News Roundup 9/22/2017
1. Dam Failing in Puerto Rico:
The Guajataca Dam, located in Northwest Puerto Rico, was reported to show signs of failure at 2:10 PM local time. Over 70,000 people live in the nearby towns of Isabela and Quebradillas. Residents have been notified of flash flood warnings and are being told by the National Weather Service to "move to higher ground". Buses are being used to evacuate many who are closest to the dam.
2. McCain Not in Favor of Repealing Obamacare:
Senator John McCain announced that he is in opposition of the most recent attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McCain said that he could not "in good conscience" vote in favor of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal. McCain makes the third Senate Republican to oppose the bill, meaning it may not have the necessary support to pass.
“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said. “Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”
Source: New York Times
3. Earthquake off of Northern California coast:
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Northern California at a depth of 2.5 miles at 12:50 PM, according to the US Geological Survey. The epicenter of the quake was approximately 122 miles west of Ferndale, and was followed with a 3.9-magnitude aftershock. No tsunami warnings have been issued, and there reactions on social media reveal that few people felt the tremor.
Source: Los Angeles Times
4. Antibody Attacks HIV Strains:
A new antibody, which attacks 99% of HIV strains, has been created as part of a collaborative effort between the pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the US National Institutes of Health. Human trials will begin in 2018.
"These super-engineered antibodies seem to go beyond the natural and could have more applications than we have imagined to date," said the president of the International Aids Society, Prof Linda-Gail Bekker. "As a doctor in Africa, I feel the urgency to confirm these findings in humans as soon as possible."
5. Education Department Rescinds Sexual Assault Guidance:
The Education Department announced that it is formally withdrawing the guidance that was provided under the Obama administration for how schools should handle sexual assaults under the Title IX law. The federal law Title IX stops discrimination from schools based on sex, including protecting people from sexual harassment.
Education Secretary Betsy Devos has criticized the previous administration's standards. Devos has stated that she does not believe it provides proper due process to those accused, and that the Obama-era rules are too strict. However, a rule putting the responsibility to investigate on the school, not law enforcement, is still intact.