News Roundup

Above: Williston North Dakota Oil Pipeline Pipes. Photo by Lindsey G.

By Jullian Aiden Bravo


Liberation of Mosul Underway:
After two years of Islamic State (IS) control, Iraqi forces and U.S. led coalition launched the long-anticipated offensive to take back the Iraqi city of Mosul. The estimated 30,000 Iraqi security forces are going head-to-head with the estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Islamic state militants. The liberation of Mosul is an important step toward defeating the IS as it is the militant group’s de facto capital and Iraq’s second largest city. The operation is expected to last weeks to possibly months, but the true time the operation will last is contingent on how well the IS could put up a fight. IS militants already pushed back when it attacked the city of Kirkuk. Nonetheless, Secretary Ash Carter says the assault is going according to plan. It is expected that about 200,000 people will flee the city as the fighting closes in on the city. People have already reported a thinning stock of essential supplies.
- Source: BBC News


Earthquakes Rock Central Italy:
Two earthquakes rocked Central Italy on Oct. 26, collapsing buildings and leaving many without electricity. The first earthquake registered a 5.4 and two hours later, the second earthquake registered a 6.1. There were no reports of deaths in either event. The site of the two earthquakes is located 50 miles north of the site of the August earthquake, which claimed the lives of 300 people. Italy is susceptible to earthquakes because the country is located near two of the Earth’s major tectonic plates. The two plates are known as the Eurasian and African plates. They constantly grate against each other, causing seismic and volcanic tension. ON top of that, Italy also has a series of fault lines near its Apennines Mountains.
Sources: USA Today, CNN, Time


Protestors Arrested at North Dakota Pipeline:
More than 250 people, including film-makers and journalists, were arrested at Native American oil pipeline protests. North Dakota police are being accused of suppressing free speech and using excessive force against nonviolent protesters. The Dakota Access Pipeline, as it is called, would be 1,172 miles long and would stretch from the oil-rich Bakken Formation where Montana and North Dakota meet Canada and southeast where South Dakota, Iowa and Montana meet. The pipeline would transport fracked crude to a refinery near Chicago. But protestors say the pipeline would harm the environment and impact historically significant Native American lands. The affected tribe has taken the battle to court. In total, there have been 269 arrests since August, police officials say.
- Sources: The Guardian, CNN

The red panda is one of many species endangered by deforestation.


World Wildlife on Decline:
Since 1970, the world's wildlife has declined by an average of 58 percent, according to the Living Planet report and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The report suggests that if the rate continues, the world would see a two-thirds decline in wildlife by 2020. The data collected was from a sample size of 3,700 different species of birds, fish, mammals and amphibians—about 6 percent of the total number of vertebrate species in the world.

“We are no longer a small world on a big planet," said Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in a foreword for the report. "We are now a big world on a small planet, where we have reached a saturation point.”

The number one cause of the decline is human activity such as farming, logging, pollution and poaching. Much of the Earth's land has been impacted by humans, leaving only 15 percent of protected nature. Aquatic habitats such as rivers and lakes are impacted the most due to water extraction, pollution and dams.
- Sources: BBC News, The Guardian


AT&T Buys Time Warner:
In 1983, 50 companies owned 90 percent of American media. Today, only six companies run the same 90 percent of American media. These six companies essentially run our media lives. But in a major shift in media control occurred when AT&T purchased Time Warner for $85 billion. The merger will be completed by the end of 2017 and AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson will be the head of the two companies. AT&T agreed to pay $107.50 a share, evenly split between cash and stock. The deal still need approval from Washington.
- Source: Frugal Dad, The Wall Street Journal