News Roundup 01/23/19

1. Senator Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

Senator Kamala Harris announced her intentions to run for president in 2020. She is one of many Democratic candidates who plan on running against Donald Trump for the presidency. She made her announcement on Good Morning America, which was preceded by months of questions about the rising star of the party. Harris was elected to be California's junior senator in 2016, after service as the attorney general for the state for 2 years. Her campaign puts Harris in a position to be the first woman of color to be in the most important office in the country, if she is chosen as the Democratic candidate and is able to beat Trump in the election Less than two weeks earlier, Harris made the statement that she was not prepared to declare whether or not she would be campaigning for president. In the mean time, there were at least 3 others who announced that they were running for president or considering joining in the race. Harris stated that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the inspiration behind her run, and she would like to continue his work on making this country a better place. Harris' staff plans on officially launching her campaign on Sunday in Oakland, California and she invited viewers to join her. 

Source: ABC News

2. Melting Ice in Greenland Causes Worry

On January 21, 2019 the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences announced the ice in Greenland is melting faster than scientists thought before. An even bigger surprise was that the loss was coming from the land fast ice sheet instead of the glaciers. The study found that the largest loss came from the southwest corner of the island between the years of 2003 and 2013; this part of the island has hardly any large glaciers. Michael Bevis, a geoscientist at Ohio State, stated that by 2012 the rate of ice loss annually was 4 times the rate that it was in 2003. The majority of the melting ice came from the southwest corner, which was not previously known to lose ice that quickly. NASA’s GRACE satellites and GPS stations around the coast showed that Greenland lost around 280 billion tons of ice between 2002 and 2016. This average loss is enough for both Florida and New York to be hip level meltwater, as well as for Washington D.C. and other small states to be completely flooded. The main cause for all of this melting of the ice is global warming of just 1 degree C.

Source: National Geographic

3. Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. National Park Reopens

As of January 21, 2019, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park in Atlanta, Georgia was reopened for the first time since the government shut down on December 22, 2018. Delta Airlines gave the park a grant so that it could be open on the holiday meant to celebrate King’s life and work. The grant allows the park to remain open until February 3, which meant that the celebrations that usually take place on MLK Jr. day were able to remain intact on Monday. The super bowl is also coming to Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium on February 3. The stadium and the National Park are less than 3 miles away from each other, which means that all of the visitors staying in town for the game and other events will come to the park as part of their weekend activities. Delta, who is headquartered in Atlanta, felt that it was important for historical landmarks to remain open for the public to take part in.

Source: NPR

4. Los Angeles Unified Schcool District Teachers Return To Classrooms

The teachers of the LAUSD plan on returning to their classrooms on Wednesday, after coming to a tentative contract agreement with the district on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. The strike garnered widespread public attention, support, and political momentum for what the teachers were trying to achieve. Despite this, the contract is mixed about the changes that would be taking place in the classrooms over the next school year. According to the Los Angeles Times, the teachers will be getting a 6% pay raise overall, but they ended up losing around 3% of their salary for the 6 days they were on strike. Two of the main concerns for the teachers were too many students in each class and having nurses on staff for students who got hurt or sick during the school day.

Source: Los Angeles Times

5. IRS Employees Face Hardship During Government Shutdown

Many IRS employees were given permission to stay at home from work because of financial hardships caused by the government shutdown. IRS employees are among the 800,000 workers who have not received their paychecks during this month long shutdown. Some of the workers are staying home out of a coordinated protest, which will affect the government’s ability to process tax returns on time. This protest is taking place in offices all across the country, and employees are pushing back against what is currently going on. According to the Washington post, some workers cannot afford to make it to work either because they can’t afford the gas for their car or they can’t access public transportation.

Source: The Washington Post