Abortion clinics forced to close in Texas
About two-thirds of the abortion clinics in Texas were forced to close after a federal appeals court ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times. The federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ previously suspended House Bill 2, which mandated restrictions against abortion, was in fact constitutional. House Bill 2 states that abortion clinics must be held to the same standard as hospitals, forcing the closure of eight of the 20 total clinics in Texas. Nancy Northup, president of the Center of Reproductive Rights, lamented the decision stating that “Today’s ruling has gutted Texas women’s constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive healthcare and stands to make safe, legal aborting essentially disappear overnight.”
Unemployment rate below six percent
The United States economy continues to recover with the unemployment rate now at six percent, according to the New York Times. This is the first time since the summer of 2008 that the unemployment rate has dipped this low. President Obama said that “There is a lot of good stuff happening in the economy right now but what we all know is there is still some challenges.” These challenges include evidence that wage gains were stilling seeing only a minor increase and the fact that millions of Americans have lost contact with the regular employment system. However, with the recent decrease in unemployment, 2014 is on pace to have the largest growth in jobs since the 1990s.
Leaders from North and South Korea meet for the first time in five years
High-ranking officials from both North and South Korea had their first meeting in over five years, according to the Los Angeles Times. This meeting occurred after months of tension between the countries, leading to the hope that relations might improve. The meeting took place after the 2014 Asian Games. The officials involved included Hwang Pyong So, vice chairman of North Korea’s Defense Commission, and Ryoo Kihl-jae, South Korea’s unification minister. North Korea’s central news agency website refused to mention that the meeting even took place, and while it is not clear exactly what was discussed, the two parties agreed to meet again in November.
Russia cancels student exchange program
Russia has decided to end their longstanding student exchange program with the United States, after one of its students sought asylum in the U.S., according to BBC. The Russian boy claimed asylum based on the fact that he claimed he was persecuted in his home county because of his sexual orientation. The boy met a gay couple in the U.S., who claimed to be willing to pay for his college education at Harvard University if he would stay in the U.S. Both the U.S. and Russia are unhappy with the case with Russia stating that the U.S. endangered the life of a child and the U.S. suspecting that the case was being used to impair diplomatic relations between the two countries. There are currently 238 Russian students studying in the U.S. who have now become part of the last class to be involved in the foreign exchange program.
Mass grave in Mexico could contain missing students
A mass grave was discovered in the Mexican town of Iguala, the location where 43 students went missing on Sept. 27, according to BBC. It is not clear if the bodies in the grave are those of the students but forensic experts are currently attempting to identify the bodies. The missing group of students traveled to the area in an attempt to protest teacher’s rights, actions that lead the police to fire upon the protestors’ buses. The shooting killed six people with the rest disappearing, allegedly last seen being lead into police vans. There are currently 22 police officers being held in connection to the shooting, who are being investigated to determine if they have any ties to local gangs. An arrest warrant is out for Jose Luis Albarca, mayor of Iguala, who is suspected to be involved in the violence.
Published October 8, 2014