Monday, June 6, 2016

U.S. Sailor Arrested in Japan for Suspicion of Drunken Driving

On June 5th Aimee Mejia was arrested on Sunday after driving the wrong way on the freeway and crashing head on into two vehicles. The driver was not injured but the other two people involved were. This caused for strict restrictions to be put on the Navy personnel, as the Japanese residents highly resent the American military personnel committing crimes. There is to be limited travel on and off base for Navy personnel as well as a drinking ban. The residents are trying to get the military bases to leave Japan completely, but both the U.S. and Japan are working on locating the Marine Corps. Base out of a densely populated area in Okinawa. The resentment of the U.S. military personnel comes after a slew of crimes committed by Americans over the last couple months. Amanda Pringle

Sunday, June 5, 2016

China talks tough over South China Sea

Well China is back in the news again, shockingly enough about their territorial dispute in the south China sea. A senior defense official stated the other day that Beijing "had no fear of trouble" in the region and again stated their stance related to sovereignty in the region. It was interesting as well since this big speech by the Chinese came during the annual Asia-Pacific conference on security, a conference in which the United States was very present in throughout. Our dominance and hegemonic powers make all of the nations surrounding China scurry up next to us, as seen in the awkward handshake issued by Ash Carter that went seemingly unnoticed. This whole issue is such a joke because China thinks just because the large body of water to the extreme south of their country has their name in it, it is theirs. China has been challenged by the Philippines over all of these territorial disputes and it has been brought to The Hague, but China pretty much gave them the bird and showed them where to put it. The next few months and years are going to be very sticky in the South Asian region and it will be interesting to watch.

-Chris Kucinsky

Tens of thousands in Hong Kong commemorate Tiananmen Square massacre

This last Saturday was the 27th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and every year, demonstrations and people make themselves more and more present. The organizers of this rally and fight for justice this year brought together nearly 125,000 people in Victoria Garden, which is in the heart of Hong Kong. They hope to send a message annually to the Chinese government for years to come, denouncing their tyrannical motives that day 27 years ago. China and Hong Kong again are on the precipice of leaning the wrong way so this pro-democracy movement of theirs is proving to be a dual gut killer for the government. I support this annual demonstration because it gives me a good felling that tides will be turning in favor of those demonstrators because their voice is bigger than the governments.

-Chris Kucinsky

When West Africans Dress, the Fabric Is the Message

Jake Kazmierczak

This article drew my attention because of the video we watched regarding the clothing markets across the world where used American clothing is bought in bulk and sold. The article, I thought would be more relevant to that, but rather it discussed the style of clothing women wear in west africa, and what kind of statements they make. While there was no mention of where this clothing was originally acquired, the article goes on talking about how these African women spread religious and political messages through what they wear and how they wear it. For example a face of a certain individual on their butt makes a different statement from when worn near their heart. I found this interesting considering how in the U.S. I'm not sure i'd ever see somebody walking around with a picture of the president sewn onto their butt... regardless. I think the article is a nice insight into the fashion culture of different places of the world.

Greed, Corruption and Danger: A Tarnished Afghan Gem Trade

Jake Kazmierczak

This is an interesting article that talks about Lapis in Afghanistan, something I honestly never even heard of until now. Apparently it is some kindof mineral/gem that in 2010, the U.S. determined that Afghanastan had at least 1 trillion dollars worth of the resource unharvested in the country. This spiked interest in the market, and eventually led to the Taliban and other unlawful groups' interest in the mineral. Basically the entire market has gone corrupt according to this article, and the people of afghanastan are upset as the powerful few who essentially control the mineral are using their power to keep the government and people weak in order to keep control of what is left. The title sums it up, Greed, corruption and danger. In one of the most dangerous areas of the world right now, we're seeing the tune of corruption due to greed come into play. Unfortunately this is damaging to the locals who at one point lived off the lapis market that is now controlled by Taliban like groups. I am not sure what we could actually do about this, it feels to me like an unfortunate internal affair... but it is definitely an interesting development I would not have known about had I not opened up the paper.

US Journalist and Translator Killed in Afghan Ambush

Recently, a US photojournalist and a translator were killed in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. "David Gilkey of National Public Radio (NPR), and Zabihullah Tamanna were traveling with the Afghan army when they came under fire and their vehicle was hit by a shell, NPR said." Their driver, an Afghan soldier was also killed in this attack. By the Afghan town of Marjah, the company was "struck by shellfire." 

Apparently, NPR's David Gilkey is the first US journalist to be killed in the current conflict in Afghanistan. Gilkey received a number of awards for journalism and photography throughout his courier, and had been working since 9/11 to show the world the pain and suffering of people caught up in these wars and conflicts across the world. He offered a perspective through which the public could see and understand "the humanity of all those around him." Though he was killed in pursuit of showing the world the truths behind the people caught up in the Afghan conflict, Gilkey's lens will live on through his photography, and his stories, and will continue to show people the humanity that is ever-present in everyone, everywhere.

- Livia Gazzolo

Police officer's wife slain in possible 'militant revenge' in Bangladesh

A women from the city of Chittagong in Bangladeshi has been killed by three unknown assailants. She was the wife of a well-known anti-terror police officer in Bangladeshi. The attack occurred early in the morning while she was walking her son to his bus stop. The attackers stabbed her with a knife multiple times, then shot her in the head and ran off. It is believed to be a planned targeted attack as possible revenge towards her police officer husband.
    Jacob Razo

    Woman dies in second fatal Australian shark attack in a week

    A female scuba diver was attacked and killed by a shark near Australia. The women's diving partner was the first to notice the shark when it brushed up against him. Witnesses in a fishing boat claim to have seen the large shark again as they were trying to get the two divers out of the water. Unfortunately, by the time the women was out of the water, she had died due to the injures caused by the shark bites. The shark that attacked was determined to be most likely a great white. This was the second time in a week that someone from Australia has died from a shark attack.

    Jacob Razo

    Branded a ‘Terrorist’ for Reporting Two Sides of Ukraine’s War

    The Ukrainian government released a list of reporters names that indicated that they were terrorist reporters. The author of this article, Andrew Kramer, was blacklisted on the list as a terrorist. Kramer perceived the list sarcastically because he most likely has no credibility anywhere else but is suggested to be a powerful person in the Ukrainian government's eyes. The article then talks about how hard-liners in the Ukraine have been furious at the foreign press, arguing that their courage played roles into Russia's powerful propaganda machine. The list is a compilation of reporters and others who applied for press passes in territory controlled by the Donetsk People's Republic, aka Ukraine's main enemy in the two-year-old war in the East. Ukrainians remain outraged that Russian backed groups have been able to deftly amplify their message to the Western media and how the war has killed over 10,000 people. Two weeks after the list was published, Ukraine issued an apology stating that the list was not updated when released.

    Rebecca Goeders

    US Journalist killed in Taliban Ambush

    NPR journalist David Gilkey and his translator Zabihullah Tamanna were traveling with the Afghan army in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle was shelled, and both of them along with the driver died. This is very significant, as Gilkey is the first U.S. journalist to be killed in the Afghanistan conflict. Gilkey was a very accomplished journalist, receiving numerous awards for his career in journalism, so that makes this a rather significant event. Since this is the first time this specific consequence has occurred, I don't believe the U.S. will make any brash decisions in retaliation to this news.

    Kevin Oyakawa

    Angry mobs are attacking doctors at hospitals in India

    In Mumbai several medical professionals have been subjected to attacks by citizens for the lack of timely treatment. These attacks and even strikes by workers are calling for better health care laws and security in emergency rooms and intensive care units. Some groups of doctors have gone as far as purchasing fire arms in order to protect themselves. Many of these groups would ideally like a nationwide law that demands better ways to curb workplace violence in health care facilities The issues these facilities face include delay of treatment, over-crowding, and accusations of negligence and abuse. Even though doctors are overworks (some working 18-20 hours a day), expectations of these facilities have risen and people all want the same treatment and quality. Doctors are frustrated that people are blaming them for the issues that have come about.

    --Kassie Whaling--

    Olympic history made: Refugee team revealed for Rio 2016 Games

    For the first time ever there will be an Olympic team comprised of various refugees. The team will consist of 10 athletes who originally reside in countries such as Syria and South Sudan. There isn't just a refugee crisis in Europe however, this team will also have athletes from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.These athletes will not only share a home in Olympic Village, but they will walk to the Olympic anthem with the Olympic flag during the stadium ceremony. Additionally, the article stresses the role this action takes in demonstrating the importance of all people in society. The creation of this team not only brings hope to other refugees but it draws greater attention and awareness to the rising situation.

    --Kassie Whaling--

    Bernie Sanders

    As the Presidential primary is drawing to a close, Bernie Sanders declared that the Democratic presidential process should not be decided by party leaders and elected officials.  He is predicting a presidential convention between him and his opponent Hillary Clinton.  Even though Mr. Sanders has not been doing well in the poles, he has promised not to give up and he will preserver through the election.

    Peter Olache

    Not easy to be a journalist in Ukraine

    A Ukrainan journalist (who is being anonymous in the article) recently found out that he was blackmailed as a terrorist by Ukrainian officials, because he covered both sides of the conflict against Russia. The case brings the question down to what we discussed earlier this term: who is a terrorist? The term is tough to identify, and is very arbitrarily used worldwide by all different parts. Regardless if he should be branched as a terrorist or not, it has certainly affected his personal safety. Powerful people in Ukraine can go after him if they want to. The problem highlights the existing tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

    Victor Krueeger

    Worrying signs from South Africa

    Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition party in South Africa, "Economic Freedom Fighters", says his party will not hesitate to use violence if the ruling party (ANC) uses violence against them. There have been earlier incidents in Johannesburg and Gauteng, where the government has responded with violence from calls to discussions from the opposition party. To understand the situation clearer, Malema says that his party are not really fighting ANC or president Zuma (who is black). Instead they are fighting "the white monopoly capital". The fact that the opposition leader openly announces that his group are willing to revolt the regime is worrisome.

    Victor Krueeger

    Police officer's wife slain in possible 'militant revenge' in Bangladesh

    A decorated anti-terror officer's wife, Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, was killed by three men close to her home on the way to drop her son off at the school bus stop. This attack was brutal - Mitu was stabbed eight times and shot in the back of the head. The police believe this to be revenge on Mitu's husband, Babul Akter, who is a prominent figure in the anti-terror movement in Bangladesh. Akter was the mastermind behind many high-profile operations against the Islamist terror group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Due to these operations, Akter faced many threats and therefore this brutal crime is considered to be militant revenge. Sadly, Akter's wife is not the only one who has faced death in recent days - over the span of 14 months there have been 35 attacks carried out by terror groups. While some police officers are working hard to combat this violence, Amnesty International has recently stated that the Bangladesh authorities are not discouraging the killings. These awful events will hopefully be diminished over the next few months - if not, other countries and the international community may have to interfere.

    Haley Kuck

    France floods claim three more lives as massive mop-up begins-CNN

    As of Saturday, French citizens finally saw a drop in water levels from the Seine River finally showing an end to the miserable flooding. Unfortunately, new deaths are still being reported as the water levels subside, a total of three others.

    South of Paris has recieved the most water damage putting many towns underwater. An estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated and have had the help of the army to evacuate others. 

    By: Katie Cotter

    All tigers removed from Thailand Tiger Temple-CNN

    After officials made their last confiscation on Saturday, a total of 137 tigers have been taken from the Tiger Sanctuary, a Buddhist temple in Thialand. The director of the department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant conservation stated they "looked" fairly healthy, but only a throughough examination will tell.

    Over the course of the week Federal officials have found suspicious items along with the tigers including frozen baby tigers, tiger teeth, and Ta Krud (which are pieces of tiger skin wrapped around pendants). All of which consisted in rather large numbers raising concerns and more questions.

    By: Katie Cotter

    Iraqi Army Ill-Equipped to Retake Mosul

    The American and Iraqi armies are embarking on a campaign to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS, but the Iraqi forces are weak and such an assault would most likely fail without US aid. Most of the Iraqis' equipment needs to be replaced and the soldiers need better training. Added to that is the oppressive summer heat in Iraq and the coming holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims fast during the day. The Americans are air-lifting equipment right to the front lines and are trying to organize a supply chain from Baghdad to Mosul.

    -William Dawes

    Olympics: Rio 2016's 'perfect storm'

    As the Summer Olympics grow closer, the spotlight has shifted majorly onto Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. Many are starting to think that the city may not be adequately prepared to host such a large event. In the last few months a series of events have been causing continuous problems in the city. Officials assure the world that there is nothing to be concerned about and that everything will be ready when the crowds arrive in July.

    However, the country has been racked with concerns in health safety, political strife, crime, and pollution. With the spread of the Zika virus, many are concerned about the event, but the WHO has only advised pregnant women from travelling there. Recently, the president of Brazil was suspended which has caused some public kickback. The economic situation in Brazil is quite dire with high levels of unemployment and even high levels of crime that have already affected visiting Olympic teams. On top of all this, the bay outside of Rio where many events will be taking place is terribly polluted. Many question whether this years Olympics will be a success or if it has been cursed since the beginning.

    Blake Mitchell

    How Wealthy Americans Hid Millions Overseas

    The release of the Panama Papers brought to light a list of people who had placed large sums of money into offshore bank accounts. Although many of these accounts are legal, the international firm Mossack Fonseca apparently did more than set up these accounts, offering a guide on how to skirt US tax  and disclosure laws. Although the Treasury allows US citizens to send money overseas, this money must be declared to the department. Mossack Fonseca has claimed it has done nothing illegal and that it is the victim of a hacking attack.

    -William Dawes

    Taliban Attack on Afghan Court Leaves 7 Dead

    In what was described on Twitter as a retaliatory attack for the "execution of six martyred Taliban fighters", 3 assailants stormed an Afghan court that left several prosecutors and judges dead. The attack on the courthouse in Pui-i-Alam, the capital of the Logar providence, touched off a 90-minute firefight with Afghan security forces.

    Among the dead was the director of provincial attorney general's office. At least 23 people were wounded in addition to the seven killed.

    Sunday's attack appears to be the third such retaliatory attack in the month following the execution of six Taliban insurgents.

    A similar attack last Wednesday on an appellate court building left six dead, including a police officer. There, a suicide bomber set off his vest  in front of the court, while three additional insurgents were killed by Afghan forces before they could do the same.

    And then, on May 25, a suicide bomber in Kabul destroyed a van filled with court workers. All 11 people inside were killed.

    Adam Poklop

    Switzerland Rejects Basic Income

    A Referendum that would have provided every Swiss citizen with a monthly income was soundly defeated at the polls. Results show 77 percent of voters opposed the plan, while just 23 percent--less than a quarter--supported it.

    Even within the Swiss Parliament, support was thin. While several politicians supported the referendum, no parliamentary party came out in support of the plan. Regardless, the idea garnered the necessary 100 thousand signatures to become a referendum and therefore directly voted on by the Swiss public.

    If the plan would have passed, Swiss adults would have received the equivalent of about $2,500 on a monthly basis. The money would be delivered regardless of people's work status.

    Switzerland's vote appears to be the first of its kind, but won't be the last. The Finnish government is considering a plan that would give basic income to around 8 thousand low-income people.

    Adam Poklop

    Bahrain releases activist Zainab al-Khawaja

    Opposition activist  Zainab al kjawaja  and her 17 old month  son  were released after being arrested and imprisoned in march.   She was arrested for ripping up a photo of the king  Hamad, and choose to be jailed with her son, who was with her during the time of arrest.  The decision to releases was announced during  a press conference with the Bahrain foreign   minister   and  Secretary of State John Kerry.  The grounds fore there realase was based on humanitarian reasons according to the Bahrian  foreign ministry.  Brian Dooley  of Washing Human Rights First said in  a statement" while
    "they are out of rather than in prison, this is no major breakthrough for human rights, (and) no indicator of fundamental reform”.

    Thomas Baggot

    Migrant Bodies Wash Up in Libya

    On Friday, it was reported that more than at least a hundred bodies have washed up on the shores of Libya and there are also those still missing. These large numbers are due to recent boat capsizes in the Mediterranean that are causing thousands of missing people. At least 117 bodies were recovered on the shores of Libya, at total of 75 women, 36 men, and 6 children, near the Zwara. Around this time a boat carrying about 700 migrants also capsized off the coast of Crete. While 340 people were rescued with 9 bodies being recovered, there is still many that are still missing. A rescue for these individuals are still being made.

    Kyla Singleton

    In Defense of Globalism: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

    In an Opinion column by Roger Cohen he discusses the importance of the TPP. He expresses a great deal of concern over the fact that the major candidates from both sides are not being supportive of this trade agreement. With our approval rating amazingly high in Vietnam this deal could be extremely important to our relationship with the countries involved. Not only this, but his main point, that if we let this deal fall through the cracks within our congress that China will win. As they continue to try and claim their dominance over the area not ratifying this treaty would only encourage them, and allow them, to continue their actions. It would hinder any efforts for a globalized economy and allow for China to continue to dominate the market in the region. If ratified this trade agreement would be an important boon for globalism and provide beneficial economically for all those involved.

    McKenzie Parlatore

    Surging Migrant Death Toll

    The migrant crisis in Europe has been an issue for some time now, promoting both the best and worst of humanity through global politics. Unfortunately, the problem does not seem to be disappearing anytime soon. In fact, according to the New York Times, the migrant death toll is steadily increasing. With many countries shutting down their borders and doing everything they can to ward off refugees Italy has become one of the #1 destinations for migrants fleeing North African and Middle Eastern countries. In the past week alone approximately 1,000 migrants died attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Italy has managed to rescue more than 46,700 migrants this year and is urging other countries to give them assistance and not leave them alone to deal with this problem. Personally,  I think it may be time these countries being affected stop thinking about addressing or trying to prevent the symptoms, and start addressing the cause.

    McKenzie Parlatore

    Saturday, June 4, 2016

    Death of a legend

    On June 3rd in 2016 Muhammad Ali the greatest boxer who ever lived died at the age of seventy-four.  He spent his last few days in the hospital being treated for respiratory complications.  This boxing legend who was a three time heavy-weight world champion had been battling Parkinson's disease for three decades.  Muhammad Ali was not only an amazing fighter, but he was also a huge leader in the equality movement. 

    Peter Olache