A world without giraffes?
12/8/16: Giraffes have been updated to the "vulnerable" status, which means they are at high risk for extinction. In 1985, there were as many as 163,452 giraffes. Now, there are around 97,562. Giraffes are poached for their tails and their meat. As with many other species, humans are the main cause of these lovable animals declining in large amounts. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/world/sutter-giraffe-extinction/index.html
From UPS Driver to Savior
12/9/16: A UPS delivery man had called authorities when he saw "call 911" scrawled on a package. The police found a woman was being held captive and sexually assaulted in her own home. Her husband was abusing her and refusing to let her leave, and at the time was pointing a gun at her and threatening to kill her. Their 3 year old child was locked in the bedroom the whole time, reportedly going 15 hours without food or water. The husband has been taken into custody and everybody is safe. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/09/us/ups-driver-helps-free-woman/index.html
Cold Cancels Flights
12/12/16: A huge storm moving through the Midwest led to more than 1,400 flights cancelled on Sunday in Chicago (including my brother's flight!). Another arctic blast is expected to hit half the country this week. Lots of snow is expected in places all over the country. Remember to bundle up and stay safe! :-) http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/11/us/winter-weather-storm/index.html
Activists dress as bloodied brides in support of women in lebanon
12/13/16: Activists in Lebanon dress up as bloodied brides to protest the law that states men who rape a woman will not be prosecuted if they marry their victim. This law shames women into marrying their attacker so they don't bring shame to their family. While rape can be punished with up to 7 years in jail, which is already not a sufficient punishment, men who marry their victims are completely off the hook. http://www.cnn.com/videos/justice/2016/12/12/lebanon-marriage-rape-law-orig.cnn
In my opinion, this is an awesome thing for these women to do. A peaceful protest against a law that can ruin the lives of women. These are the kind of people we need more of in our world.
The struggle of chicago's youth
For the past 15 years, someone has been murdered on a porch every three weeks on average, according to Chicago police records. Many are shot because they find themselves innocently in the line of fire. Sometimes they are caught in the middle of drug deals or gang violence. Other times it's about who they know or hang out with.
12/14/16: Etyra Ruffin, a 10 year old girl living in Chicago, was sitting on her father's lap on the front porch. All of a sudden, she hears people yelling "Get down!" and she hears gunshots. Her friend, 11 year old Devin, and his mother hide in the basement while Etyra's father brings her into the house and attempts to shield her. Once the gunfire subsided, they realized her father had been shot in 4 places. He ended up surviving. Like many cases of murders in Chicago, they were just innocent people caught in the line of fire. Etyra dreams to grow up to be a doctor despite her background, and her friend Devin is scared to even go outside. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2016/12/us/chicago-disappearing-front-porch/
This story applies so well to the discussion on gun control we've been having in class. Gun control has so much to do with this report and so many others. If the stories of these children can't at least open some eyes to gun reform, I don't know what will.
Don't drink the water...
12/15/16: Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, were warned not to drink the tap water in their city due to "unknown" chemicals. They need to survive on water bottles for everything from drinking to bathing. Stores sold out of water, and they are awaiting emergency shipments of water bottles. The cause is a "recent back-flow incident" in the industry district, but they would not release which industry. Many businesses and schools were closed today. They are still working to fix the issue. In my opinion, industries these days are being much too reckless, especially when it comes to the environment. There shouldn't be an incident where residents of an entire city cannot drink the water because of an accident within an industry. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/15/health/corpus-christi-water/index.html
What happened to hope?
12/16/16: During Michelle Obama's interview with Oprah, she said, "See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like." She believes hope is a necessary concept and Barack did not just talk about hope to use it as a nice little slogan. She believes her husband gave people something to believe in when challenges arose. He was someone that could say "Hey, I know times are tough, but it is all going to turn out okay." According to the article, more than one in three Americans think Trump will be a "poor or terrible" president. Like Michelle said, these people are now feeling a lack of hope. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/16/politics/michelle-obama-home-oprah-interview/index.html
I'm definitely going to miss having the Obamas in the white house. Barack was a fantastic president, and Michelle was a wonderful first lady. Together, these two accomplished a lot. I'll admit, I'm not optimistic about Trump coming into presidency, but we all have to give it a chance. We all have to stand together as a nation.
Cats- energetic little fluffballs or evil creatures?
12/19/16: As it turns out, cats might not be as cute and loving as you may think. In reality, domestication of cats was really never meant to happen. Cats aren't used to living locked in with humans. Cats are vicious predators, and are capable of killing anything smaller than them. They are also known to attack their owners quite often, especially children. Apparently, lots of things going on in a household can stress cats out, such as voice level or lots of other random things. The reason we ended up domesticating cats were because the way their faces are laid out remind us of our infants, and we are drawn to their cuteness. Hearing about this makes me sad because I love my cat and I don't want him to be stressed out in my home! But we let him outside a lot and whenever he comes in to eat or rest, he seems pretty happy. I can see how this is true though, because my other cat was never friendly around people, and she ended up running away. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/19/health/cat-culture/index.html
12/20/16: Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all been hit with lawsuits by families of victims of ISIS attacks. These families claim that these sites have created a platform for ISIS to communicate, and the large scale attacks wouldn't have been possible without it. This lawsuit is just the latest in directing blame of rising terrorism at technology. These social media sites have ramped up efforts to remove accounts promoting terrorism. In my opinion, trying to pin the blame on specific social media sites is useless. Even if these sites didn't exist, there are still plenty more ways that these terrorist groups can communicate through technology and with our modern day technology, there always will be. So we shouldn't be spending time on taking these cases to court and trying to pin lawsuits on websites and instead we should help police these sites to find possible terrorist activities. http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/20/technology/twitter-facebook-google-lawsuit-isis/index.html
Gun control comes to the eu
12/21/16: In light of recent mass shootings and terrorist attacks, the EU is placing stricter laws on guns. They are banning the sale of most dangerous semi-automatic firearms, and making it much harder to purchase firearms in general. People will now have to go through medical checks to get a license to buy firearms, and online sales of firearms will be limited. They will also make it easier to track legally bought firearms to help prevent them from being resold in the black market. They will increase sharing of information between states so someone who cannot buy a gun in one state will not be allowed to go to another state to buy a gun. http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/21/news/firearms-rules-europe/index.html
I think Europe's approach on gun control is awesome. I feel like the required medical checks in order to get a license is a great idea, because it helps prevent people who are mentally unstable from getting their hands on a firearm. It will definitely be interesting to monitor gun violence in the EU now and see if there are any trends from before these laws were in place and now.
death in "menstruation huts"
12/22/16: A 15 year old girl in Nepal died in a "menstruation hut" due to smoke inhalation from a fire that was meant to keep her warm. This is the second death in one of these huts this month. In Nepal, girls on their periods are considered "unclean" and banished for the duration of their periods. Even though this practice was eradicated, certain areas still use it. Deaths in these huts are often due to smoke inhalation, snake bites, or lack of basic health needs while menstruating. I think this is absolutely disgusting. Menstruation is a thing that about half of our population experiences, and it's still considered a taboo topic. It's a normal biological process that we can't control. People need to stop acting like it is such an awful thing to talk about and accept that it's a part of life. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/22/asia/nepal-teen-dies-menstruation-hut/index.html