The World News You Missed This Week – February 2nd, 2017

6 dead in Quebec mosque shooting

CANADA – Tragedy erupted in Quebec City Sunday as a lone gunman opened fire during an evening prayer service at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, killing 6 people and wounding 19 others. French-Canadian student Alexandre Bissonette has been charged with 5 counts of first-degree murder and 6 counts of attempted murder. Bissonette, described by his peers as “introverted” and “withdrawn,” was known on social media for his far-right nationalist ideologies.

Prime Minister Trudeau described the shooting as a terrorist attack, condemning the act of violence. According to the Guardian, the Prime Minister’s office forced Fox News to retract and apologize for a misleading tweet that described the shooter of  “Moroccan origins.”

Yesterday the White House administration took the attack as further justification for President Trump’s new policies, referring to the recent executive order that banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. According to the BBC, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” neglecting to mention that the shooter was neither Muslim nor an immigrant.

To read more about the victims of the attack, go here.

250,000 Romanians rally in biggest anti-corruption protestROMANIA – Massive anti-corruption protests erupted last night in Bucharest against a new government decree that would decriminalize abuse-of-power offences in which the sums involved are less than 200,000 lei ($48,000). Reuters estimated that as many as 250,000 Romanians throughout the country protested, the biggest street protest in the country since the fall of its communist government in 1989.

According to Reuters, the decree would put an end to the on-going trial of Social Democrat party leader Liviu Dragnea, accused of using his political influence to secure state salaries for two people working at his party headquarters between 2006 and 2013.

Government corruption is a current crisis facing the Romanian judicial system, with anti-corruption prosecutors indicting over 1,000 cases over the last 3 years with damages worth up to 1 billion euros.

The decree further undermines the rule-of-law progress Romania has achieved over the last ten years, the decree also has narrowed down the definition of conflict of interests and essentially legalized criminal negligence.

To read more about how the international community is condemning the decree, go here.

‘Penelopegate’ casts dark shadow over Fillon’s presidential prospects

FRANCEIn more anti-corruption news, Francois Fillion, former Prime minister and current center-right presidential candidate, is embroiled in a new scandal that could cost him the French presidential election. Canard Enchainé, a french satirical weekly, published an expose claiming that Fillion’s wife, Penelope, was paid a total of €831,440 in taxpayer money as his parliamentary assistant for 15 years.

Fillion is now facing pressure to step down from the presidential race, leaving Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Front National, and the independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron to battle it out. Fillion has denied the allegations but promised to withdraw from the race if the judicial courts decide to formally charge him.

To read more about why Francois Fillion thinks that the scandal is part of a “professional” plot aimed at hurting his chances in the election, go here.

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