courtsey of Paul Laurence Dunbar
Kenya Terrorist Attacks
On Sept. 21, around eight to twelve people dressed in black opened fire on unsuspecting civilians in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in the East African nation’s latest terrorist attack.
Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, confirmed that at least 39 were killed during the shootings, and as many as 150 were injured. The shooting, which took place in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, was reportedly carried out by Somalian rebel group al-Shabab, a radical Islamic group known for prior terrorist attacks against Kenya and other African nations.
Other nations were quick to respond, including the United States through its Embassy.
“We will continue to work together to stop the scourge of terrorism,” said US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec.
Victims of the attack come from all nations, including three from the United States and three from the United Kingdom, adding a global perspective to this tragedy as investigations continue in Italy.
As the clock struck midnight on October 1, several agencies of the United States government shut down when Congress failed to pass an authorizing resolution, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees without jobs.
The shutdown comes amidst a larger debate about the future of the Affordable Care Act, which established healthcare exchanges at the state and national level that started accepting applications on the same day.
As Congress tries to resolve these differences, national parks and the services of several agencies, including the website of the National Science Foundation, remain closed.
The House of Representatives and Senate are currently trying to form a compromise to re-open the government.
Eric Snowden in Russia
After his failed attempt to leave Russia for Cuba, Edward Snowden, the technician who leaked classified documents of the US government, sources report Snowden is living in an undisclosed location in Russia.
In this time, Snowden has supposedly acclimated to life in Russia. The Guardian reports that Snowden has even received job offers.
These latest reports on Snowden’s activity come as he is being considered for the
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, one of Europe’s most prestigious human rights awards.
Sutter’s Mill Meteorite
Organic particles have been found on a small meteorite that landed in California, scientists report, in a way that may reveal possibilities about the origin of life on Earth.
The Sutter’s Mill meteorite, which first fell to the Earth in April 2012, has been repeatedly sampled since. One of these samples, when studied under conditions similar to that of underwater vents that scientists believe existed when life first evolved, reportedly released organic chemicals that are the building blocks for Earth’s organisms.
This finding gives credit to the scientific hypothesis of Panspermia, which states organic compounds are distributed throughout the Universe by cosmic bodies such as meteoroids, and has renewed discussion about life’s origin.
Hurricane Hits Mexico
Fifteen people have been pulled from debris in the Mexican town of Atoyac after Hurricane Manuel came ashore along Mexico’s Pacific coast on Sept. 18.
The Hurricane, which by estimates of the Mexican government has cost 80 lives, has closed airports, left towns isolated, and affected tens of thousands of Mexican residents and tourists.
The Mexican Government is currently attempting to coordinate aid for affected communities along Mexico’s coast.
However, the fact that many communities were already recovering from Hurricane Ingrid, and that storms have been unrelenting in the region, aid has been slow to the many affected.
Costa Concordia Righted
After months of dedicated work by teams of engineers, the Costa Concordia, the capsized ship off the cost of Gigolio in Italy, was successfully turned upright on Sept. 17.
“We have really taken a clear step to allow the ship to be taken away.” said Franco Gabrelli, an official at the Civil Protection Agency of Italy, highlighting the reason for the operation.
The cruise liner has remained capsized off of the Italian coast since striking the bottom of the ocean in January 2012. Officials still estimate that it will be another year before the ship can be removed by tow.