Written by: Rachel Antony
From Hurricane Maria to Mexico City, here’s what everyone’s talking about this week.
1. Hurricane Maria
Just as they were recovering from Hurricane Irma, the category 4 storm hit Puerto Rico yesterday knocking out the power in the entire country leaving over 3 million people without power. It’s the most powerful storm to hit the island in the last century. There is still danger in Puerto Rio however, with the potential for flash flooding and mudslides. Not to mention the country has been in a recession for the last ten years, has filed for bankruptcy and owes tens of billions to investors. It could be weeks before the island has power again. Hurricane Maria tore through the coast of Dominican Republic and is currently headed towards Turks and Caicos gaining strength in the warm waters as it goes. The country is on high warning in preparation for the storm – the best case scenario is that it skirts the chain of islands altogether.
2. Mexico Earthquake
On Tuesday, the Mexican state of Puebla got hit with a massive 7.1 magnitude earthquake killing more than 230 people across the region and through Mexico City. This is the deadliest natural disaster since 1985 when an earthquake killed over 10,000 people. Actress Salma Hayek has stepped up and pledged to match the first $100,000 raised for Unicef through her Crowdrise campaign. As if that wasn’t enough, Popocatepetl — a volcano located about 45 miles southeast of quake-ravaged Mexico City and some 30 miles from the temblor’s epicenter, exploded shortly after the earthquake happened. The volcano has been active all summer and the National Center for Prevention of Disasters say it’s not related to the earthquake tremors.
3. Google Buying HTC
Google just announced that they will be buying device manufacturer HTC for $1.1 billion US to expand its efforts to build phones, speakers and other gadgets equipped with its arsenal of digital services. The HTC team had built the Pixel smartphone for Google. This deal shows Google’s commitment to designing and building their own technological devices to compete with Apple and Amazon in an ever-increasing competitive market. Analysts are predicting (and hoping) that this deal will be more successful than Google’s purchase of Motorola back in 2012. Not only do they want to focus their efforts on designing and improving their smartphones, they want to build up their home technology like the Google Home – again to compete with Amazon’s Echo.
4. Canada-EU Deal
A major trade deal between Canada and the European Union enters into force today. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) clears barriers to trade for Canada’s largest trading partner after the United States. Starting today, over 98% (compared to the previous 25%) of Canadian goods will be able to enter the EU without tariffs which should improve export opportunities for a range of Canadian producers, processors and manufacturers. It’s important for Canadian companies to diversify their export business as things with the United States become uncertain. The trade deal goes both ways however, EU companies also gain access and will create more competition in the Canadian market. Overall, the trade agreement could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
5. Hockey is Back
The NHL is back with the pre-season starting last Saturday and it’s been a short break but you can pull out your Flames gear and get back into hockey. With three games down so far we’ve had a good look at the new Flames prospects and what we can expect this season. Mark Jankowski and Juuso Valimaki are the two most talked about players this pre-season. Jankowski has been a Flames prospect for the last five years and Valimaki is here on his first go. The first regular season game will kickoff in Edmonton on October 4th.