Georges St-Pierre plans to plans to retire, while Batkid saves San Francisco

Top newsmakers this week

Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Losing by winning

Georges St-Pierre may have won the UFC welterweight mixed martial arts championship in Las Vegas against Johny Hendricks, but from coverage of the event, you might think he was a big loser. “I can’t sleep at night. I’m going crazy,” the champion said after the match, before telling reporters that he was planning to retire. The fight, which the Canadian brawler won in a split decision, was controversial as only a Nevada decision can be, with commentators wondering why St-Pierre was awarded the victory even though he was bloodied and battered throughout.

Miles, the littlest Batman

Miles Scott was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old. Now at the age of five, and in remission, the youngster from San Francisco had just one wish: to save the Gotham City. Enter the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which, with the help of 13,000 volunteers, turned the city by the bay into Gotham and Miles into “Batkid.” From the San Francisco Chronicle printing 1,000 copies of a Gotham City Chronicle to Batkid receiving the key to the city, the heartwarming stunt gave Miles a day he will never forget—and may have restored the world’s faith in humanity.

The Brits who went up a mountain and came down a hill

Amateur mountaineers and surveyors John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips magically transformed a mountain into a hill. After climbing Knight’s Peak in Scotland to measure its height, they concluded that it was 6½ inches under the official qualifying height for a mountain. Yet if they climbed almost 3,000 feet up a mountain, but decided it was a hill, can the expedition be called mountaineering?

Pay for pain?

A good coach knows how to motivate his players. And then there’s these guys: Nova Scotia’s Jeff Burbidge, Laurie Dauphinee and Jamie Henderson were suspended from their jobs as peewee hockey coaches after parents alleged they were bribing young players to play more violently. The CBC reported they had been offering $5 rewards to whichever player hit an opposing player the hardest. The coaches have denied the allegations, though they haven’t said anything about what a stingy bribe $5 is.

Row, row, row your boat

Mylène Paquette last week completed a rowing voyage from Halifax to France, a trip across the North Atlantic that only 13 people have managed to accomplish. After she landed in France, the 35-year-old admitted she was still afraid of water, especially in a pool or bathtub. But a roaring ocean, apparently, is not a problem.

A taxing problem

German lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, best known in Canada for once giving at least $225,000 to Brian Mulroney that a judge declared “inappropriate,” should have kept a more careful eye on his own money. He’s been sentenced to 6½ years in prison for tax evasion, marking the end of a court battle that has been raging since the 1990s: Schreiber spent 10 years in Canada fighting extradition, and another decade in Germany arguing against a conviction.

Regrets, Calgary has had a few

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are finally going back to the Grey Cup, and they have Henry Burris to thank. The quarterback threw three touchdown passes in the deciding game against the defending champion Toronto Argonauts on Sunday, giving the Hamilton team a shot at the title for the first time since 1999. It was a happy comeback for Burris, who was exiled to Hamilton after the Calgary Stampeders replaced him with a younger player, Drew Tate. The Stampeders, it should be noted, aren’t going to the Grey Cup this year.

Exiled in Siberia

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is carrying on some of the country’s oldest—and coldest—traditions, like exiling people to the frozen wastelands of Siberia. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the dissident punk group Pussy Riot, went missing when she was being transferred from one prison to another. Her husband found her in a hospital in Siberia, being treated for “health issues.” Human rights activists criticized this throwback to the days of putting enemies of the state in hospitals, but don’t worry: the authorities said she’ll soon be sent to a Siberian prison. That’s much better.

Andy Kaufman: still dead

Did Andy Kaufman fake his death? No. But wait a minute! A woman came forward last week to announce that she was Kaufman’s daughter and that he has been alive all this time since his supposed death in 1984. Except it turned out that this was just an actress posing as his daughter, a hoax that even Kaufman’s brother, Michael, claims to have been fooled by. This plot is more complicated than an episode of Taxi.

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