Weekly Recap: Seven News Stories Students Should Be Aware Of

Between cramming for midterms and taking some time off during every student’s favorite mid-semester “break”, many likely failed to open up The New York Times or turn on CNN, if so, here’s what you missed:

1. The Unseen Costs of the U.S. Government Shutdown

After the federal government shutdown on October 1, many students pointed out that nothing had changed and made jokes via Twitter regarding the lack of government; however, the results are no joke. It’s estimated that the three week long shutdown will inevitably cost the economy $3.1 billion due to lost government services. A major crisis within the government is the fact that we’ve reached the limit of our debt ceiling and the shutdown helped in no way. Throughout the shutdown, about 800,000 workers were barred from working, workers who will need to be paid for their time spent idle and will likely need to be paid more for overtime that they’ll be putting in to make up for the work that wasn’t completed while they were out of work. Not only that, but resources, such as National parks, museums, and monuments, that could have been bringing in revenue and helping our economy, were shutdown, digging us into an even deeper hole. Also, preparations for and cleaning up after the shutdown wasted a lot of time and resources that could have been spent solving other issues, so all around the shutdown cost us time, money, and valuable resources.

2. New Jersey becomes the 14th State to Allow Same Sex Marriage

After Chris Christie’s failed attempts at appealing gay marriage in New Jersey, the governor has decided to drop the appeal, permanently allowing same-sex marriages in the state. It has been about 10 years since same-sex marriage was legalized in the first state, Massachusetts, and although it seems like much progress has been made there are still very few states that allow same-sex marriage. Christie had appealed the Supreme Court’s ruling permitting same-sex marriage and wanted to block marriages until the appeal was resolved, but the Supreme Court rejected this attempt. A spokesman for Christie said, “Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law.” New Jersey is now the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage and couples wasted no time in exchanging vows as soon as news broke that same-sex marriage was now legal.

3. JP Morgan slapped with $13 billion in Penalties by the Justice Department

JP Morgan Chase has been under investigation for contributing to the financial crisis by partaking in questionable mortgage practices. As a result of their wrongdoing, the Justice Department is slapping JP Morgan Chase with a $13 billion settlement, and requesting that the bank cooperates and assists in their investigation into former JP Morgan Chase employees who took part in the controversial mortgage investments. Numbers are still tentative, but if this goes through, the $13 billion penalty would surpass any other major settlements including BP’s $4.5 billion paid after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine for money laundering.

4. Shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada

On Monday October 23, a little after 7 am, a student opened fire at Sparks Middle School in Nevada. The shooting left a teacher and the shooter dead, and two others injured. Although the story is still unfolding, the scene has been described as chaotic and police are not yet sure whether the shooter had a specific target or if it was a random shooting spree. A student told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the shooter pointed the gun at the teacher and when the teacher asked for the gun to be put away, the student opened fire, causing witnesses to flee the scene. Since the incident, law enforcement has stated that the school and the community are now secure. In light of the Sandy Hook shooting last year, this shooting is sure to reignite the debate over gun control and safety.

5. Red Sox take on the Cardinals in the World Series

The Boston Red Sox will be playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 World Series. This won’t be the first Red Sox vs. Cardinals World Series, the teams went head to head in the 2004 World Series, where the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in a four game sweep. Nine years later, the question is: will the Cardinals be able to redeem themselves? The series will begin Wednesday, October 23 at 8 pm at Fenway Park in Boston and will be televised on FOX.

6. Suicide Bombing killed 15 in Somalia

On Saturday, October 19, fifteen were killed in a suicide bombing in Somalia. The Shebab, a militant Somali Islamist group which came to be as a movement resisting the Unites States, took responsibility for the attack, saying that they were targeting soldiers from Ethiopia and Djibouti. This is not the Shebab’s first attack, the group is also responsible for the recent mall bombing in Nairobi which killed 39 people and left over 150 people wounded. Although the African Union has worked to dismantle the group, the Shebab has continued to plan attacks, especially suicide bombings, killing and injuring many.

7. Baby Hope Update: Conrado Juaraz is Being Brought to Trial after Confessing to Smothering Child 22 Years Ago

The story of Baby Hope may be unfamiliar to many college students today, as many weren’t even born when the mystery began. Baby Hope, whose real name is Anjelica Castillo, was found dead, left in a cooler on the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York 22 years ago. Anjelica had been left with her aunt, as her father had left the family and the mother was no longer able to care for her children. When Anjelica went missing no one bothered to look for her and authorities did not know who the child that had been found was or where she came from. Conrado Juarez, Anjelica’s cousin (son of the aunt who cared for Anjelica) recently confessed to smothering Anjelica and helping dispose of her body, but has since recanted his confession, saying that police pressured him. Juarez is now being kept at Rikers where he will await trial.

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