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God, Country, Notre Dame: The Week in Review

September 11th Anniversary

Fourteen years ago on Friday. 

On September 11, 2001, 19 Al Qaeda extremists hijacked four aircraft with the intention of inflicting mass terror and destroying the spirit of Americans. Flying two planes into the iconic twin tower World Trade Center in New York City and one plane into the Pentagon, the terrorists caused the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans. Passengers on the fourth plane, bound for an unknown target, sacrificed their lives to prevent the plane from reaching its destination. The plane, Flight 93, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All passengers perished.

The events of that infamous day may have inflicted terror and confusion in the hearts of every American. But they did not succeed in destroying the American spirit.  On this day, we remember the loved ones lost, the honor and sacrifice of heroes, and the spirit that brought our nation together.

Never forget.

 

The Iranian Nuclear Deal


The landmark agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, created by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, has been secured by the Senate, which rejected a Republican move to block the deal on Thursday.  The agreement should be formally adopted October 19, and implementation will begin in the following months. 

The agreement is designed to allow Iran a limited and exclusively peaceful nuclear program, while preventing them from obtaining nuclear weapons.  According to the deal, Iran must decrease its supply of enriched uranium by 98%, shut down thousands of centrifuges and enrichments sites, and disable the core of their plutonium-producing reactor.  It must also accept inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The negotiating partners, in turn, must lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. 

President Obama called the controversial deal “a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.”

For more information, click here, here, and here

 

Migrant Crisis


Over the past months, the migrant crisis in Europe has reached the boiling point.  The terrifying journeys, unthinkable conditions, and mounting death toll of migrants has finally gained international attention.  Migrants and refugees, mainly from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are fleeing war, sickness, and poverty for hope of a better life in the European Union. 

Migrants risk incredible danger to enter the Schengen area, where there are no internal border checks. Thousands have died trying to cross the external border, and thousands more have been deported. Most recently, 150 people attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea drowned off the coast of Libya, and in Austria, 71 Syrian migrants were found dead in an abandoned truck.  Hungary was internationally criticized for their plan to build a border wall that would stop the influx of migrants.

In response, Austria and Germany have already opened their borders to migrants, waiving international rules that require refugees to apply for asylum in the first country they enter. The European Union has proposed a quota system that would allow 160,000 refugees to be compulsorily distributed among EU countries, but many countries fear that they will not be able to support such a sudden rise in population.  On September 6, Pope Francis called for Catholics to shelter refugees, saying “Every Catholic parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe should accommodate one family, beginning with my diocese of Rome,”

Japanese Flooding


Eastern Japan, especially the city of Joso, is in a state of emergency due to extreme flooding and landslides.  The extended rainy season combined with a tropical storm and subsequent collapse of levees has inundated several prefectures, and almost a million people have been warned to evacuate.  The Japanese Self Defense Forces and other rescue workers are fighting the clock and raging waters to save people from their submerged homes via boat and helicopter. So far three people have died, and several more are missing.  The flooding is expected to intensify in the coming days. 

Queen Elizabeth II


On a happier note, this Wednesday saw Queen Elizabeth II become the UK’s longest-reigning monarch ever. The 89-year-old has held the throne for 63 years (23,226 days).  The Queen was praised for her selfless service and dedication to the nation and was described as a “rock of stability” throughout the changing years.

She responded as elegantly and gracefully as ever, saying, “Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness.”

Congratulations Queen Elizabeth! Keep rocking those royal hats!

 

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MJ Jackson

Notre Dame

Meadow Jackson is a senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Political Science, Japanese, and the Art of Procrastination. Her goals in life are to work toward world peace, run a marathon, and somehow earn a lifetime supply of coffee (not necessarily in that order). She loves learning languages, traveling, eating copious amounts of vegetarian food, and finding hole-in-the-wall cafés in all corners of the world (where she can do all of these things at once). Feel free to email her at any time at mjacks12@nd.edu (especially if you have any information on how to win a lifetime supply of coffee ).
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