News Briefs – National and International



Trump administration announces end of DACA

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy on Sep. 5.  DACA allowed illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors to receive deferrals from deportation if they met certain criteria. President Donald Trump sharply criticized this executive action by then-President Barack Obama during the presidential campaign and made the reversal of DACA an integral part of his campaign.  Trump extended the program for another six months, allowing for Congress to have time to create new legislation that will protect the affected individuals.  Several high-profile Democrats have criticized the action while Sen. Jeff Flake (R) spoke for many Republicans when he tweeted, “The ball is back in Congress’ court where it belongs, and there are a lot of innocent kids counting on Congress to do its job.”


Hurricanes Harvey devastates Houston

Hurricane Harvey struck Houston and the southeast Texas area over a period of four days, causing damages of upwards of $150 billion, according to Texas governor Greg Abbott.  The Category 4 hurricane carried winds of more than 130 miles per hour and dropped more than 40 inches of rain in several of the areas surrounding Houston.  More than 60 people died as a result of the storm.  Several celebrities and public figures have pledged support for the victims, including NFL star J.J. Watt, whose efforts have raised more than $4 million. President Donald Trump visited the ravaged area, meeting with flood survivors and donating $1 million of his personal fortune to aid relief efforts.  Upon returning to the White House, Trump signed a disaster relief bill sending $15 billion to help with the rebuilding process.

National Football League kicks off new season

The National Football League began its ninety-eighth season on Sep. 7 as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots by a score of 42-27.  Changes heading into the new season include the return of the San Diego Chargers to their original home of Los Angeles.  The season will feature five international games, four in London and one in Mexico City. One of the biggest stories of the offseason was controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick remaining unsigned in the wake of his public protesting during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 regular season.  Many have accused NFL teams of blackballing the former star, and several more players have begun to join in the protests.  Others have countered that Kaepernick is not playing because he is not as good as he once was, but what remains is an extension of the black cloud over this new season.



At least 90 people dead as earthquake strikes Mexico

An earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale has killed at least 90 people along the coast of Chiapas, a Mexican state on the southern tip of the country. The earthquake also generated a tsunami with waves more than 5 feet tall.  Several buildings in the area were toppled or received severe damage, including hospitals and schools. Effects were felt as far away as Mexico City, where some buildings swayed, and some 1.8 million people had their electricity knocked out momentarily.  According to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, this was the strongest earthquake to strike the country in more than a century.


Colombian rebels ask for Pope’s forgiveness during trip

Several former Colombian guerilla fighters asked for forgiveness from Pope Francis for their transgressions during the years of Colombian civil war.  The pontiff was in Colombia for a five day visit committed to helping Colombians embrace the historic agreement reached in December 2016, according to CNN.  The pope listened to several testimonies from former guerillas and victims of the violence that ravaged their communities, saying to them, “Do not be afraid of asking for forgiveness and offering it.  It is time to defuse hatred, to renounce vengeance.”  During a Mass with an estimated 1 million Colombians in attendance, Pope Francis beatified the Rev. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos and Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, both of which were killed as a result of the war.


1,400 German soldiers reburied after Mass

German and Russian soldiers are working together to rebury the remains of more than 1,000 German soldiers from the Second World War.  The remains were discovered on the bank of the River Neva near Sologubovka, formerly known as Leningrad in Russia. The remains resulted from a 1941 Nazi invasion into Sologubovka.  The siege lasted for a period of 900 days, form September 1941 to January 1944.  Approximately 800,000 people died during that period, mostly due to starvation.  The reburial is the result of a recent surge in search parties of volunteers who try to identify soldiers and reunite their remains with families if at all possible, according to the Daily Mail.

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