standout summer stories
Whether you spent your vacation working, traveling, or lounging by the pool, a lot has happened in these past few months that you may have missed. Here are the biggest news stories from around the world to help you get you back in the know.
Flooding in Pakistan devastates thousands in July
Elizabeth Quartararo Managing Editor
In late July and early August, major flooding left almost one-fifth of Pakistan underwater, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, as an unusually harsh monsoon season left the Indus River overflowing. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Information Minister for the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa province, said the flooding was “the worst calamity ever in our history.”
Millions of acres of land were submerged at the height of the flooding, which resulted in a major loss of crops and livestock as well as a loss of about 700,000 homes, according to the United Nations. In Pakistan, food prices have risen and are expected to continue to do so, because, as reported by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 75 percent of residents in the affected population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Punjab, the “breadbasket” of Pakistan and one
of the most populous areas in the country, is one of the most severely affected reigons. In some areas of Punjab, the flooding is up to 18 feet deep. Because standing water and Pakistani heat create a dangerous breeding ground for disease, experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) fear outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases. The WHO said that upwards of 3.5 million children are at risk of contracting these diseases as well as an assortment of gastro-
intestinal ailments caused by the contaminated drinking water. The UN’s target for aid to Pakistan was $460 million. Since aid was initially slow to arrive, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged for higher financial pledges from donors to provide necessities to the 20 million people affected. A major reason for the slow donations was that aid organizations had recently donated massive amounts of money after the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. According to CBS, the U.S.
contributed over $150 million to the aid effort. The European Union has pledged over $180 million. However, news of the disaster didn’t reach everyone. “I was unaware of the flooding in Pakistan and was shocked to hear about it. This flood will mean possible irreparable damage to this area already soaked with conflict. The economy of Pakistan will surely suffer, since many people depend on the damaged farmland to survive,” junior Danilo Machado said.
Photos courtesy of aizuddindaniam.com, newsreelblog.com, park51.org, and nickwinter.com
Kagan becomes third female justice on Supreme Court
Zach Eisen Photo Editor
On August 7, Elena Kagan was officially sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts, becoming the fourth female justice to serve on the High Court in United States history. Justice Kagan joins fellow female Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia So-
tomayor. These three women represent the largest number of women to ever serve on the Court at one time. On October 1, Justice Kagan was ceremonially sworn in to the Court. President Obama attended the ceremony, held at the Supreme Court, and watched his second judicial appointment take her place in history. Justice Kagan has held many
influential positions in the world of law, most notably serving as Dean of Harvard Law School and Solicitor General of the United States, representing the United States government in front of the Supreme Court. Despite having held these positions, during the Senate hearings that followed her appointment by President Obama, Justice Kagan was highly criticized because she
has never previously served as a judge. Her inexperience on the bench has also caused the nation to question her personal views on relevant issues, some of which have yet to be revealed. For example, since she has no prior judicial experience, she does not have a track record for decisions regarding abortion. She is suspected to support pro-choice ideology.
As for gun control, Kagan has long advocated reform for the nation’s policies. How she acts on this and other issues remains to be seen, yet Justice Kagan is expected to follow a liberal ideology in making her judicial decisions. “I feel that she will add a lot of change to the views of the Supreme Court. The court has been changing from a conservative ideology,” senior Shakeir Gregory said.