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News Roundup: Nov. 1 – Dec. 17
Major League Baseball – On Nov. 1 the Houston Astros won the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This was the first World Series win for the Astros in the history of the team. The Astros won 101 games this season.
Church Shooting – Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Nov. 5. Kelly was previously court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and his child.
Texas GOP Sexual Assault Lawsuit – The Republican Party of Texas is suing the Texas secretary of state in order to keep U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold off the 2018 primary ballot. This lawsuit comes one day after Farenthold announced he would not be seeking re-election in 2018. Farenthold is currently facing allegations of sexual assault and had initially filed for re-election.
Day for Night – The Houston-based music festival Day For Night finished this weekend on Dec. 17. Outdoor performances had to end early due to rain Saturday night, but festival-goers were in good spirits. Promoters estimate that Saturday night’s attendance was 20,000 people.
Net Neutrality – The Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle Net Neutrality rules Dec. 14. The regulations prohibited internet providers from blocking websites or charging more for certain content. Comcast and Charter are pushing lawmakers to put the repeal into law.
Sexual Assault – Beginning Oct. 5 with reports of sexual assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo campaign has opened allegations and investigations into 97 men and one woman in areas of power and influence. The campaign has recently entered D.C., where lawmakers are responding to allegations of their inappropriate behavior.
Michael Flynn – Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Dec. 1 to lying to the F.B.I. about meeting and speaking to Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Flynn’s confession states that he was directed to contact the Russian ambassador by a “very senior member” of the presidential transition team. Flynn is cooperating fully with the F.B.I. investigation.
Tax Bill – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is nearing completion as committees debate the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bill would have the largest one-time reduction in the corporate tax rate in U.S. history and lowers taxes for a majority of Americans.
Indian Lunar Landing – India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is intending to launch a mission to the moon in March 2018. The mission will include a second lunar orbiter, a lander and a lunar rover. ISRO has been ramping up space efforts this decade and operates on a very limited budget: in 2013, it launched the Mars Orbiter Mission and reached Mars on a budget of US $74 million.
North Korean Defector – A North Korean soldier suffered critical gunshot wounds attempting to defect across the border to South Korea Nov. 13. The soldier was later to be found infected with hepatitis B and several stomach parasites. He is now being treated at a South Korean military hospital.
Climate Science – French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the One Planet Summit in Paris Dec. 12. The summit marked the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, reaffirming the signatory countries’ commitment to the agreement. Macron used the summit to call for funding for scientists aimed at limiting global temperature rise to no more than two degrees Celsius. Currently, it is estimated that $6.3 trillion is needed annually until 2030 to meet this goal. As of the summit, governments have committed only $100 billion per year.
Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe submitted his resignation as president to parliament Nov. 23 after ruling Zimbabwe for 37 years. In what many described as a coup, soldiers took control of state news broadcaster ZBC and placed Mugabe under house arrest Nov. 15. The crisis emerged after First Lady Grace Mugabe was seeking vice presidency after Mugabe fired Emmerson Mnangagwa, a close ally of the army Nov. 6.
On the bright side:
After a series of devastating California Wildfires in November, pets and their owners are finally reuniting. While many families tried to evacuate with their pets, some animals escaped in the chaos of the fires. Animal shelters and veterinary offices are working closely to reunite more families with their pets.
Also published on Medium.