Week in Review: May 9, 2018

Kilauea Spits Lava and Gas on Hawaii
On Hawaii’s Big Island, the most active volcano, Kilauea, is continuing to eject lava and toxic fumes, forcing residents to flee. On May 1, cracks were observed on the mountain and then a magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the island, the island’s largest quake in 42 years. Data shows that around 1,000 earthquakes have occurred near the volcano in the past week. The majority of the damage is around Leilani Estates, where molten rock spurted hundreds of feet in the air from fissures in the ground. Lava is oozing from cracks in the roads and emissions of sulfur dioxide pose health concerns. So far, 26 homes have been destroyed and residents are being evacuated. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

Violence and Death Continue in Afghanistan
At least 17 people were killed in an explosion at a mosque in Khost, Afghanistan on Sunday, adding to the violence that has been plaguing the country. A person or persons unknown placed a bomb in the mosque that doubled as a voter registration center. Some suspect that the attack was political, but no group has claimed responsibility. In the city of Kabul, Afghanistan nine journalists were killed in a bombing. This attack was claimed by ISIS. The bomber was disguised as a TV cameraman who detonated the bomb that killed nine journalists. The journalists were there to cover a previous bombing in Kabul when the second bombing happened. This was the most deaths incurred by journalists in Afghanistan in a single day since 2001, when a suicide bomber killed 11 students at a religious school in Kandahar. An American soldier, several members of the Afghan security forces, and other unspecified victims were also killed last week in the continued conflict.

Mars In Sight
NASA’s InSight Mars lander launched last Saturday which is projected to complete deep exploration of the Red Planet. The lander lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, making it the first interplanetary mission to enter space from the West Coast. InSight is also the only Mars surface craft since the Curiosity rover in 2011. In about seven months, InSight is scheduled to arrive to Mars to begin scientific research. InSight will gather information on the makeup and size of Mars’s core, mantle and crust. “This is of fundamental importance for us to understand the origin of our solar system and how it became the way it is today,” Jim Green, a Chief Scientist at NASA commented at a pre-launch news conference. InSight will be testing Mars for vibrations known as marsquakes as well as the surface temperature, in part to test whether the planet is suitable for human colonization.

Game of Thrones Actor is World’s Strongest Man
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, better known as Gregor Clegane or ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, has just set the world record for deadlifting with a whopping 1,041 pound lift. Bjornsson depicted The Mountain starting the series’s fourth season and continuing to the present. Both on and off screen, Bjornsson is a force to be reckoned with. Bjornsson, hailing from Iceland, stands 6 feet, 9 inches tall and is a former basketball player. When he is not on set for Game of Thrones, Bjornsson can likely be found building his strength. This year he became the only person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man and World’s Strongest Man in the same year. Along with the deadlift, Bjornsson’s name appears on the record lists for Truck Pull, Loading Race and an event called Atlas Stones where participants lift extremely heavy stone spheres onto platforms.

Mariners Find Victory Over Angels
On Saturday, the Seattle Mariners won against the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners took the game with a score of 9-8 in an extra inning. It seemed doubtful to some that the Mariners would pull out a win as they went into the bottom of the 11th inning down 8-7, but this was not the case. Kyle Seager hit a double and sent Robinson Cano across the home plate, and then Ryon Healy got a hit that would get Seager home and give the Mariners a 9-8 win. This win is important for the Mariners because they have defeated a rival and been given a chance to go on in the series with a record of 19-13. The Mariners and Angels have been rivals for a few years now, and the team has said they are proud of their win. This week, the Mariners will be taking on another tough opponent, the Blue Jays.

Kellyanne Conway on the White House Credibility
In the ongoing case involving Stormy Daniels, President Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway denied questions on white house credibility. Conway insists that Trump was unaware of a payment by his attorney, Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels. Conway and Cohen claim that the President was not aware of the $130,000 payment until after the fact. Conway also attests to her own as well as Trump’s innocence in other money-related scandals. In the ongoing investigations involving Daniels and James Comey, suspicions are rising both inside and outside the government. When pressed about a statistic that Trump made, Conway deflected the question and talked of what she saw as successes by Trump in areas like the opioid crisis, the economy and North Korea. Rudolph Giuliani from the president’s legal team is advising Trump and said that he may plead the fifth instead of testify in special counsel’s investigation.