While you spent your time going to classes, eating at the Rock or playing basketball at the Rec, the world outside Big Rapids kept on turning. Here are some of the top news stories from around the world from the 2017-18 school year.
News that… Shocked us
- Niels Högel, former nurse, is currently serving a life sentence for murdering two of his patients. Authorities now believe the number of victims has increased from two to 86. Högel claimed to have enjoyed reviving patients but he did not always succeed. Original story by Melissa Eddy, Aug. 28, 2017. The New York Times.
- Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017 from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 58 people died and more than 850 were injured after Paddock shot into the crowd for more than 10 minutes before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It remains unclear why he targeted the concert and it has been categorized as the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Original story by Wesley Lowery and Mark Berman, Jan. 19, 2018. The Washington Post.
- Accused serial killer Takahiro Shiraishi was arrested in Tokyo after police found dismembered parts of nine bodies in his apartment. They were originally searching for a missing woman. Shiraishi was sus
pected of targeting his victims using Twitter, finding people who were suicidal and then luring them to his apartment. He was arrested on the charge of abandonment of the bodies while the police investigated further. Original story by Motoko Rich, Nov. 1, 2017. The New York Times
- President Trump captured the nation’s attention when he added to his tweets taunting North Korea’s Kim Jung Un in November. Trump’s tweet called Kim “short and fat” and he had also used the phrases “Little Rocket Man” and “sick puppy” when referring to Kim in previous tweets. Despite Kim throwing insults back, the two have set up a meeting for some day in May at an undisclosed location. Original story by Saba Hamedy and Joyce Tseng, March 9, 2018. CNN.
Broke our hearts
- Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico in ruins after packing winds of up to 155 mph in September. The official death toll in December was 64 but it was estimated that over 1,000 could have died. It knocked out power to the entire island and a month after the storm, 80 percent of Puerto Ricans were still without power. Poor planning, a slow response by power officials and dire financial straits led to very slow progress in recovery and it was not until April that almost everyone had their lights back on. Original stories by Deborah Acosta and Frances Robles, October 19, 2017; Kenan Davis, Francis Robles, Sheri Fink and Sarah Almukhtar, Dec. 9, 2017; and James Wagner and Frances Robles, April 18, 2018. The New York Times.
- A gunman, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, opened fire during a church service on Nov. 5, 2017, at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelley took more than 25 lives – including children – and injured more than 20. Neighbors of the church heard the gunshots and fired at Kelley when he emerged from the church and chased Kelley by car into the county before Kelley crashed his car and died. Original story by David Montgomery, Christopher Mele and Manny Fernandez, Nov. 5, 2017. The New York Times.
- About 70 people died in an apparent chemical attack in Douma, Syria, and 500 people had symptoms consistent with a chemical attack, such as burning eyes, breathing problems and white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils. The state news media in Syria denied that the government had used chemical weapons. President Trump threatened a missile strike but has not yet followed through. Original story by Daniel Victor, April 11, 2018. The New York Times.
- Through April 20, there were 20 school shootings in the U.S. where someone was hurt or killed. The deadliest event was in Parkland, Florida, when a 19-year-old gunned down students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 17 students and adults were killed and the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was expelled over disciplinary problems, according to officials. Original story by Saeed Ahmed and Christina Walker, April 20, 2018. CNN.
Gave us hope
- A peace rally was held in Barcelona, Spain, in August and it was reported that over half a million people attended to protest terrorist attacks. The rally came in response to attacks that killed 15 people on Aug. 17, 2017. Original story by Raphael Minderaug, Aug. 26, 2017. The New York Times.
- A new law in Kenya could mean up to four years in jail for anyone who makes, sells or imports plastic bags or garbage bags. The law is mainly aimed at manufacturers, rather than citizens, in an effort to become more eco-friendly. Original story by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Aug. 28, 2017. The New York Times.
- Women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia starting in June of this 2018. A ban had previously prohibited women from driving, serving as a symbol of oppression of women. Officials hope that this will benefit the growth of the economy by making it easier for women to get to work, as well as serve to be a step towards equality. Original story by Ben Hubbard, Sept. 26, 2017. The New York Times.
- After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September, chef José Andrés mobilized a team that offered more fresh, hot meals than government organizations and agencies like the Red Cross ever could. Through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, Andrés provided more than 2.8 million meals through a network of kitchens across the island. Original story by Melissa Chan, Dec. 7, 2017. TIME.