Top 10 Things to Know This Month

We could probably all use a quick guide to what has been happening in the world this month, especially because some of us get most of our information from the people sitting with us at the library or Twitter. Here's a compiled list of the top 10 things you need to know this month, so you can be informed and, maybe, tell your friends. 

10. Rob & Chyna

 It’s a girl! I didn’t feel the need to put a spoiler alert because the sex of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s baby went viral the moment it aired on television during the first episode of Rob & Chyna. I can’t even attempt to explain how awkward the family tree is about to get. Sorry, Kylie. Oh, and Rob moved out after a major fight with Chyna.

Follow updates on the story through E! News.

9. Tampon tax

There’s no official “tampon tax” in the U.S., but many states don’t exclude feminine hygiene products from state sales tax. Although the average sales tax is 6.25 percent, some cities like Chicago have sales taxes up to 10.25 percent due to surcharges, according to BBC News. Some argue that the hygiene products shouldn’t be taxed because they are not luxury items. In fact, only 13 out of 50 states have no tax on feminine hygiene products. Here are the facts, according to BBC News:

  • American women spent about $3.1 billion on tampons and other feminine hygiene products in 2015, according to market research firm Euromonitor.

  • On average, women menstruate from the ages of 12 to 50 and tampons in the US cost roughly $7 for a box of 36.

  • New York officials have estimated that by excluding feminine hygiene products from its sales tax, consumers save about $10 million a year in purchasing tampons, pads and other similar products.

Women already have to deal with the wage gap, so it’s fair enough to say that some tampon tax savings would be nice.

8. Olympic champions and paralympics

Rio 2016 could not have been any more entertaining and impressive. With the mass controversy and instability occurring in Brazil, Rio exceeded expectations and proudly represented Latin America as the first South American city to host the games.

There were plenty of mishaps including Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who was booed repeatedly after being allowed to compete in the games, which she petitioned for after her doping charges. She even had a live spat with American Lilly King as they competed in the semi-finals.

There was plenty of drama, thanks to Hope Solo and Ryan Lochte, but the US finished with the most medals, totalling 121.

The paralympics are also making a major impact in history as the top four runners proved to overcome their struggles and amazed viewers with their times besting olympians.

China leads the paralympics medal count, as of press time, with 172 medals, followed by Great Britain, Ukraine and the U.S.

7. Heroin overdosed parents

The viral picture of Ohio parents that overdosed on heroin with their 4-year-old son in the car has sparked conversation and dismay across the country along with the horrifying realization that this is not the first time this has happened.

The vehicle was swerving through the road and was followed by Officer Kevin Thompson, an parents Rhonda Pasek and James Acord have been charged with endangering children, according to BBC News.

Officials wrote on Facebook: "This child can't speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody."  

6. Ryan Lochte

Boy Wonder Ryan Lochte destroyed his reputation after lying about a robbery that never took place during the Rio Olympics. His three other teammates were detained from leaving the country after surveillance videos caught the swimmers publicly vandalizing a gas station and urinating on the walls (USA Today). While the three that remain in Rio have cooperated with police, it is unknown whether Lochte will return to Brazil to face the charges.

It is safe to say that Lochte is facing some of the consequences of his actions as he faces suspension from USA Swimming and plenty of booing on Dancing With The Stars.

5. Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s health is the talk of the town after it was discovered that she had pneumonia, and it has shaken up the media and the presidential race. She returned to the campaign trail on Thursday, Sept. 15, just a few days after the 9/11 incident and is reportedly doing great.

Transparency with the Clinton Foundation and health related issues have been receiving increasing media attention. Polls released the very same day she came back to the trail reveal that her support has slipped since her illness.

4. Obama and the Philippines

 Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch.” Yep, you read that correctly.

Although the President Duterte has expressed regret with his obscene rant against President Obama, his actions prompted the White House to cancel planned talks between the two leaders. "We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions,” Duterte said (CNN).

The derogatory comments came after a spike in unauthorized killings of suspected drug dealers in the Philippines, which put the relationship in stormy waters. Since Duterte was elected, more than 1,900 people have died during his war on drugs. Obama and Duterte had been set to meet in Laos earlier this month, where Obama was attending a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders. A spokesman for Duterte said that the "meeting has been mutually agreed upon to be moved to a later date."

3. Clowns

Personally, I find clowns rather creepy, especially after American Horror Story. However, this story actually merits true horror as sightings of clowns in rural, wooded areas have been spotted trying to lure children in six states, including Georgia and North Carolina. Police have warned that although this may be a prank, criminal charges may still be filed against the clowns.

2. College rankings

We’re going to have to settle for a false sense of superiority gators, at least in comparison to the University of Miami, as the recent US News rankings unleashed disappointment across the swamp.

UF is in a four-way tie for the No. 50 ranking, so at least we can still say we’re a top 50 school. Unfortunately, UM has outranked us at No. 44 and is officially the top school in Florida.

The good news? We’re still better than FSU.

1. North Korea

North Korea’s nuclear testing is a trending topic we should all be taking a lot more seriously, and that’s an understatement.

The unsettling progress of nuclear weaponry in North Korea could not only corrupt international relations, but it could also have catastrophic effects on the environment as the communist nation acts in an arena of global anarchy with its recent nuclear testing.

"Much more troubling for now is that its recent nuclear and missile successes may give Pyongyang a false sense of confidence and dramatically change regional security dynamics. The likely ability of the DPRK to put nuclear weapons on target anywhere in South Korea and Japan and even on some US assets in the Pacific greatly complicates the regional military picture,” said Professor Siegfried Hecker Stanford University, and former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (BBC News).

A far too irrational, almost uncontrollable North Korea is one we need to look out for.

Some of these things are scary, weird and a little upsetting. That could also be a way to describe the news in general. At least now you're informed and can tell your friends how much is actually going on in the world outside of Library West and Midtown. Stay informed, collegiates!


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