World News

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Photo Credit: Patricia Maher Astrology

Mary Berg, Editor-in-Chief

Zika Virus is declared an international public health emergency. On Monday, Feb. 1, the World Health Organization declared the Zika Virus an international public health emergency, indicating the severity of the outbreak. This virus has been sweeping across Central and South America since last May, and is very likely to cause severe birth defects. It is spread by mosquitoes, and now exists in more than 20 countries in Latin America according to the New York Times. Hopefully, this indication by the World Health Organization will spur more research into treatment and cure of this virus that has severely affected millions already and shows no sign of stopping.

Syrian peace talks begin in Geneva, Switzerland. On Monday, Feb. 1, the United Nations began mediating peace talks concerning the Syrian Conflict. Representatives from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are in attendance as well as representatives from all major opposition groups in the country, excluding the Islamic State. The talks come amid growing concern over the extreme violence that is plaguing the country and the massive refugee crisis that has resulted from the conflict.

Cruz and Clinton Win in the Iowa Caucuses. On Monday, Feb. 1, the first presidential caucuses took place in Iowa. Cruz won the Republican side in the state, defeating the longtime frontrunner Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton also very, very narrowly beat Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. This caucus prompted a few candidates to drop out of the presidential race, including Democrat Martin O’Malley and Republican Mike Huckabee.

Angelique Kerber unexpectedly beats Serena Williams to win Australian Open. On Saturday, Jan. 30, German tennis player Angelique Kerber upset the top-ranked Serena Williams to take the Australian Open title. Williams was the defending champion and had won the competition six times previously. Kerber was seated seventh in the tournament while Williams was seated first, making her victory even more surprising. In the men’s bracket, Novak Djokovic of Serbia won his sixth Australian Open title, tying the existing record.

22 of Hillary Clinton’s emails considered ‘highly classified’ by the State Department. On Friday, Jan. 29, the State Department released a statement saying that they would not publicize 22 of Clinton’s emails, saying that they contained ‘top-secret’ information. This created even more controversy surrounding the email scandal, as top-secret government information was shared on a public domain.

22 of El Chapo’s cartel leaders arrested in Mexico. On Jan. 31 near the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexican law enforcement detained 22 high-ranking members of the Sinaloa Smuggling Cartel during a raid. Recently, the Cartel has gained much international attention as its infamous leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested last month after escaping from prison. Two members of the cartel were also killed during a gunfire exchange.

Black History Month begins in the United States. Monday, Feb. 1 marked the beginning of Black History Month. The month of February is dedicated to honoring and celebrating the country’s foremost African-American leaders and their rich history in the United States.

Facebook and Instagram ban gun sales on their websites. The leaders of Instagram and its owner, Facebook, announced on Jan. 29 that they would ban any private gun sales being negotiated through either of the social media sites. Although neither of the sites themselves brokered any gun transactions, they served as a platform for illegal gun sales to take place. Now, the companies will remove and prevent any instances of buying and selling guns from their domains. The companies already have banned any private transactions of pharmaceuticals, marijuana, and other illegal drugs.