Weekly News Highlights: Top 7 stories from Feb. 1 through 7

Editor's Note: GYV is introducing a new weekly series called Weekly News Highlights to recapitulate the most compelling world stories that mark each week in politics, business, culture and sports.

Here's a breakdown of what happened in the world last week, based on topics.

1. United States' Presidential Elections.

Iowa state residents participated in the first major electoral event of 2016 to nominate Democratic and Republican candidates, which is known as the Iowa caucus.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a very small margin, prompting analysts to say that the caucus proved Sanders can win and Clinton is beatable.

On the Republican side, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz humbled controversial billionaire Donald Trump after his surprise victory over his Republican rivals, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was a close third.

2. Syrian Crisis.

About fifty Syrian nationals died and dozens more were injured Sunday in the Syrian capital of Damascus, in coordinated attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Meanwhile, Syrian government officials and opposition leaders were holding United Nations-backed peace talks in Geneva.

3. Myanmar's Parliamentary Session.

The National League for Democracy party, led by Burmese stateswoman Aung San Suu Kyi, became a majority in Myanmar's parliament for the first time, following a historic victory Feb. 1. The party has enjoyed significant victories lately and hopes to give way to a democratically elected government in Myanmar.

The Asian country had been up until that moment dominated by military rule.

4. North Korea Rocket Launch.

North Korea succeeded for the first time in launching a long-range rocket into space, defying international sanctions.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the action, with many governments across the world, including the U.S., South Korea and Japan, considering it as a threat to international security.

North Korea is banned from using ballistic missile technology.

5. Zika Virus.

After Ebola, Zika is now a global threat to our health.

The World Health Organization declared that the Zika virus is now a public health emergency, as it reached more countries across the world, especially in the Americas.

WHO hopes to elicit funding for developed research on the virus and to prevent pregnant women from becoming infected.

The virus is spread by mosquitoes and is believed to be responsible for the increasing number of babies in Brazil born with abnormalities.

6. WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange.

A United Nations panel found that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained for over five years by the United Kingdom and Sweden and that he should be released with compensation.

Assange and Ecuador welcomed the panel's findings, while the British and Swedish governments rejected them.

7. Taiwan Earthquake.

At least 11 people died in Taiwan and more than 150 were hospitalized after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake led to the collapse of a residential complex Feb. 6.

Cover credit: Pulsosocial.com