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Water crisis in Flint, Michigan

After the city of Flint, Michigan changed its water source from Detroit Water and Sewage Department water to the Flint River, its drinking water has experienced a series of problems, creating a serious public health danger.

But just how serious is this problem?

The decision, executed by city councilmen, served as a cost-cutting operation aimed at saving $5 million over a two-year period. The decision also involved connecting to the Karegnondi Water Authority, which would be completed as early as next year.

The purpose of the Authority is to provide and distribute raw water to areas around the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, which includes the cities of Flint, Lansing and Detroit.

Almost immediately after the April 2014 decision, most of the city’s residents began complaining about the water’s taste and appearance. A year later, another decision was made by the Flint city council to switch back to the city of Detroit’s water system.

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Letter to the Editor

On Monday, January 25, student leaders were required to attend what was later called a ‘chastity talk,’ in which a layman from a nearby parish attempted to relay some aspect of Catholic sexual ethics to students. It went poorly. I should mention that I wasn’t there, but, for the love of God, I feel like I should say something about it.

Firstly, I want to address that although I do think a mistake was made by inviting this gentleman to speak, the administration did not know what they got themselves into. The presenter had previously led a discussion group on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, but my brief investigation doesn’t show any qualifications for giving the presentation, which he did on January 25. That having been said, I believe that the staff that booked the talk realize that it was not a good idea, and that their mea culpa has been honest. On this note, I say forgive and forget.

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Solitary confinement is gone

On Monday, January 25, President Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles and inmates that are serving time for low-level offenses. People advocating for prison reform have been arguing this point for a long period of time. According to the White House, nearly 100,000 prisoners in the United States can be held in solitary confinement at any given time.

Obama’s reasoning for the ban stems from concerns about the prisoners upon the end of their jail sentence. He explained his position further in his op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post.

“Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences,” Obama said. “It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior. Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones.”

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Fake Planned Parenthood video indictment

On Monday, January 25, in Harris County, Texas, a grand jury indicted two anti-abortionists for making secret videos of Planned Parenthood. The goal was to show the officials of Planned Parenthood’s selling of fetal tissue illegally and making a profit. After an investigation that took two years to complete, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been cleared of any charges and accusations.

The leader of the group, David Daleiden, created a company and posed as a biotechnology representative undercover to retrieve the videos against Planned Parenthood. Daleiden’s plan had been set in motion three years ago when he infiltrated the organization.

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Star Wars dominates the box office

“Chewie, we’re home.”

With those words fans around the world cheered, some even cried. Han Solo’s remark in the seventh installment of Star Wars welcomed fans new and old into the Galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the highest grossing movie in North America. It grossed $238 million in just its first weekend, surpassing the $85 million made in the first three days by the highest earning film in history: Avatar.

The pre-sale hype was enough to sell out theatres for weeks and even crashed MovieTickets.com and Fandango for some users. Over $6.5 million was made in presales. It outsold The Hunger Games: Catching Fire presales over 6 times, according to Variety.

The Force Awakens has made $1.792 billion internationally.

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Flashback funday

Behind a ginormous black curtain in Charlie’s was the party of the ages. Colored lights spun patterns across the dark room. Music played from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Flashback Friday was held by Campus Activities Board and the Student Government Association.

“I worked with a group to come up with the idea of Flashback Friday. I thought of prizes, food and ways to make the event lively,” said sophomore, Maria Qureshi, who organized the event for Campus Activities Board.

Qureshi explained how she pulled together a student DJ, lights and used multiple advertising methods to get students interested.

The event had a spectacular turnout.

Students were screaming and dancing with their friends as they sang along to “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “Hey Ya” by Outkast and “No Scrubs” by TLC.

Everyone formed a huge dance circle and cheered as students did the worm or moonwalked across the center.

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Those on the death penalty may have a chance

“390 FL death row inmates could appeal after Supreme Court ruling,” read the headline of Gloria Gomez’s FOX 13 article on January 18.

The article explores the possible repercussions residents of Florida may face in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling of the state’s death penalty system as unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, January 12, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that Florida’s process for handing out death penalties violates the Sixth Amendment. According to Evan Axelbank of FOX 13, Florida’s process was deemed unconstitutional because of the people placed in the position of power.

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What your search history shows about you

What we look up in our search engines can be the insight into our lives: do we ask Google about diseases on WebMD or maybe what that weird mark on your arm represents? Maybe we ask for good workouts for beginners.

It goes further than those searches that we are embarrassed to admit to. People inquire about mental illness, diseases that they have been diagnosed with and some even try to discover how to stop bullies. With that in mind, Brett Murphy Hunt wrote a paper for graduate school called “Show All History.”

“For a while after, I pondered writing an anthology of imagined internet histories that would tell the story about the internet users, but slowly realized that reality is stranger (and sometimes more interesting) than fiction,” said Hunt.

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Ecuador endorses compassion

La vida es una lottería y me ganó.

There was a long silence vibrating after a neighbor said this to the Assumption College group. The woman’s living room was only a few blocks away from the Rostro de Cristo house, the host organization for the trip. The woman’s name is Jessica and she is a mother of two beautiful and gifted daughters.

13 Assumption students and one Assumption campus minister sat circling Jessica in her home, one of hundreds in the community of Mount Sinai on the northern outskirt of Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. The 14 of them made up the selected group for this year’s SEND Ecuador trip, a service immersion trip through Assumption College’s SEND Program.

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Terrorist Attack Shakes City of Lights

The horrific attacks on Paris stunned the world with six locations and at least 129 people dead.

It was on Friday, November 13, at the Stade de France at 9:20 p.m. that the attacks started. The weekend was just beginning, and Paris was packed with people looking to enjoy a break from their busy week.

Three bombs went off outside the stadium over a span of half an hour during a soccer match between the French and German teams. Gunmen from one vehicle shot at restaurants, cafés and a laundromat in various locations in the heart of Paris. Another vehicle carried gunmen to the Bataclan concert hall where an Eagles of Death Metal concert was underway. They started shooting indiscriminately into the crowd and took hostages for two hours.

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