Outside the Bubble (October 31-Nov 6)

To put it gently a lot happened this week, from the Cubs’ first World Series victory in over a century, South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes from political scandal, Iraqi Special Forces launch full assault into Mosul and some American schools are cancelling classes on Election Day due to fear of violence at the polling sites. Two days before Election Day and the influx of news has not stopped.

1. South Korean President Wrapped Up in Scandal

South Korean President Park Guen-hye apologized on TV Friday after being embroiled in a political scandal that allowed her friend Choi Soon-sil, daughter of an old South Korean religious leader, access to government policy making. Choi is suspected to using her friendship with Park as a way to solicit donations to non-profit fund Choi controlled, Choi is now in detention facing charges. Park has refused to resign in the midst of the scandal and currently has an approval rating of 5 %, the lowest rating for a South Korean President. Crowds in the thousands took to the streets, blocking a 16-lane highway on Saturday calling for Park to resign. One protester with her child beside her said, “I brought my child so that she could witness democracy in action, and also to show her this dark time in our history.”


2. Public Schools class cancellations on Election Day in fear of violent poll crowds.

Some public schools serving as voting polls sites in the U.S. are canceling classes on Tuesday because of student safety concerns in fear of violent reactions from what seems to be an extremely heated campaign season. Schools such as Johnston County Schools in North Carolina decided to cancel classes at two of their elementary schools that will serve as polling sites next Tuesday. “This is the first time we’ve ever closed schools on Election Day,” said Nathanael Shelton, spokesman for the Johnston County Schools. “It’s a lot of people on campus that day due to the expected turnout. It’s a logistical issue.”

Many other schools in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio have also canceled classes on Election Day in fear that the larger rowdy crowds will increase political tensions and risk the safety of the students and faculty. Schools in Texas, New Jersey and Massachusetts have decided to keep students home on Election day for the same fearful reasons.

3. Iraqi Special Forces Enter Mosul

After months of planning, Iraqi Special Forces take the offensive as they entered ISIS-controlled Mosul, Thursday for the first time in two years and face the militants on the front line head on. The start of the offensive was announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in an address on state television early Monday morning. ““We started fighting Isis on the outskirts of Baghdad,” he said. “And thank God we are now fighting them in the outskirts of Mosul, and God willing the decisive battle will be soon.”

The Iraqi Special Forces breaking through the eastern border has been very effective towards the offensive that was launched two weeks ago to free Mosul from ISIS rule. Officials have warned that the Special Forces entering the city the harshest violence could occur and that the battle will be mainly be grounded in the city streets or houses.

4. Harvard Men’s Soccer Team Suspended

The Harvard University men’s soccer team had their season canceled last Thursday after the school found that the men’s team repeatedly written and passed around indecent and lewd “scouting reports” that rated new freshmen players on the women’s team. The women were rated on a 1 to 10 scale of sexual appeal that centered on appearance and preferred sexual positions, according to the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper. The Crimson revealed that the report was from 2012 and had been a tradition.

“The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential,” Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement Thursday. She wrote, “both the team’s behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community.”

Pieter Lehrer, the men’s soccer coach was “beyond disappointed” to see the season end in this manner, but respected the decision. The women’s soccer team has read the comments on the report and were hurt and hoped that this story would create change in culture. They said to the men’s soccer team that they offer their forgiveness but that will be “‘the only part-the only part of me that you will ever claim as yours.’”

5. After 108 Years, Cubs win 2016 World Series

After over a century, The Chicago Cubs are finally victorious, clenching the 2016 World Series Wednesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland with a memorable 10-inning Game 7 win over the Cleveland Indians. The Indians were down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth but Aroldis Chapman tied it up with a RBI double from Brandon Guyer and a two-run homer from Rajai Davis. Chapman lost the lead, Cleveland gained momentum and then the intensity was suddenly delayed by the rain that lasted 17 minutes. The delayed ended, the Cubs came back with a fire. Kyle Schwarber hit a single from Bryan Shaw and Albert Almora Jr. got a pinch run and rushed to second after a fly out from Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo intentionally walked and Ben Zobrist had a RBI double off Shaw which drove in Almora Jr. and after Addison Russell intentionally walked, Miguel Montero’s single with bases loaded allowed Rizzo to come home. The Cubs were able to have eight players get a RBI which is the most of any team in a Game 7 of a World Series. “It was like a heavyweight fight, man. Just blow for blow, everyone playing their heart out,” Zobrist said after the game. “The Indians never gave up either, and I can’t believe we’re finally standing after 108 years, finally able to host the trophy.”

After generations waiting the Cubs are able to break the curse and obtain such a significant achievement to themselves and their city.


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