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Current Events: Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Catalonia, Nobel Prizes

Anna Kaganova, Staff Writer

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Hi! I’m Anna Kaganova, a junior in the Global Studies program and I’m very excited to write this column. I think it’s incredibly important to stay up to date with all the things happening around the world. You never know how different events might affect you, and learning more about problems happening gives you with the foundation needed to do something about them. Plus you can just sound smarter.


 

image courtesy of nbcnews.com

The Vegas Shooting:

Last Sunday night, a 64-year-old Steven Paddock from NV fired on a crowd at a country music festival from the window of a nearby hotel room. He killed 58 people and injured more than 500. After the police started storming the hotel, the attacker shot himself. Cameras and 23 weapons were found in his room, some guns upgraded with bump stocks (bump stocks are attachments you can legally buy for a semiautomatic gun that increase its firing rate, making it more like a machine gun). The shooters motive has not yet been determined, but believed that he doesn’t have ties to ISIS.

This was the deadliest mass shooting in America since 1966. Paddock was also considerably older than most other shooters.

Following the shooting, a group of Democratic senators introduced a bill that would make bump stocks illegal. Republicans said they were open to reviewing the bill.

Also, the National Rifle Association, a large pro-gun lobbying group, stated that it supports limiting access to bump stocks.

So now a Republican-controlled Congress, supported by NRA, might pass a gun control measure. Wow.

 

image courtesy of The Nation

Trump Visits Puerto Rico:

Following Hurricane Maria, President Trump visited Puerto Rico on October 3.

After a briefing, during which Trump implied that Maria was not a “real catastrophe”, the President visited a church where he free-threw toilet paper and paper towels into the crowd.

Last month, the hurricane killed 34 people and totally wiped out power for the U.S. Territory. Most of the country still doesn’t have access water, cell service, or fuel, and it’s hard to bring in supplies because a lot of transportation has been cut off by the rubble from the hurricane.

Some people have criticized the U.S. government for not putting in enough effort to help the US territory. However, the government said that its response has been sufficient and that Puerto Rico needs to do more on its own.

 

image courtesy of BBCNews.com

It’s not me, it’s you:

Catalonia held a referendum to leave Spain on Tuesday, voting to break away.

Although the voter turnout was 43%, it was declared that 90 percent of voters supported separation. The Spanish government rejected the vote as illegal, and mobilized police forces to prevent the vote. Hundreds of Catalans were injured as police in riot gear tried to seize ballot boxes and disperse voters. The Spanish government apologized for the mishap on Friday.

Catalonia is an autonomous region in the North-East of Spain, with its own language and culture. 16% of Spain’s population lives there, and 25.6% of Spain’s exports and 19% of Spain’s GDP are produced there. Spain, who is currently facing an economic crisis, might get hit hard by the exit.

This happens as, last week, Iraqi Kurds successfully voted to separate from Iraq and create their own state. The Iranian government strongly objected to the movement.

These developments might add fuel to similar independence movements across the world.

 

image courtesy of CNBC

The Nobels:

The Nobel Prize winners were announced this week.

For physics, the prize was shared by three researchers for the detection of gravitational waves.

For chemistry, a European team of scientists obtained the prize for developing a new way to assemble 3-D images of biological molecules.

For medicine, three US scientists were awarded for their research on circadian rhythms, biological clocks that dictate our body functions.

For literature, the prize was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japanese-British author. The 62-year-old writer said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering” and totally unexpected.

The Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN. Probably because of all the atomic issues the world is facing right now (like with Iran nuclear deal and North Korea). In July, ICAN pressured a UN treaty designed to ban and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons. It was backed by 122 nations… but none of the large nuclear powers (like the US, North Korea, and Russia) endorsed it (yikes).

Controversy was sparked over the fact that all the winners for science this year were old white guys. And that only 48 women have been awarded a Nobel prize since the awards’ beginning in 1901 out of the 881 total laureates. And there have been only 15 black recipients for the entire history of the prize. Yeah…

 

That’s all the main news for this week. Tune in next Friday for more current events!

 

 

 

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Current Events: Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Catalonia, Nobel Prizes