We get it, Wednesdays can be tough to get through. In an effort to keep up with the world’s ever-changing news landscape, we’ve put together the top 10 headlines so you can stay on top of things.
1. Gunman opens fire at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport
A gunman opened fire in the baggage claim of Fort Lauderdale International, killing 5 and wounding 6 last Friday afternoon. 26-year-old Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago was charged with carrying out a violent attack on an international airport resulting in death – a charge that could result in the death penalty. The gun Santiago used in the attack had been confiscated late last year when he entered an Anchorage FBI office and told the officers that his mind was being controlled by a US Intelligence agency and that he was being influenced by ISIS. The gun was returned to him in December after a mental health evaluation found him to be not to be mentally ill despite that incident.
FBI & Anchorage Police Department held a press conference to clarify and provide details on the shooting.
2. Dutch trains now run 100% on wind power
Dutch trains will be the first in the world to carry around 600,000 passengers per day exclusively using wind, according to a joint statement by the national railway (NS) and their private energy partner, Eneco. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) announced the good news in late December with a video which featured the CEO of NS strapped to a traditional dutch windmill. The project was started two years ago and the original goal for 100% wind power was planned for 2018.
3. For the first time, a bumblebee is added to the endangered species list
US Fish and Wildlife announced on Tuesday, Jan 10th that the Rusty Patched Bumblebee would be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The bumblebee was once common throughout the contiguous 48 states, but its abundance has fallen by 87% since the early nineties, according to the official USFWS announcement. Bumblebees are part of a group of pollinators responsible for $3 Billion in pollination services, the loss of which would cripple American agriculture.
4. Apple’s iPhone turns 10
People around the world are paying tribute to the 10th anniversary of the launch of the iPhone, which changed the telecommunications landscape when it was released in early 2007. At the time of its release, it was unlike any other phone on the market. Today smartphones are ubiquitous – more than a quarter of the earth’s population owns one. Nearly all of those devices look like that first iPhone – a rectangular device with a glass multi-touch screen.
The iPhone and the smartphones that followed created an environment of constant information that has defined a generation, from the live transmission of Arab Spring revolutions to the election of a US President best known for sharing his every thought via the Twitter app on his smartphone.
5. HarperCollins pulls Monica Crowley’s book over plagiarism
Publisher HarperCollins decided this week to pull Monica Crowley’s book from digital sales after finding evidence of plagiarism. Crowley, who is Trump’s pick for a top communications role in the National Security Council, is a Fox News commentator and talk radio personality. She holds a PhD in International Relations from Columbia University. The 2012 book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened, which is highly critical of the Obama administration, seems to have borrowed generously from Wikipedia and published articles. HarperCollins’s statement says that while it is no longer publishing this book because it has already reached the end of its natural print cycle, it will no longer be offering it online because of the plagiarism concerns.
In the wake of this scandal, investigative reporters now looking into Crowley’s other published works are now speculating that she plagiarized sections of her PhD dissertation as well.
6. Former Iranian President Rafsanjani passes away
On Sunday, Iran’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died at 82 from a heart attack. He left a legacy of being ruthless, some say, under the guise of progress. During his eight year term as president between 1989 and 1997, Rafsanjani was a powerful figure and commander-in-chief during the Iran-Iraq War. He is considered a founder of the revolution in his country. Those who opposed him say he imprisoned those who publicly criticized him. Since leaving office, he remained politically active and sided with the Green party, causing two of his children to be imprisoned. The mourning of this political figure has turned into a public display of dissent in the streets of Tehran. As millions gather, many are using the occasion to express support for opposition leaders.
7. Jeff Sessions is grilled in the Senate
In a ten hour hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama (R) was grilled by the Senate as President-elect Trump’s pick for attorney general. The hearing was interrupted several times by protestors, some of whom were wearing Ku Klux Klan outfits and yelling “white power” before being escorted from the room.
Sessions has been highly criticized for previous statements he has made on sexual assault and his record on civil rights, which prevented him from becoming a judge in the eighties. He changed his tune from what was said on the campaign trail during the hearing, maintaining that he would uphold the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage, torture, and abortion. Sessions also promised he would not support a ban on Muslims and that he would recuse himself on any investigation involving Hillary Clinton.
8. History is made at the Golden Globes
On Sunday, January 8, the 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony took place in Beverly Hills, California. La La Land won seven awards, making it the most successful movie in Golden Globe Awards history. Ryan Gosling, who starred in La La Land, won the award for best actor in comedy or a musical. Meryl Streep won the Cecile B. DeMille Award, a prestigious lifetime achievement award. She also called out Donald Trump for making fun of a disabled reporter and defended journalists in a moving acceptance speech.
9. Blasts in Kabul kill at least 30 people
Two suicide bombings went off in the Afghan capital, killing at least 30 people. The blasts occurred near Afghanistan’s parliament building and the Taliban claimed responsibility, according to Al Jazeera. President Ashraf Ghani promised to bring those who perpetrated the attack to justice. At least 70 other people were injured in the attacks.
10. International journalist Clare Hollingworth passes away
Clare Hollingworth, a British reporter who broke the news of World War II, died on Tuesday at the age of 105. According to The New York Times, Hollingworth was in Katowice, Poland in 1939 when she saw troops and tanks and knew the war had begun. She phoned her editor at The Daily Telegraph and her story was published the next day on September 1. Over the course of her life, she covered stories on World War II, the Vietnam War, Palestine, Iraq and many other places.