Current Events: What in the World is Going On?

Do you ever want to be caught up on current events, but don’t want to filter through #fakenews and articles upon articles from different websites? Then this article series is for you! I will be posting articles bi-weekly to keep you up to date and in the know about some news events that are making headlines, and a few that might slide under the radar. I hope that these brief summaries are informative and that you will find a news story to look further into, there’s no such thing as being too informed!

Mudslides in California

On Tuesday January, 9, after heavy rainfall, the Santa Barbara County in California was devastated with deadly mudslides. So far it has been reported that 17 people have died, and rescue teams are still underway. The mudslide occurred due to the burnt vegetation and loose dirt that quickly became mud as rains fell. The past few months California has been struggling with devastating wildfires. The city of Montecito, where many celebrities such as Oprah and Ellen Degeneres reside, had their homes affected by the disaster. Ellen even facetimed with Oprah on her show to discuss the damages caused by the slides, including that the interstate was closed. There they talked with local fireman, and discussed relief efforts and the effects this will have on the county and people. The BBC has before and after photos for you to view the damage that was done.

Medicaid Work Requirements

The Trump administration has stated that they are allowing states to apply for federal permission to allow them to impose work requirements to be eligible for Medicaid. These requirements will be strictly for “able-bodied adults” meaning children and the disabled will not have to have a work requirement in order to receive Medicaid. The administration has stated that this is an incentive states would like to add to Medicaid in order to promote citizens to work, or volunteer within the community. So far 10 states have filed to add this requirement to Medicaid, including North Carolina, and there has also been significant backlash to this encouragement. No state has had this added requirement, in which a state can determine who “able-body” includes, approved as of the time this has been written.

North and South Korea Begin Talks

It was announced Friday January 5th, that North and South Korea would meet at the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) to begin talks. This comes after North Korea announced they would send a delegation to the Winter Olympics which are being held in Pyeongchang Korea. The talks took place Tuesday, January 9th, between South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and North Korean equivalent Ri Son Gwon. This is the first time the two countries have talked since 2015 and is monumental considering that the two countries are still technically at war. Hopefully these efforts will continue and be successful in bringing a lasting peace.

Time’s Up

Unless you live under a rock, you were aware that the Golden Globes caused quite a stir Sunday, January 7th. Most guests and nominees who showed up wore black in solidarity with the #timesup movement, and even brought activists as guests. Emma Watson brought Marai Larasi, the executive director of Imkaan, a black feminist network, Michelle Williams brought Tarana Burke, the founder of the #metoo movement which inspired #timesup, and Shailene Woodley brought Calina Lawrence, who is a Native American rights activist, just to name a few. #Timesup is more than just a movement to wear black and bring awareness to sexual harassment and assault. The movement has started a legal defense fund in order to support women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation for speaking out. Time’s Up is more than a hashtag or Hollywood trend, they are putting their words into action which is an inspiring way to start 2018.

This is just a quick overview of some events that have taken place in the new year, though I greatly encourage you to do your own research and keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the world.