News Briefs: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Scotland against independence from Britain

In a tight race that came down to the very end, Scotland decided against becoming independent from Britain.  The voting race ended in a near deadlock, with a 54.2 percent vote against freedom from Britain, and a 45.7 percent in favor, according to the New York Times.  In a rare sign of unity, the three main parties of parliament in London agreed to grant further taxation powers to Scotland, a move that was made when it appeared that Scottish independence was a real possibility.  While discouraged, Scottish nationalists have vowed to try again in the near future.


Release of Turkish hostages leads to questions in the fight against ISIS militants

In a move that was said to involve no ransom payment, 49 mostly Turkish hostages were freed from ISIS militants, according to The Los Angeles Times.    Turkish officials insisted that no money had changed hands, leading to speculation as to what they had used as leverage in the release of the hostages.
“ I think what’s likely is Turkey gave some sort of guarantee that its actions against ISIS would be limited in nature and it wouldn’t play a primary role in any military coalition,” said Howard Eissenstat, a Turkey expert at St. Lawrence University.
This is important to the United States, who hope that Turkey will join them in the fight against ISIS.  Turkey would provide a key military advantage for the US, as Turkey would serve as a launching point for US fighter jets.


Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey

Over 65,000 Syrian refugees fled to Turkey in an attempt of escape ISIS attacks, according to BBC.
Thousands of refugees from the Kurdish town of Kobane crossed the border in a 24-hour period, a trend that has seen an increase over the last three years.  It is said that over 847,000 refugees have crossed over into Turkey since the 2011 revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mark Lowen of BBC News believes that the massive number of refugees crossing into Turkey is a sign of the shifting allegiances in the area, as the rise of ISIS has coincided with the end of a civil war between the Turks and Kurds.


White House intruder was a vet with PTSD

A man who attempted to break into the White House is said to be an army vet suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The man was identified as Omar J. Gonzales, an army vet who served two tours in Iraq and was honorably discharged two years ago.  Gonzales was able to scale the White House fence and make a break for the building before Secret Service members detained him. According to family members, Gonzales most likely attempted the intrusion because of his struggles with both PTSD and depression.
Gonzales is currently being held under arrest while recovering in a hospital, and the hope is that help can be given to the suffering war veteran.


Pope Francis names his first major appointment in the United States

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Blase J. Cupich to be the next archbishop of Chicago, setting the tone in the United States.  Bishop Cupich is the first appointment made by Pope Francis in the US, and it is a noteworthy move considering that Cupich is believed to be much more inclusive than his predecessor.
Chicago contains the third largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, putting its archbishop in a position of leadership in the US. Bishop Cupich’s inclusive beliefs closely mirror those of Pope Francis both share similar views on abuse and same-sex marriage.  Bishop Cupich downplayed the significance of his appointment saying, “ His priority is not to send a message but a bishop, and that’s what he’s sending you, someone to serve the needs of the people.”


Matthew Garvin
Staff Writer

Published September 24, 2014