Ten news stories that students should be paying attention to this week

Unfortunately Adobe Premiere’s best efforts were powerless against my camera’s subpar video quality. However, hopefully you can gather that when asked about the most important current event, most of the students interviewed mentioned the Syrian conflict. Along with this ongoing saga, in no particular order, here are ten other recent stories you should be watching:

On Friday, in what can be seen as a victory for diplomacy, the United States and Russia formed an unlikely alliance to make formal provisions against the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. Despite this, the country remains lodged in a brutal civil war and the debate on US involvement remains unresolved.

Despite the tumultuous relationships the American government tends to have with Middle Eastern nations, this phone call between the two leaders, focusing mainly on economic sanctions and nuclear power, offers a glimmer of hope for Middle Eastern relations.

With mass shootings becoming increasingly common, most gun debates are focused on individual weapons policies. However, questions on the correlation between treatment of those with mental illnesses and gun violence have been raised.

After five seasons of blue crystal persuasion, Breaking Bad has sold the Emmys yet again for the tenth time. Regarded by critics as the best television drama of all time, the series came to a close on Sunday with one of the most nail-biting episodes to date. For those still bingeing on the series with Netflix, this link does not contain any finale spoilers.

It isn’t news that Islamophobia has been rampant in the United States since 9/11. This is just one of a series of recent hate crimes in New York City, which is often mistakenly regarded as a socially liberal paradise. It also reinforces the ignorance that bigots harbor; Sikh people are often attacked because they appear stereotypically Muslim.

After Hosni Mubarak’s regime was overthrown, Egypt’s election of Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi proved disastrous despite the public’s demand for a democratically elected leader. Now the courts are responding to this chaos by banning the practices of this longstanding Islamic group outright, which as is typical of government-restricted groups, will most likely just make them more inclined to start problems. No matter what happens, history is being made in Egypt at alarming rates.

@Ikhwanweb is the official English account of the Muslim Brotherhood. Needless to say, they aren’t happy.

Despite easing tensions between this “hermit kingdom” and South Korea, the international community has become increasingly concerned at the possibility of this new nuclear threat. Although the weapons are not likely to be a direct threat to the United States at the moment, this could reinstate new disarmament negotiations between Washington D.C. and North Korea’s capital Pyongyang. It doesn’t help that North Korean citizens are bombarded with anti-US propaganda.

It’s no secret that Congress Republicans and Democrats tend to act like playground rivals. Now, if they don’t decide to play nice with a spending agreement on Obamacare, the entire government is set to shut down. Here’s a quick rundown on why that matters to you.

With Detroit’s recent declaration of bankruptcy, they have not been the best place to go for good news. However, as you’ll see in this short documentary, this bleak situation has proved the willingness of Motor City residents to rebuild despite a near-defunct government. Don’t let the word “anarchy” in the title put you off; these people prove that anarchists are not all mindless quasi-revolutionaries who throw bricks through shop windows.

Learning from their mistakes in 1998 when the relatively unknown terrorist group Al-Qaeda wreaked havoc in American embassies in Africa, the American government is keeping close watch on the Shabab militant group who facilitated the mall massacre. This attack means that the American government needs to rebuild an alliance with the Kenyan one in order to ensure national security.

So why pay attention to the news? Being an informed citizen is crucial to keeping a well-oiled democracy, and when government systems are kept in check, they can more closely follow the needs of their population. These stories do not directly affect your life, until they do.


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