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Baura Zia

More by Baura Zia

Current Events: What You May Have Missed



With classes finally over, we’re faced with the ever-dreaded finals week. But before we begin a week of long nights spent studying, here are a few headlines you might have missed!


Last week, Bangladesh witnessed one of its most devastating disasters when a garment factory collapsed and killed over 400 workers. The collapse occurred in the capital of Dhaka where inspectors had been rummaging under piles of rubble for days in hopes of finding bodies and possible clues as to why the factory collapsed. The collapse renewed the debate on cheap labor and outsourcing by American companies to countries like Bangladesh. In recent months, The Walt Disney Company began pulling out of nations that provided cheap labor, including Pakistan, Venezuela and Bangladesh due to workers’ safety concerns.


Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is being held at a federal Bureau of Prisons in its medical facility in Devens, Mass. Following Tsarnaev’s arrest, officials charged two of his friends, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev with conspiring to discard potentially incriminating items from a dorm room. After being charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, Tsarnaev could face the death sentence.


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s highly acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, finally hits the movie theaters this weekend. After spending months in anticipation, fans can finally see Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Maguire reenact some of American literature’s most iconic novel characters. 





Boston Marathon Bombings


When runners from all over the US gathered on Monday to take part in The Boston Marathon, little did they know they’d soon be running to save their lives. With two bombs going off near the finish line, the marathon became a horrific event for runners and spectators alike, resulting in three deaths and over 200 injuries.

The suspect responsible for the attack has been identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19 year old resident of Cambridge, Mass. After shooting and killing an MIT officer, the Tsarnaev brothers took off on a police chase, which left Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaey, shot and killed by police. The Boston area was on lock-down for hours as investigators and police searched the city for Tsarnaev and eventually found him hiding in a boat in a residential area.

Before capturing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the search for who was responsible puzzled investigators since they were unsure whether it was an act of domestic terrorism or international terrorism. All they knew was that the attack had been planned meticulously and with great expertise in how to successfully carry out such an act.

Today, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in police custody and has been questioned while recovering from severe gunshot wounds in the hospital. According to Tsarnaev, although not having any contact with terrorist groups, the brothers were self-radicalized through the Internet.

Among those found dead was 29 year old Krystle Campbell, a Massachusetts native who had gone with a friend to join the crowd as they watched the marathon. Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China who had been studying statistics at Boston University, was also a spectator who was watching with her friends as they stood near the finish line in close proximity to where the bombs went off. And lastly, there was 8 year old Martin Richard who was cheering on his dad throughout the race just minutes before the bomb explosion took his life.

Getting Summer Ready with #EatClean


We’ve all seen the hashtag on Instagram, usually under a photo of a protein smoothie (“morning smoothie! starting my day off right! #EatClean) or a vibrant salad filled with baby spinach leaves, slices of avocados and feta cheese (“lunch time #EatClean) – but what is the hype all about? Weren’t these meals that were always eaten? So why the sudden buzz?

Fortunately, for this summer’s online photo trend, you won’t need to stack up bracelets or buy a Michael Kors watch nor will you have to take photos looking down at your shoes or maybe even a hybrid of the two with your wrist in front and shoes in the backdrop (people can get very creative). This summer, you’ll need to two things: an appetite and a camera.

With summer creeping up on us, we’re all trying to shed a few pounds to get bikini ready (remember those photos you took while laying out in the sun, holding the camera by your chin, trying to get your entire body in one frame?) And if there’s a trend out there that’ll help us lose pounds but gain ‘likes’, why not try it?

Clean eating (or “eat clean”) isn’t a new diet fad or a workout regimen, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that promotes healthy eating by adding more salads, fruits, veggies and other beneficial foods to your regular diet. A few years ago, fitness and diet guru Tosca Renu came out with a book called The Eat Clean Diet which has had several celebrities like Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie flipping its pages.

Although I didn’t know about Renu’s book, I began eating clean after realizing how appetizing those foods on Instagram looked. From salads to smoothies, I’ve changed my diet habits entirely and I can honestly say, I’ve seen results. It’s pretty easy. Although I didn’t follow Renu’s plan religiously (nothing which has pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, artificial ingredients or is refined and processed, etc.), I followed common sense and logic. Here are a few tricks I used:

A Nuclear North Korea


As if the economy, a war on terrorism and political disputes in Washington weren’t enough, we now have the potential of entering a nuclear war. What may feel like a flashback to the nuclear arms race during the Cold War for some, for our generation, it’s a whole new playing field. With North Korea already prepared to fire against US targets, the US has also enhanced military presence in the area to show our allies we’ve got there backs while simultaneously proving to N. Korea that we have equal nuclear capabilities.

But what are the chances of us really going to war? Well, it depends who you ask. While some say North Korea is just talking a big game, others fear due to Kim Jong Un’s relatively recent entrance to the international arena, they’re not exactly sure what the young leader is capable of. Kim Jong has claimed he wishes to “settle accounts with the US imperialists in view of the prevailing situation.” If the attacks were to begin, North Korea has stated it would attack US mainland, as well as military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea, including Hawaii and Guam.

Defense Secretary Hagel says Washington is willing to take a more peaceful route, however the reality of the situation has to be considered – especially when North Korea has made such radical threats.

Of course this situation doesn’t just include the US and North Korea. It’s much more complex. North Korea recently announced a “state of war” with South Korea, an ally to the US. There’s also China, which doesn’t want a strong US presence in the region and Japan, another ally to the US, caught in the middle of regional conflicts.

Current Events: What You May Have Missed



As much as I hate to say it, spring break is over and it’s time to go back to school. No more sleeping in, no more late nights, and probably the most dreadful, no more giving myself a freebie for not going to the gym. Whether it’s working out or doing homework, the reality is, we’ve got to get back into our regular cycle of school, work and getting things done. With a few more weeks left of the semester, it’s time to buckle down and give the second half of the semester all we’ve got. So, while you’re busy doing your thing, take a mini-break and catch up on a few headlines you may have missed while spring-breaking!


In President Obama’s first visit as president to Israel, he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their commitment to one another with President Obama calling their alliance one that is entirely “unbreakable”. After several weeks of oncoming threats from Iran and other enemies to Israel, President Obama said the two nations will begin discussions on sending US military aid to help the state of Israel protect itself from potential nuclear attacks. Iran’s nuclear potential is one that President Obama claims has about a year to fully develop, thus serving as an actual threat, however Israel and the US alike are pushing now to take preventative action now.


Spring 2013 Fashion


Even though snow is still falling, designers have already lined up to present their fall 2013 collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC. But let’s slow down just a bit. What about spring 2013 fashion? Who can forget those prints and patterns, the hues and colors, the sandals and shorts? Sure, some of us (or maybe all of us) weren’t able to walk up the steps to MBFW last year during spring fashion week, donning our chic winter coats, only to walk into a venue with the top names in fashion. But there’s no reason we can’t indulge in online reviews and runway shots of the hottest trends!

Bermuda shorts are back. From jean and cotton to silk and linen, designers such as DKNY and Rag & Bone all had a pair of these chic shorts on their line. Comfy and casual, they’re perfect for a laid-back day with friends or dressed up with a pair of pointy-toed heels for a night out on the town. Going to work not feeling a dress pant or pencil skirt? Tuck a dress-shirt in, put on a belt and a pair of leather oxfords with a solid colored pair of shorts and you're ready for work!

Last summer, we saw a few courageous girls sporting cut-out pieces. Well this spring, these peek-a-boo pieces are even bigger with designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg having added them to their collection.  The great thing about this trend is you get to choose what you want to reveal. Whether it’s your back, your sides or those abs you’ve been working on, this versatile trend is sweet and sexy!

The Obama Charm


After a fiscal cliff deal that had party leaders in Washington practically at blows last New Years’ Eve, the new year brings new national goals, projections and, well, a new Obama – one ready to serve both sides of the political spectrum. With the public distraught over the divide between both political parties and even more so with their inability to cooperate and work together, President Obama has begun taking a new approach toward dealing with bipartisanship.

Calling it the “Obama Charm Offensive”, this new approach used by the President is basically what its name entails: killing ‘em with kindness.  After having had lunches and dinners with various members of the Republican Party recently, President Obama has Republicans questioning the sincerity of this new tactic. Among the skeptics is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, who believes the President’s genuineness will be determined depending on what major decisions prevail in the following weeks.

Campus Cutie


Year? I am a Sophomore

Major? My major is Communication with a concentration in either PR or Media Production and Criticism

Hometown? I'm from the 804 - Richmond, VA

Extra-Curriculars? Right now I help with graphic design for Connect 2 Mason; I also enjoy photography and staying on top of my music collection. 

Relationship Status? Currently single

3 words that your friends would describe you? Relaxed, kind, eccentric

Celebrity Crush? I'd have to say Zooey Deschanel. She can sometimes be overly quirky, but she's got a great voice, great personality, and beautiful eyes.


Four More Years...Of



President Obama’s second inaugural address was an all-encompassing monologue tackling the key issues his administration is likely to face during his next four year term. From domestic issues such as gay rights and gun control, to addressing the bipartisan divide in Washington, the President delivered his speech, laying out the nation’s itinerary for the next four years. Surely a more contemporary inaugural address compared to previous ones, the President spoke on issues that have had the nation torn for months. In fact, President Obama touched on issues never previously mentioned by former presidents in their inaugural addresses.

There were several key matters the President indirectly spoke on throughout his speech. With grief still alive in the hearts of many over the recent Newtown, Connecticut shooting, the President subtly mentioned his stance on gun control as he said:

“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”

In recent weeks, Vice President Biden has spent days negotiating with Congress on the matter. The President’s call to reduce gun violence was laid out in a 23-point plan which will probably take months to pass, if it does, and is expected to be adjusted and readjusted several times until both sides decide on some common ground without compromising Constitutional freedoms.

Another issue the President spoke on was the debate over gay marriage. After announcing his support for gay rights during his campaign, President Obama once again reaffirmed his position toward the union between same-sex couples during.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”

Current Events Update: Newtown Massacre Sparks Gun Control Debate


After last week’s horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and 6 adults, controversial questions once again erupt across the nation: Where does this country stand on gun control and what’s the government doing to prevent gun violence?

Monday marked the first of many funeral processions held by teary-eyed parents. The grief-stricken town of Newtown has been shaken and traumatized as it struggles to find a way to bring the town back to “normal.” But can it truly ever be the same?

The public is bombarding government officials with demands to do more to prevent gun violence. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, stands alongside the public in demanding that Congress take immediate action toward putting an end to gun violence. The second-deadliest shooting case in US history has proved that such a disaster could’ve been prevented had the government implemented gun control laws in the first place. But with a major fiscal cliff yet to be determined and a federal government that is segregated by political parties, many fear this issue is one that will take long before its outcome is determined.