NEWS BRIEFS: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Government shutdown continues
The U.S. government has been in a partial shutdown since Oct. 1.  If the shutdown ends before Oct. 17, the national debt ceiling will be raised.  Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN both said to CNN on Oct. 13, “More than a dozen Senators have been involved in their effort calling for a longer extension of the debt limit and government funding.”
However, according to CNN, the only actions taken over the weekend involved, “one no after the other.”  Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN said to CNN, “There was movement a couple of days ago and I think things are not moving now.”
The Treasury Department has said it will be unable to pay the government’s bills unless the debt limit is increased by Oct. 17

LA buildings in need of retrofit
According to the Los Angeles Times article, “Earthquakes: Concrete Risk,” hundreds of buildings and homes throughout the Los Angeles county may be at risk of collapsing during the next major earthquake.
According to the Times analysis, “many older concrete buildings are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don’t have enough steel reinforcing bars to hold columns in place.”
More than 1,000 buildings in L.A. alone are at risk. According to the Times, past earthquakes in the state generated more “retrofitting,” however, it is up to the actions of the L.A. city officials to strengthen their buildings in order to prepare for what seismologists are calling the next big quake, which is long overdue.

Common App website crashing
Malfunctions with the popular Common Application website have jeopardized the completion of students college applications. The New York Times released an article on Oct. 12 that said, “more than 500 colleges and universities have been plagued by numerous malfunctions, alarming students and parents and putting admission offices weeks behind schedule.”
Students were unable to complete their applications and submit them as well as view certain pages or upload important documents properly. The Common Application, a non-profit company, is working out the kinks and hopes to have the issues resolved by many universities’ early application deadline on Nov. 1.

Phailin causes flooding in India
Cyclone Phailin hit India on Oct. 13, causing major flooding and destroying thousands of homes and farms with millions of dollars worth of crops. According to the Huffington Post, officials said that there were massive evacuation efforts, which helped to spare loss of life.  CNN stated that at least 21 fatalities have been accounted for. Almost 1 million people were evacuated before the cyclone hit. Water damage to the area was extensive. Indian officials told U.S. forecasters that the “massive wall of water” reached almost 30 feet high into the coastline, “covering an area larger than France.”

Red Cross workers released
An armed terrorist group kidnapped six Red Cross workers and one local volunteer, and have released four, from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Syria this past weekend. According to NBC World New, three of the six Red Cross workers and one local volunteer from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been released from an armed terrorist group on Oct. 13.  Ewan Watson, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement that the four were released in the Idlib region of Syria and that officials are awaiting information on the remaining three workers.The gunmen blocked the path of the workers who were trying to deliver medical supplies in the Idlib area, seizing them and taking them to an unidentified location. According to NBC World News, “kidnappings have become increasingly common in northern Syria, where rebels have captured swathes of territory.”


Emily Behrs
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 16, 2013