The world this week


Human Rights Watch is suing the U.K. government for possibly spying on their communications and giving the collected information to the American National Security Agency. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a special court whose role it is to research spying complaints and meet in secret, has already ruled the sharing of data with American intelligence agencies illegal.


Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has been ousted by Malcolm Turnbull, who was serving as minister of communications in the Abbott government. Turnbull defeated Abbott 54-44 in a vote by Liberal MPs for the leadership of the Liberal Party and the prime ministership.

Canada posted a surplus of $1.9 billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year according to the finance department. The original forecast had predicted a deficit of $2 billion for the same period. The last time Canada’s federal budget was in a surplus was 2007-08.


Taxis in Waterloo continue to push back against Uber operating in the city. Uber, an app providing taxi services to users, was launched in Waterloo in July and is considered an anti-competitive threat to the taxi industry by the Waterloo Region Taxi Alliance. The Alliance is trying to raise awareness that Uber is violating local taxi bylaws; they are creating signs reading “Your legal taxi” that will be posted on the rear windows on local taxis. Their hope is to tell consumers the safety concerns when using the app and ideally get rid of Uber in Waterloo. 


In Egypt, 12 civilians — a tour group — were killed by an Egyptian anti-terrorist action in the Western Desert. This area has been declared by the Egyptian government as closed to foreign tourists, although the travel agency claims that they had permission to visit this remote area of the desert. The Western Desert has been a popular tourist location, however, instability in Libya is making it an increasingly dangerous region.


Ontario is without an ombudsman after an all-party committee at Queen’s Park failed to agree on an appointment. The Liberals proposed the appointment of Barbara Finlay, currently the deputy ombudsman, as an interim appointment. The NDP wanted to temporarily extend the term of current ombudsman Andre Marin. 


Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Netherlands have joined Germany in placing restrictions on border passages as the European Union struggles to cope with the continuing influx of migrants. Hungary is shortly to impose a state of emergency, introducing tougher measures against illegal immigrants and increasing arrests. The European Union is to vote shortly on a plan to redistribute a possible 160,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea throughout 23 European Union states, although it faces significant opposition. 


Harry Potter-themed bar called the Lockhart is now open in Toronto. The drink menu, appropriately named “Potions and Elixirs,” features cocktails inspired by the wizarding world. The decor of the bar is true to the books, as is demonstrated through the small details like the sign above the counter that reads “all was well.” The bar opened Sept. 5 and is located at 1479 Dundas Street West.



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