Mars has Water—
NASA announced on Monday, Sep. 28 that there is water on Mars. The find represents a major discovery and radical shift in what we know about the planet itself and the rest of the galaxy. While this does not necessarily indicate the presence of life, water is one of the key foundations for a chance of microbial lifeforms and will thus spur scientists and astronomers to look deeper into our galaxy to find potential signs of life.
NASA is currently working on major plans to land humans on an asteroid by 2025 and then to hopefully get feet on Mars after 2030. President Barack Obama has expressed hope that humans will soon orbit and possibly land on the planet.
Mass Shooting at Umpqua Community College—
On Thursday, Oct. 1, a gunman entered the Umpqua Community College campus and opened fire, marking the 294th mass shooting in 2015, according to the Washington Post. The shooter left at least 10 people dead and more than nine others wounded. He was said to be carrying multiple weapons—three handguns and an assault rifle style weapon—multiple magazines of ammunition and a bulletproof vest. Mercer was thought to have been killed during an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officials, but on Monday the autopsy report showed signs of suicide. The country is now in mourning, and the usual question of whether or not we need more stringent gun control are being raised. President Barack Obama issued a challenge for journalists to compare deaths resulting from terrorism to deaths caused by firearms, and the results are alarming. According to CNN, the number of deaths caused by terrorism totaled 3,380 while deaths by firearms on American soil
Islamic State Blows up Palmyra Arch—
On Sunday, IS militants destroyed the 1,800-year-old monument known as the Arch of Triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria. Following a recent trend of destruction, IS also caused the demolition of both the Temple of Bel and the Temple of Baalshamin in August. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the attacks on World Heritage site as “War Crimes.” The dismantling represents a direct attack on Syria’s cultural past. Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova stated on Monday that, “Despite their relentless crimes, extremists will never be able to erase history, nor silence the memory of this site that embodies the unity and identity of the Syrian people.”
Russia Joins the War in Syria—
On Sept. 30, Russia’s parliament approved of airstrikes in Syria, thus entering them into a civil war that started four years ago. It marks Russia’s first involvement in the Middle East in several decades. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the country hopes to “Fight and destroy militants and terrorists on the territories that they already occupy, not wait for them to come to our house.” The strikes were supposedly aimed at the Islamic State, but there has been concern on whether the locations bombed actually had the targets they claimed to be trying to hit. Fears have risen in regards to the number of civilian casualties that might be incurred if these strikes continue and U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has expressed doubts, stating “the Russian approach is doomed to fail.”
John Boehner Announces Resignation as Speaker of the House—
John Boehner, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, announced last week that he will be stepping down as House Speaker at the end of the month. Though he hoped to step down by last year, he stuck around for fear of destabilizing the Republican Caucus. His time in the position has been marked by oppositions from his own party, as he dealt with fiscal policies such as raising the debt ceiling and keeping the government from shutting down. He is the first Speaker since Joseph G. Cannon in 1910 to be challenged by his representing party. Elections will be held on Thursday, Oct. 8 to find
In Memoriam of Max Snyder—
Max Snyder, a 2014 graduate of Seattle University, passed away on Oct. 2 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Snyder founded and led the Seattle U Cycling Club, participated in student retreats and was an active member of the Seattle U community in various other ways.
He is survived by his parents, Paula and David Snyder of Campbell, Calif. The Spectator staff sends our deepest condolences to Snyder’s friends and family.
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