17 Killed in Florida School Shooting—
In the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida open fired on the school on Wednesday Feb. 14, leaving 17 students and staff dead. In the wake of the shooting, survivors have used their social media platforms to demand change while speaking out at rallies and announcing a March on Washington to demand gun control. Many students have directly targeted President Trump, accusing him of accepting $31 million from the National Rifle Association of America. Others have called the responses from politicians “pathetic.” In the days following the shooting, the nationwide debate on gun control has largely revolved around mental illness as people speak out about the multiple warning signs the shooter displayed. It has since been discovered that he owned at least 10 rifles.
Mass Layoffs at Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters—
Amazon laid off several hundred employees from their Seattle offices last week, and hundreds more in other locations. Layoffs like this are unusual and jarring for Amazon. The company stated that this is part of their annual review process as they are cutting some sectors of the company while building up others. One source noted that due to recent success and growth, the company has been overstaffed in some areas and looking to devote more attention to others. Amazon’s employment nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017, with about 566,00 employees total worldwide. Layoffs at this number don’t signal anything about the company’s well-being at this point according to reports.
Mueller Indicts Thirteen Russian Nationals—
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three of the defendants received charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five received aggravated identity theft. The indictment details the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump. Mueller has been working since the election to uncover whether the allegations of Russian interference have any foundation—with these indictments being the first real action he has taken. President Trump remains unconvinced of the charges, as he continues to utilize twitter to emphasize that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He still claims that there is no possibility that the election results were influenced by outside forces.
Plane Crash in Iran Leaves Dozens Dead—
Aseman Airlines Flight EP3704 crashed almost one hour after departing from Tehran, Iran on Sunday with 66 people on board. The plane crashed into Dena Mountain at about 5:30 a.m. local time. All passengers and crew members are presumed dead. Due to the lack of access to the crash site, nothing has been confirmed by the airline. After 24 hours of searching at 14,000 feet, climbers located the site of the crash, but the terrain and weather conditions made search and rescue operations difficult. There is still no confirmation if there were any survivors. The plane was reportedly 25 years old and had only been in use for a few months after being grounded for seven years. There is no information as to the cause of the crash at this point.
Many Missing Following Dump Collapse in Mozambique—
At least 17 were killed in Maputo, Mozambique after the Hulene dump collapsed during heavy rain on Feb. 19 at 3 a.m. The pile, which reached almost 50 feet in height, was home to many makeshift camps of city residents—many of whom found food and things to sell in the dump. Homes on the perimeter of the dump were crushed in the collapse as well. Rescuers continue to search for victims, as many fear there are more people trapped under the pile. Those who live near the site of the collapse have fled their homes, fearing they are in danger of another collapse. The Hulene dump is the only official dump site for Maputo’s 3.5 million people and is located in a population-dense area.
250 Dead, 1200 Wounded From Bombings in Syria—
Airstrikes and artillery bombardments in Eastern Ghouta have left over 250 people dead and over 1200 wounded. A majority of the deceased were civilians, and over 50 of them were children. As part of the ongoing Syrian crisis, Eastern Ghouta has been under siege since 2013—though according to a peace agreement by Russia, Turkey and Iran, it is now supposed to be a de-escalation zone. The Syrian government increased efforts to retake the rebel-held city last May and again earlier this month. In response to the attacks near Damascus, the United Nations has made appeals for peace and a ceasefire has been declared in a rare occurrence to deliver supplies to civilians.
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