth (inconvenient or otherwise)

Believe what you will about global warming, but one thing is beyond dispute: the Earth is getting hotter. According to new figures released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average temperature across the globe in September was 15.72° C—the hottest September in 135 years. It was the fourth monthly record in five months (along with May, June and August) and all signs point to 2014 being the warmest on record. Still not convinced things are heating up? If this year does prove to be the hottest since stats were first kept in 1880, it will continue a recent stretch of record-breaking years: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010.

Blade gunner

Former Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was finally sentenced in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend: five years in prison, with the possibility of early release in 10 months. The parents of Reeva Steenkamp—who was gunned down on the other side of a bathroom door after Pistorius supposedly mistook her for an intruder—said their daughter’s killer received “the right sentence.” It’s hard to imagine how 10 months is the right punishment for such recklessness. Even if Pistorius is telling the truth, he had no idea who was in that bathroom. Why open fire?

Snail mail

Thousands of people are walking a bit farther to pick up the mail now that Canada Post has officially begun to scrap door-to-door delivery in some communities. The first phase of the plan—which triggered a cross-country outcry when it was first announced—will affect nearly 100,000 addresses in cities such as Winnipeg, Calgary and Halifax. Thankfully, Maclean’s is available in digital format, saving you a trip to the communal mailbox.


 

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