What in the world is happening?

South Carolina:

What happened?

 

You’ve probably seen the video of South Carolina police officer, Ben Fields, being physically violent against a female, black high school student at Spring Valley High School. The student was reportedly being disciplined for having her cell phone out in class. The police officer has since been fired.

 

Why is it important?

 

This is definitely not the first story of a police officer physically assaulting a young black person. Over the past few years, we’ve been hearing more and more stories like this one, stories that spark intense debate across the country about the role of police officers in our society. Some believe the police has too much power and that racism in our country is institutionalized, leading to a higher rate of unarmed young black people being physically harmed by the police, and the numbers don’t lie. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first time Ben Fields has been involved in an incident like this. Students at Spring Valley High School have rallied behind Ben Fields since his release, sparking the nationwide debate over the police all over again.

 

Chipotle:

 

What happened?

 

Your favorite food chain just got busted. 43 Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon have been closed this week for investigations regarding an E. coli outbreak that has gotten 22 people sick.

 

Why is this important?

 

The number of of E. coli cases in the area is expected to increase as a result of the contamination in Chipotle restaurants. Luckily, no deaths have been reported yet. 2015 has not been a stranger to foodborne outbreaks, according to the CDC. But don’t worry, the Chipotle restaurants in Orange seem to be E. coli free, so we’re safe to carry on with our addiction.

 

Sinai Plane Crash:

What happened?

 

A Russian plane heading from Egypt to Russia crashed over the Sinai Peninsula only 20 minutes after taking off, killing all 224 passengers. The weird part?--the plane broke apart in mid-air before it crashed and no one can figure out why.

 

Why is this important?

 

Everyone is arguing about why the plane broke apart and crashed, from technical officials to Prime Ministers to ISIS members. First reports claimed that it had to be a technical or human error, but now some officials are claiming that that would have been impossible and the only way for the plane to have been destroyed in mid-air would have been from an “external source.” Now, ISIS is jumping in trying to claim they shot down the plane, but officials are saying this would have been impossible and that ISIS is only trying to create bad PR for Egypt. Basically, no one knows what really happened, so an international investigation is being launched. Egypt will lead the team of Russian, French, Irish, and American experts. In the meantime, many major airlines are temporarily rerouting flights to avoid Sinai.

 

Spy Hotline in China:

What happened?

 

China just launched their spy hotline program. Yes, that’s right, if you live in China, there is now a phone number you can call to report those kinda weird neighbors you’ve always suspected of being spies directly to the Chinese government.

 

Why is this important?

 

Well, as one of the officers for the spy hotline program explained, “Anyone can be a spy, and anyone can also not be a spy.” Because the general public doesn’t know what to look out for, innocent people can unfortunately be subjected to investigations if they work strange hours or look too old to be a study abroad student. Or, if you follow the hotline’s guidelines, you should be on the lookout for people who, for example, “bring up controversial topics at parties and then only observe the discussion….” China already has a history of detaining foreigners they think could be spies, and they’re not always right. However, a hotline similar to this one was set up in one province in July and actually helped the government find 10 alleged cases of espionage. Hopefully this program works out, but it does beg the question, why is this such an issue that China is so concerned about?