Gun Control Executive orders—
In a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 5, President Barack Obama introduced a group of executive orders addressing gun violence. In addition to a new required background check for any gun purchase made in the U.S., Obama said he also hopes to make communities safer from gun violence by urging law enforcement to better enforce existing laws and by providing funding for 200 new agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to help enforce these laws. Looking to the future, the Administration proposed a $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care and is urging for new technology to make guns safer to own. “If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?” Obama said at the conference.
Earthquakes in Oklahoma—
Swarms of earthquakes last Wednesday evening through early Thursday afternoon raised questions among scientists in Oklahoma. A 4.7-magnitude tremor was followed 30 seconds later by another 4.8-magnitude quake centered in a sparsely populated area about 20 miles northwest of Fairview, Okla., about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The quakes struck at depths of 2.1 and 3.7 miles below the surface. This was one of 30 separate earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater reported in Oklahoma within a 19-hour span. Scientists at the Oklahoma Geological Survey believe the quakes are caused by the production of natural gas in the state. “We don’t have overall data on how much injection is going on in this area, but we attribute most of the earthquakes these days to deep injection of produced oil wastewater,” director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Jerry Doak said.
North Korea TESTS Hydrogen Bomb—
North Korea claimed on Wednesday, Jan. 6 that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, the most powerful kind of nuclear weapon. Attempting to join the list of countries flexing nuclear weapons, North Korea announced in a press conference that they had completed their fourth underground nuclear test and the technology to produce more bombs. Military experts analyzing seismic activity of the test suggest the bomb may not be the devastating H-Bomb, but a smaller “boosted fusion” type bomb.
Gas Leak In California—
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday, Jan. 6 to address the 4-month-old leak of an underground gas storage container outside Los Angeles that continues to release methane gas into the atmosphere. To date, the leak has emitted nearly 74,000 metric tons of methane, or the equivalent of burning 700 million gallons of gasoline. Southern California Gas has paid to relocate over 2,000 displaced residents, with 3,000 more in the process of moving. Two schools have also been temporarily closed in response to health concerns. Exposure to methane gas can cause headaches, nausea and nosebleeds.
El Chapo Capture—
After six months on the run, fugitive drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was apprehended early Friday afternoon. The 61-year-old, who escaped a maximum security prison in Mexico in July 2015, heads the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was formed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates Guzmán has surpassed the influence and reach of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and now considers him “the godfather of the drug world.” The Mexican Attorney General’s office announced in a statement that Guzmán faces extradition to the United States, where he will be charged for drug trafficking.
Mexican Mayor Gisela mota Murdered—
Several gunmen burst into newly-elected Mexican Mayor Gisela Mota’s home on Saturday and shot her dead. Mota, 33, a left-wing former member of the Mexican Congress, was gunned down less than 24 hours after taking her oath of office in the city of Temixco (about 50 miles from the capital, Mexico City). Temixco is plagued by organized crime and rampant drug trafficking, problems Mota had vowed to help alleviate. Police said that two of the suspected gunmen have been killed and one is in custody.
In Memoriam: Madeline Louise Lovell
Madeline Lovell, professor emerita of the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work passed away unexpectedly on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 10.
She is survived by her husband Doug and her many friends and colleagues at Seattle University. The Spectator staff sends our deepest condolences to Lovell’s friends