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

Batkid saves San Francisco
Miles Scott’s wish to be Batman for a day came true on Nov. 15 when San Francisco, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and volunteers turned the city into Gotham City.  Scott, a kindergartner from Tulelake, Calif., has been fighting leukemia since he was 18 months old and is now in remission. Scott’s younger brother, dressed as Robin, and an adult-sized Batman joined him on his mission to save a damsel-in-distress, stop the Riddler from robbing a bank and save the San Francisco Giants’ mascot, Lou Seal from the hands of the Penguin. With the help of the San Francisco Police Department, Batkid’s foes were arrested and the Justice Department released an indictment sentencing the criminals to 24 years in the “slammer.” At the end of the day, Mayor Ed Lee gave Scott a key to the city in front of City Hall. The San Francisco Chronicle, transformed into the Gotham City Chronicle, provided papers with front-page news of Batkid’s heroism.

Russian plane crash kills 50
On Nov. 17, a Russian passenger airline crashed and killed 50 people, according to the New York Times. The plane crashed at 7:20 p.m. in the city of Kazan, 450 miles east of Moscow, where the flight originated. The Boeing 737 is owned by Tatarstan Airlines and was carrying 44 passengers and six crew members when the plane crashed. The cause for the crash was not immediately known. The weather in Kazan following the crash was reported to be light rain and 18 mph winds.

China gives less than west
China’s monetary donation to help the victims of the Philippines’ typhoon Haiyan has sparked controversy, according to BBC. Beijing’s initial donation of $100,000 is a small amount compared to the $20 million given by the U.S. or the $10 million given by Japan. Because China is the world’s second largest economy, analysts and media in the west are upset. Despite the outcry in other countries, the residents of China who had heard of the amount did not see the donation as too small. The Chinese government hinted there might be more money given in the future after it sent over a new pledge of  $1.6 million. However, others say it is not enough because in previous disasters, China sent $40 million for countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami.

Tornado destroys Illinoisan homes
On Nov. 17, a tornado destroyed homes as it tore through at least two central Illinois towns, according to the Los Angeles Times. As of Nov. 18, there were reports of eight dead. In Washington and Pekin, two of the Illinois towns affected, there are “neighborhoods where nothing is left,” according to county spokeswoman Sara Sparkman. Many people were trapped beneath the rubble of fallen debris of surrounding homes. Response to the effects from the tornado was quick. Authorities are working hard to move communities into shelter before nightfall.  Seven members and associates of the punk-rock band, Pillow Talk, who were on the road traveling on tour, were hit by the tornado. The shattered glass of the vehicle’s broken window cut five of the seven people as the tires were lifted off the ground, but no one was killed or severely injured.

Initiative prevents youth abortions
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen gave permission to begin collecting signatures for an initiative that would require doctors to notify parents when a minor has asked for an abortion, according to NBC Los Angeles. If the initiative is to become a law, girls will have to wait 48 hours after seeking an abortion for the physician or other medical professional to tell her parents or guardians in writing.  If the notion is passed, it may cost California several million dollars annually for health and social service programs, court administration and the state health agency administration. The submission of 807,615 valid signatures must be collected and turned in by April 14, 2014 to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.


Alesandria Posada
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 20, 2013