What You Missed Last Week

April 11, 2018

National

Teacher Protests Pick Up in Kentucky and Oklahoma

Following the success of teachers in West Virginia, educators in Kentucky and Oklahoma took to the streets in a movement that might spill over to other states. Teachers protested the budget for public education, and over 30,000 educators protested in Oklahoma. In Kentucky, schools were closed for spring break, allowing teachers to protest in the state capital. Both the conservative tax system and the lack of spending have stagnated wages in these states, making teaching a thankless profession.

 

Photo: Associated Press 

 

Shooting at YouTube Headquarters

There was an afternoon of anxiety at the YouTube headquarters on Tuesday when Nasim Aghdam began firing shots, injuring three people and killing herself. Interviews with her family revealed that she was angry with YouTube for censoring her videos and stopping payments for her content, calling it discrimination. Prior to the shooting, she had been reported missing by her family in San Diego, and she was found sleeping in her car at 2:00 in the morning by the Mountain View police. The police are investigating and trying to figure out if she knew any of the victims and was specifically targeting them, but no evidence has been found yet. Wednesday would have been Nasim’s 38th birthday.

 

Surgeon General Issues Health Advisory over Opioid Crisis

For the first time in over a decade, the Surgeon General has issued a public health advisory. The advisory encourages people to carry naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. With our country’s increasing opioid crisis, which President Trump declared to be a public health emergency, carrying naloxone (brand name Narcan) has been encouraged, as it can be a lifesaver for those who overdose on opioids. It is often used by emergency medical technicians and police officers. The general naloxone dose costs between $20-$40, while Narcan costs $130 for two doses, and is covered by most health insurances.

 

International

 

Photo: AFP image

 

Israeli-Palestinian conflict turns Violent, Killing 15, Injuring hundreds

15 people were killed and almost 1,400 were injured in a confrontation between the Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters. Almost 30,000 people had gathered on the Gaza side of the border for a peaceful, six-week protest against Israel’s blockade of the area in support of returning to their homes in now-Israel. However, when some of the protesters started hurling stones and rolling burning tires toward the fence, Israeli forces responded with tear gas, in addition to firing shots. Fuelled by the economic collapse of the region, this incident is one of the worst collisions in recent years.

 

Bahrain Helps Iran bypass International Sanctions

Evidence that a Bahrain bank helped Iran evade international sanctions for a decade in a multi-billion dollar scheme has been found this week. An audit by the Bahraini government has found that Future Bank regularly altered financial documents to allow Iran to trade with multiple foreign partners. The now-closed bank had allowed Iran to trade in billions of dollars against international sanctions that had been imposed to protest against Iran’s nuclear program and support terrorist groups. The investigation was prompted when Future Bank was closed down in 2015, forcing its shareholders to lodge a complaint accusing Bahrain of improperly closing down the bank and demanding the return of frozen assets.

 

Photo: Associated Press Image

 

Former South Korean President Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison

Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s former president, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison. She had been impeached over a year ago for influence-peddling, and she was removed from office as a result. She was found guilty of helping her friend, Choi Soon-sil, pocket money from deals with big companies in exchange for political favors. She has been formally charged with corruption and she was sentenced to prison. Park says that she is a victim of “political revenge,” and it is expected that she will appeal.

 

In other news

Google Employees Protest Company Involvement with Pentagon

Google staff members have expressed their unease over the Pentagon’s use of Google’s AI technology for drone image recognition. Employees are signing a petition to stop the program and not build “warfare technology.” Though Google says the contract was for “non-offensive purposes” only, the U.S. Defence Department’s “Project Maven” aims to “increase the ability of weapon systems to detect objects.” Employees are worried that once the technology is handed over to the government, the technology could be used to operate and fly drones, or even launch weapons in the future.

 

Turbulence in the Stock Market, Spotify’s Direct Listing Closes at $26.5 billion

Though the stock market has been rising lately, there are growing concerns over the upcoming turbulence. This has been fuelled by President Trump’s Twitter attack on Amazon (though most people contend that the attack is aimed at the Washington Post), leading to speculations regarding further government regulations for tech companies, as well as the tariff war that is building up between the US and China.

Spotify, however, had a successful first day on the NYSE, with around $149 per share, making the company worth $26.5 billion. Spotify chose to have a direct listing, releasing no new shares, allowing employees and investors to share their existing stock. This success could change how other companies go about their IPOs.

 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Passed Away

Winifred Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the age of 81 following a “long illness,” on Monday in Johannesburg. Madikizela-Mandela met Nelson Mandela in 1957 and they got married the next year. They had two children. During Mandela’s time in prison, from 1963 to 1990, Madikizela-Mandela became the face of anti-apartheid protests. She was placed under house-arrest and even detained under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, causing her to be sentenced to solitary confinement for 18 months. She was elected as an MP in the first democratic election in 1994, and she also became the deputy minister of Arts and Culture.

 

My name is Pankhuri Kumar. I'm a 23-year old graduate student, majoring in Journalism and Computer Science. I'm a nerd about technology and hope to make the world a more informed place with data. I'm obsessed with Indian food, The Office, and Harry Potter.

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