It’s midterm week at Marist College, and so most students will be found holed up in the James A. Cannavino Library, poring over multiple textbooks and blocking out the rest of the world by listening to the latest Jay-Z song on their iPods. With stress and fatigue taking a prominent role in the scheme of this week, it’s too easy to ignore the world beyond the “Marist Bubble”. So how does one study and remain informed on the ever-changing status quo of the world?
Well, we’ve made it easy for you. In the past week, there have been 7 standout news stories that every student should be aware of. Whether politically driven on a domestic or international basis, or focused on disease prevention, they cover events that have profound influence across the world.
1. Financial Repercussions of the Government Shutdown
It is no secret that a vast majority of the headlines in recent weeks have been in some way related to the October 1 shutdown of the United States government. The shutdown occurred due to the fact that Congress was unable to pass a spending bill to fund the government for its fiscal year. One main reason for this was the vehement disagreement between House Republicans and Senate Democrats, who were split over the decision to defund Obamacare. Now, however, another enormously important deadline is looming: the debt ceiling. Congress has always imposed a limit to the amount of money that the United States is able to borrow. This is called the “debt ceiling”. Come October 17, the United States will have not only reached that limit, but will have finally run out of money to meet all of its financial obligations. According to most economists, the repercussions of this could create an unprecedented global financial crisis.
Because of this financial quandary, be on the watch for international tensions to skyrocket in the coming weeks; countries like China, who is currently the largest holder of American debt, are already making their displeasure known.
2. Fatal India Temple Stampede
On Sunday the pilgrimage of over 25,000 people in Ratangarh, India to a Hindu Temple Festival ended in tragedy. While crossing a bridge en route to the festival site, a rumor started to swirl that the bridge was about to collapse, thereby starting a massively panicked stampede that has resulted in over a hundred deaths. The death and injury tolls continue to rise well into the hundreds with every passing hour.
3. Three Americans Win Nobel Prize for Economics
On Monday, three American scholars were awarded the Nobel Prize for economics. According to the Wall Street Journal, these three men – Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller – were found worthy of the honorary distinction due to their market insights, stemming from “pioneering research in the workings of financial markets, asset prices and behavioral economics.” These three men join the six other American-based scholars who have already been awarded the Nobel Prize this year in other categories.
4. Madagascar Bubonic Plague Warning
Hearing the words “Bubonic Plague’ automatically brings you back to those high school history courses when you learned all about how the “Black Death” attributed for 25 million deaths in Europe during the Middle Ages, right? This pestilent disease has long been considered to be virtually nonexistent in today’s society, barring a few relatively minor outbreaks across the world. However, recently recorded numbers in Madagascar in the beginning of this month show that the humid and dirty conditions of the country are providing a perfect atmosphere for transmitting the bubonic plague. Because of these numbers, which highlight the fact that the death toll increases every year, experts are warning that a full-on epidemic could occur sooner rather than later in this African country. The outbreaks have been especially prevalent in Madagascar prison cells, where grime and fleas run rife.
5. Red Cross Members Kidnapped in Syria
On the way to provide medical aid and provisions in Idlib, Syria on October 10, a team of 6 Red Cross aid workers and an accompanying member of the Syrian Red Crescent were kidnapped at gunpoint. As of Monday morning, four of the members have been released; the status of the remaining three aid workers still remains in question. To many, this high-profile kidnapping is yet another horrific side effect of the tumultuous civil war that is currently plaguing Syria.
- Red Cross Workers Kidnapped in Syria
- Update: Four Red Cross Workers Released, Three Remain in Question
6. Israel Warns Against Easing Sanctions on Iran
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced a warning towards the great powers of the world as talks of nuclear dispute have resurfaced again: do not ease up on the sanctions against Iran. According to Netanyahu, Iran – Israel’s most notable enemy – would take the easing up on sanctions as potential permission to regain weapons aspirations. This is a prominent example on international affairs in today’s world having both a global involvement and a focus on nuclear technology.
7. Al Libi Taken into Custody in New York
Alleged al Qaeda operative Al Libi was arrested in Libya on October 5 and taken to New York. The Tripoli native is believed to have been involved with the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, among other acts of terror linked with al Qaeda. According to CNN.com, Al Libi could potentially provide a wealth of knowledge on terrorism networks internationally.
News stories around the world are constantly changing, evolving, and giving birth to new leads. While it is important to do well on midterms, staying informed about everything going on in the world may turn out to be just as valuable. So, on your next study break, take the time to catch up on the world around you – it’ll be worth it.