News Briefs – National and International



Sexual abuse scandal hits USA Gymnastics

A sexual scandal involving more than 150 female gymnasts and a team doctor has rocked USA Gymnastics, resulting in the resignation of the groups entire board. Dr. Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor, was handed down a sentence of between 40 and 175 years after dozens of current and former gymnasts came out with accusations of sexual abuse by Nassar. Despite the sentence, many of the victims still felt that justice had not been done and blamed USA Gymnastics for failing to protect the gymnasts in their care. The U.S. Olympic Committee in turn demanded that USA Gymnastics would be stripped of its standing lest all of its 21 members resign. At least five members have already resigned, and an interim board is expected to be in place by February.

Flu season most intense since 2009

According to a Jan. 26 New York Times article, the current flu season is at its worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic and still growing. According to federal health officials, this flu season is on track to pass the 2014-2015 flu season, when the Centers for Disease Control and prevention estimates that 34 million Americans got the flu, 710,000 were hospitalized and about 56,000 died. Baby Boomers are also becoming more susceptible to getting the flu, which can be attributed to a decrease in Baby Boomers receiving the flu shot. The flu saw a surge after Christmas, which health officials say is due to children returning to school from Christmas break. People are still being encouraged to get the flu shot, despite the late date.

Two students killed in Kentucky school shooting

Two students are dead and 18 others have been wounded in the countrys latest school shooting, in western Kentucky on Jan. 23. A shooter opened fire at Marshall County High School in the morning hours and proceeded to begin shooting through the schools common areas. The victims of the shooting ranged between 14 to 18, most of which were male. Both of the students who were killed were 15-years-old, as well as the alleged gunman. The alleged gunman has been arrested, and prosecutors are starting the process of charging him as an adult.

More than 100 killed in Kabul bombing

At least 100 people were killed in a suicide bombing on Saturday in Kabul. According to a BBC report, the suicide bombers maneuvered past a police checkpoint to get to a crowded street surrounded by government buildings and embassies. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the event as Afghanistans government declared a day of mourning for the victims of the attack. According to a Taliban spokesman, the attacks are linked to US efforts to assist Afghan forces with troops and air strikes. Pakistan denied any participation in the attack while U.S. President Donald Trump and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres both strongly condemned the attack.

Seven found at sea from missing ferry

Seven people who were on a ferry that went missing in the South Pacific were rescued at sea Sunday. A New Zealand Air Force Orion patrol place spotted the seven as they floated in the open sea more than 180 miles southeast of Nauru island. They were among 50 people aboard the inter-island ferry MV Butiraoi, which disappeared after setting sail for the Kiribati capital of South Tarawa on Jan. 18. In addition to New Zealand resources, Australias Maritime Safety Agency and the US Coast Guard have joined the search for the remaining 43 people who have yet to be accounted for.

Slashed Nutella prices has France going nuts

Videos of French citizens shoving, yelling and being unruly in the pursuit of discounted Nutella jars have gone viral in the recent week. This happened after the French grocery chain Intermarché cut the price for a jar of Nutella from 4.50 euros to 1.41 euros, or from $5.60 to about $1.75, a discount of almost 70 percent. Employees report lines of more than 200 people lining up in front of stores before opening. Upon stores opening, throngs of people raced for the Nutella aisle, throwing others aside as they vied for a jar. In many stores, managers, accompanied by security guards, set up rations of one jar per person, often running out of jars in 10 minutes. After learning of their customersbehavior, Intermarché expressed regret over the sales unintended effects and surprise at the chaos that ensued.