Saudi Arabia and Arms

Featured Image: More than 16,000 civilians have been killed in Yemen’s civil war, with most deaths caused by airstrikes (Washington Post)

13 January 2019, Cairo, Egypt – On 9 August 2018, a fighter jet, belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and consisting of other regional allies, dropped a bomb on a busy marketplace in a small village in Yemen. The bomb ended up falling on a school bus and killed 40 children inside. The Saudi coalition has conducted thousands of these airstrikes in Yemen, and they have intentionally targeted civilians a third of the time. The United Nations has denounced the attacks on civilians as possible war crimes. And it was later found that the bomb that killed the children on the school bus was made by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. This bomb was made right here in the U.S. and it’s being used to target civilians in Yemen.

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Colombia’s Hippo Problem

Featured image: Hippos

Sunday, 16 December 2018, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Pablo Escobar (1949-1993) was the most powerful drug lord ever and the richest criminal in history. His Medellin Cartel supplied 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, and by the time of his death in 1993 his estimated net worth was 25 to 30 billion dollars. Pablo Escobar’s power, wealth, and violence created huge problems for Colombia, but everyone forgets about another problem that he created for the county: hundreds of invasive hippos.

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California Wildfires

Featured Image: The Paradise, California inferno known as the Camp Fire has been the deadliest on record, with 71 deaths so far confirmed.

Saturday, 17 November 2018, San Francisco, CA – The California wildfires, in particular the Camp Fire in Paradise and Chico and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura, are the most destructive wildfires in the history of California, with 71 people dead, a quarter million acres burned, and over 1,000 people who are unaccounted for in casualties. Air quality in Chico reached 365 AQI on November 15, making it the worst air quality in the entire world. And 20,000 people living in the town of Paradise have been evacuated from their homes, living in shelters and with nowhere to go.

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The Loneliest Road in America

Featured Image: After LIFE Magazine declared US Highway 50 to be “the Loneliest Road in America” in 1986, Nevada officials used the pejorative in an attempt to promote tourism in Nevada’s barren deserts.

3 November 2018, San Francisco, CA – US 50 is a transcontinental highway, running just over 3,000 miles from Sacramento to Ocean City, MD. But one particular section, a 300 mile long segment between the Nevada towns of Fernley and Ely, is devoid of civilisation. It is just you, a two lane strip of concrete, vast deserts, towering mountains, and endless blue skies. For these 300 miles between Fernley and Ely, there are only four towns – Fallon, Middlegate, Austin, and Eureka – each one with about 70 miles between them. This is the Loneliest Road in America, and civilisation might be coming to it.

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The Flawed Nature of Juries

Featured image: Chicago residents protest the Chicago Police Department as a result of their involvement in the death of Laquan McDonald.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018, Chicago, IL – In October 2014, a 17-year old black teenager named Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer. A graphic dash-cam video released one year after the shooting documented the incident. McDonald was walking down a busy road, holding a knife. As he turned away from the police cars, Van Dyke shot and killed him, seemingly for no reason.

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The Blackout of 2003

Featured Image: New York City, which was most affected by the blackout.

3 October 2018, New York, NY – The top news stories have been exhausting, so let’s talk about something unrelated but still equally terrifying – the Blackout of 2003. This blackout represents one of the most widespread power outages in American history, affecting 55 million people in Ontario and the Northeastern United States. Since 2003 was not that long after the September 11 attacks, many people widely expected the outage as part of another elaborate terrorist attack. But no, not even close. This outage was actually cause by a felled tree in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

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