It's over—Germany has won the World Cup. Most North Americans can go back to ignoring soccer, while true fans can go back to feeling more cosmopolitan than everyone else. In the news: a Canadian filmmaker was injured in a World Cup protest in Brazil, a rare falcon was born at Lakeridge Hospital, and a local businessman faces deportation after 16 years in Canada.
Like many sporting events of its size, the World Cup triggered civil unrest among citizens. Toronto documentary filmmaker Jason O’Hara, who is in Brazil shooting a documentary about forced community evictions preceding both the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, was beaten by police during a protest outside the final match of the tournament on Sunday. Police thrashed him with batons and continued to hit him after he fell to the ground. O’Hara suffered a laceration on one leg that exposed the bone but said he felt lucky not to have come away with anything worse. Protests have been an underreported part of the World Cup story, with forced evictions, massive government spending on event-specific infrastructure, and increased police presence all contributing to the people’s discontent.
A rare peregrine falcon was born Saturday at Lakeridge Hospital in Oshawa. The bird, a female, has been named Salveo, which means “to be well” or “good health” in Latin. Ontario’s peregrine population was almost entirely eradicated by the use of toxic pesticides like DDT, but is slowly making a comeback: there are now believed to be about 86 pairs of the birds in the province. Salveo was the only egg in her parents’ nest atop the hospital, although peregrines usually lay four eggs at a time. The Canadian Peregrine Foundation says it is working with the hospital in hopes of installing a “proper nest box” for the adults, who might return to lay their eggs next year.
Prince Debase Betoukoumessou escaped jail and a possible death sentence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after being arrested in 1997 for political reasons. He and his family came to Canada as refugees, but Betoukoumessou’s status was never approved. Now, after 16 years living in Canada without incident, Betoukoumessou is being held in a Canadian jail in advance of being deported to the Congo. Canada has an official moratorium on deportations to that country, but it does not extend to people with criminal records. Betoukoumessou has a criminal past, but his family insists that it amounts only to involvement in a Congolese political party that was in opposition to the country’s ruling party. Betoukoumessou’s wife and children were given refugee status and will not face deportation.