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

Meningitis strikes gay community
In the past week, three gay men in the Los Angeles area have died after contracting meningitis, according to the Los Angeles Times. The deaths have caused stress in the gay community because the infection is higher in gay men, according to Robert Bolan, medical director of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. Risk for contracting the illness are higher when kissing, sharing beverages or cigarettes and living in group settings with an infected person. Symptoms of the illness include high fever, stiff neck, discomfort to bright lights and aches.
The Department of Public Health has responded to the issue by offering free vaccinations to patients who do not have health insurance. Those interested in receiving free vaccinations can call 211 or visit

Earthquake shakes Chilean town
An 8.2 magnitude earthquake killed six people in Chile and was followed by several tsunami warnings on April 1, according to Fox News.  The earthquake occurred at 8:46 p.m. approximately 60 miles from Iquique and had a depth of 12.5 miles.
Following the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued various tsunami warnings as 6-foot waves were reported on the coast of Pisagua. Iquique reported 7-foot waves. All tsunami warnings were canceled by the following morning.
The earthquake also caused landslides, which damaged roads in some regions of the country. Power and phone outages were reported.

Teacher gets in brawl with student
A Santa Monica High School teacher was placed on leave after a video showing him in a physical altercation with a student surfaced on April 4, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Mark Black, a science teacher and wrestling coach, grabbed the unidentified student by the thigh, pushed him onto the desks in the classroom and then pinned him to the floor.
The incident was a result of drug use on behalf of the student, according to Oscar de la Torre, district school board member. De la Torre said the incident has prompted the district to come up with ways on how staff members can, or should, intervene in student drug use.

Journalists attacked in Afghanistan
An Afghanistan unit commander opened fire on two western Associated Press journalists on April 4, killing one and wounding the second, according to CNN. Anja Niedringhaus, a German photographer, died in the shooting and Kathy Gannon, a Canadian reporter, was injured but is in stable condition.
The two journalists were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots in Khost and were protected by the Afghan National Army and Afgan police. The attacker walked up to their car and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is great” before he opened fire.
It is still unclear as to why the unit commander attacked the journalists. The suspect has been arrested and is currently under investigation.

Campaign donation limit lifted
The Supreme Court struck down the limits that stopped political donors from giving more than $123,000 a year to candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or Senate, according to the Detroit News.
The Supreme Court claims its 5-4 decision was based on the belief that the spending cap violated the free speech rights of the donors. It also claimed that the spending cap was not needed to prevent corruption.
Although wealthy donors can now give more money to congressional candidates, they must still follow the rule that prevents them from giving more than $2,600 per election per candidate.


Mayra Ruiz
Staff Writer
Published April 9, 2014