The death of the mayors

Alejandro Aparicio, a newly sworn in mayor, of the Mexican town of Tlaxiaco, was killed on Tuesday, January 8, 2 hours after taking position as Mayor of Tlaxiaco. Two people died, and 3 other people were wounded. The death of Alejandro is being taken seriously, and a thorough investigation, for the man behind the murder of this horrific crime.

On Tuesday afternoon, Alejandro was on his way to City Hall, for a meeting with some of his colleagues after being declared mayor, when a man came and opened fire. Five people, including Alejandro, we’re rushed to the hospital, but by the time they arrived, Alejandro was pronounced dead. He suffered internal bleeding and a punctured right lung.

Tlaxiaco has been dealing with a serious problem of mayors being killed, for many years, and is becoming difficult for people to want to take a political position. At least 175 mayors or mayor elects have been killed between September 2017 and August 2018 . 

Aparicio was the first mayor to be elected from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador party. Oaxaca governor Alejandro Murat expressed his condolences on Twitter for the unjust murder, “I express my condolences to the family and the people of Tlaxiaco.” This is just a tragic event and the government is not taking it lightly.

Kerala protests

In Kerala, a state in southern India, a ban was put in place on women entering the Sabarimala temple for prayers last September. On January 1st, 2 women were the first to enter the temple in centuries, and as a result, it caused many violent protests.

The Supreme Court lifted the ban because they believed it discriminated against women, and they should be able to worship in the temple.  A spokesman said that the 2 women tried to enter the temple in December, but violent mobs blocked the temple doors. The names of the 2 women are, Bindu Ammini and Kankadurga, and they’re currently hiding from the mobs and are staying with their relatives.

The mobs got so bad that cops had to bring water cannons and tear gas to break it up. One of the protesters was a man that was in the BJP ( Bharatiya Janata Party). According to CNN, The BJP are trying to keep the ban, but the man was killed by protesters who threw stones at his head.

The 2 women got help from police to enter the temple, which may have also caused the violent riots. So far, the police have arrested 2 people, and 4 people were injured.

As many as five million women protesters took part in a peaceful protest. They created a “women wall” and extended their arms to show they’re support of gender equality. The women wall was 385 miles long and a civil servant said, “There were so many women and there wasn’t even space for women to extend arms. If they had extended their arms, the length of the wall would have increased so much that women would be falling in the Arabian Sea.”

According to CNN, the police have said they will continue to provide protection for women that want to enter the temple, and people that oppose their decision will have to go the Supreme Court later in the month.

Climate change is real?

How many times have you walked outside this winter with only a sweatshirt and jeans on? No winter jacket or coat. Or still have those new pair of Sorel boots in your closet that you were so sure you we’re going to have to wear this winter? If this sounds like you, you are not alone. Temperatures this Minnesota winter have been so mild it almost seems unreal. The snowfalls have been mild, the temperatures have been mild, and the snow seems to barely stay on the ground. Believe it or not, Minnesota is facing the disastrous climate change going on in our world, and the direct effects are becoming prevalent.

Since the 1980’s, scientists have warned us about the disasters our earth was up against if we didn’t start taking better care of it. Big companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, and Gazprom, as well as chemical manufactures, industrial dumpsites, tanneries, and product manufactures are all environmental hazards that are destroying our earth. These companies continue to produce pollutants into our environment, creating oil spills, and putting Co2 emissions into our air. Due to these pollutants, more cases of illnesses, like cancer, are rising and they are causing our earth to heat up.

Antarctica is a continent covered by a of majority of ice, and it is starting to be affected by the heating of our earth. Major ice glaciers are starting to break and melt.

Animals like penguins and polar bears are having a habitat crisis because it’s harder to catch fish. Polar bears are falling into the water and drowning due to thin ice, and fish are starting to migrate.

On top of the effects of animals, the effects on our lakes and oceans are also a risk. As ice glaciers melt, water levels continue to rise. The mixture of saltwater and freshwater is creating a higher buoyancy which is causing floods, hurricanes, and water levels to rise at extreme rates.

Minnesota has been affected by climate change, our lakes are starting to rise and there have been a lot of rainy days this winter season. Just this past month, we have had one of the warmest Minnesota winter days ever, with a record breaking 42 degrees in the beginning of January.

Where do people originate from

Humans, or by their scientific name homo sapiens, belong to a group called hominids. Creatures in part of the hominids group, are the earliest known human like creatures. A trait that is commonly shared among hominids is the ability to walk on two legs or bipedalism. According to, it’s believed that hominids started to separate from other primates between 2.5 and 4 million years ago, around eastern and southern Africa.

There are many theories to why the early hominids begun to evolve. One theory was that with the expansion of the savannah, it slowly forced their homes in the forest to shrink. Because of this, it may be one of the reasons we started to rely on walking upright, on the ground, rather than continuing to climb trees.

As hominids continued to evolve, they gained more unique traits and characteristics. One of these characteristics was that their brain capacity was increasing, and then a species of hominid, homo habilis, began using tools around 2.3 million years ago.

Then, around 1 million years ago, some species of hominids, such as homo erectus, began leaving Africa and moving towards Europe and Asia. And when they arrived, they began making important advances like being able to use fire.

The first modern humans happened around 200,000 and 300,000 years ago. And the ability to use language happened around 50,000 year ago.

Later, between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago, modern humans began leaving Africa to ocupate Europe and Asia. The first humans reached Australia by around 35,000 and 65,000 years ago.

According to scientists, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, a land bridge was created, connecting Asia and North America around 13,000 years ago. It is believed that people came to America from Asia by this land bridge.

Royals releases 2018 Christmas cards

During this time of the year, many of the royal families have released their 2018 Christmas card to the public. For the Cambridges, the clothing style was very casual compared to last year’s Christmas card. Prince William and Duchess Kate had the photo taken by royal photographer Matt Porteous, who also took pictures during Prince Louis’ christening ceremony and Prince George’s fifth birthday photos. The photo was taken at Anmer Hall and the Cambridges are posed on a tree. Princess Charlotte is spotted wearing a dark blue cardigan that she had worn before, during the first portrait of when Prince Louis was born. Prince George also had worn the dark blue cardigan in the portrait, when celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday.    

For the Sussexs, Prince Harry and Meghan share a photo of them after their royal wedding reception. The photo was taken by Chris Allerton with a black and white shot of the newlywed couple watching the fireworks. The photo was taken on the night of May 19, from Frogmore House, Windsor. Duchess Meghan was shown to be wearing a halter-neck evening gown.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s Christmas photo was taken by Hugo Burnand earlier this summer. The couple was sharing a tender look at each other while they are sitting on a bench at their home, Clarence House.

The Jordanian Royals have also released their 2018 Christmas card with a picture of the family. King Abdullah II and Queen Rania are seen in the photo with Crown Prince Al Hussein, Prince Hashem, Princess Iman, and Princess Salma. Queen Rania posted the photo on her Instagram account stating, “May we greet the New Year with gratitude for all our blessings and hope for a better tomorrow.”

Image taken from: /royalty/gallery/2018121865745 /royal-family-christmas-cards-2018/1/

The Norwegian Royals released their 2018 Christmas card with a shot of them in front of a Christmas tree! King Harald and Queen Sonja are shown sitting down on two chairs while Crown Prince Haakon with his son, Prince Sverre Magnus posed behind Queen Sonja. Behind King Harald is Crown Princess Mette-Marit with her daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

From the Spanish Royals, the photo was obviously taken in the summer when the family had stopped during their hike through the Picos de Europa National Park in Asturias. The family posed in front of Lakes of Covadonga. King Felipe is hugging Princess Leonor, 13 years old, while Princess Infanta Sofia, 11 years old, is seen standing by her mother, Queen Letizia’s side.

2018 G20 Summit

By: Daniela Fernandez

This year, the G20 Summit was held on November 30 – December 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The G20 summit has been going on since 1999. The summit is where the world’s countries, that lead in the economy, meet every year. Heads of state, or governments, attend the summits to discuss ways to help the world’s economy stabilize. They also talk about financial markets, trade, and development. There are 19 countries, and the EU, that participate in the G20 summit according to G20 Argentina 2018. These countries are Argentina, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, South Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Germany, China, India, Indonesia, France, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Australia.

This year, they discussed technology, and how they could guarantee that everyone has access to technology. Also, how technology helps to resolve problems in the world, and to make sure that technology won’t create a backlash in the world.

They also talked about finances, and ways that they can guarantee that money is shared with everyone. This included ways to ensure that the IMF and the WB have enough resources to help countries, and prevent economic loss.

They also discussed agriculture, and the loss of sustainable land because of global warming, and unfair access to land.

Another topic they discussed was international trade, access to markets, globalization, and fair trade.

The final topic they discussed was anti corruption, and helping developing countries fight governmental and industrial corruption, according to G20 Argentina 2018.

This year, at the G20 summit, the US, Canada, and Mexico signed the updated NAFTA agreement. This agreement is about including more products in the free trade market, and guaranteeing that the US won’t force tariffs. This agreement has Canada open its milk market to the United States.

The new agreement says that starting in 2020, to have no tariffs, cars and trucks have to be made with 75% of its parts from the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It is currently at 62.5% parts made from the US, Mexico, and Canada. The new agreement won’t take action until 2020 according to the Washington Post.

Melbourne stabbing spree

On November 9th, it was reported that a man was fatally shot by the police after he started a stabbing spree at Melbourne’s busy, shopping, city center. Witnesses had reported that they saw the man get out of his car and then his car burst into flames shortly after. The man was able to stab about 3 people before the officers could arrive at the scene. A bystander was able to record a video of the confrontation between the man and the officers. One of the civilians was trying to help the officers by pushing a cart into the man with the knife.

The officers were able to finally shoot the man in the chest and he was taken to the hospital. The man died 30 minutes later. Graham Ashton, chief commissioner of the Victoria police, has a released a statement stating, “We are treating this as a terrorism incident.” Ashton had stated that the attacker was known to federal intelligence agencies but was not being closely monitored. 

The police later released, to the public, that the man was identified as Hassan Shire Ali and that he drove a 4×4 truck full of gas bottles which he then  used to ignite the vehicle. Police said they had already spoken to Shire Ali’s wife when asked.

The police did not identify the victims, but local media news said Sisto Malaspina was fatally stabbed. Sisto Malaspina is the owner of a cafe, that is quite well known, called Pellegrini’s. One of the other victims was a 60-year-old man who was stabbed right in the face and died at the scene despite the paramedics’ effort.

The last victim is a 58-year-old man named Rod Patterson. He had just recently returned from his vacation, and he was try to intervene to stop the attacker. On a Facebook page, his wife Maree thanked all the well-wishers that had posted on their page.

Aaksh Velma was a witness, who was still working his shift when the incident happened. He mentioned that he saw the police attempt to use pepper spray and a stun gun, but it didn’t affect Shire Ali at all, thus this is why the police had to pulled out their guns. When Velma was asked about if Shire Ali tried to get away, Velma responded, “The person didn’t look like he wanted to run away, he wanted to stay and fight. He was saying nothing. He had a million chances to run away, there were many laneways.”

Youth 2030 project

The Youth 2030 project was launched on Monday, September 24, at the 73rd UN General Assembly. The goal of the project is to make sure every young person is empowered so they can reach their full potential and to protect human rights of the youth. Youth 2030 is a framework to assist the UN towards their 3 pillars: peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. The UN aims to strengthen the engagement of young people and to benefit from their ideas and views.

For their goal, the UN has come up with 5 priorities which are to: amplify youth voices to promote a peaceful and sustainable world, support young peoples’ access to quality education and health services, support young peoples’ greater access to decent work, protect and promote the rights of young people and support their political engagement, and support young people as activists for peace and security.

Separate from the Youth 2030 project, the UN has also launched Generation Unlimited. It’s a project that mainly focuses on young peoples’ access to better education, receiving employability skills, and empowerment.

Today in the world, there are about 1.8 billion young people between 10 and 24 years old, with nearly 60% living in developing countries. Many do not enter or complete secondary education, and don’t acquire the skills they need to get jobs, which puts their future at risk. By 2030, the UN wants to make sure that every young person has access to education, learning, and employment.

Marijuana and legalization

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No matter who you are, you probably have an opinion on the debate about whether or not marijuana should be legalized. According to The Pew Research Center, support for recreational marijuana use, and for legalization, has nearly doubled to 61% of Americans since 2000, when support was at 31%. As more and more states start to legalize marijuana, we need to get informed and start deciding what would be best for our state of Minnesota.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is defined as the dried flowers and leaves of a cannabis plant. It puts you in a state of “high” by mimicking a brain chemical and latching on to your neuro transmitters, which alters the way your brain sends messages to your body.

Arguments against marijuana

  • People with pre-existing marijuana problems will have easier access to the drug
  • The industry will market too heavily to younger targets
  • It has been proven to contribute to long, and short, term memory loss
  • There isn’t a productive way to enforce driving limits like there is with alcohol
  • Indoor marijuana farms could use up a lot of resources, and outdoor farms could have a harmful impact on wildlife

Arguments for marijuana

  • The majority of the public favors legalization
  • Legalization could create new jobs and revenue
  • Marijuana has medical benefits such as reducing the size of cancerous tumors, lowering anxiety and depression, and it can reduce the chance of seizures
  • Studies have shown it is less toxic then alcohol, which is a legal substance
  • Legalization could reduce legal costs, including police enforcement and jail expenses

At HPSH, I asked 10 adults and 10 students if they were in favor of legalizing marijuana or against it. 5 out of the 10 adults were in favor of legalization, while 7 out of the 10 teens felt marijuana should be legalized for medical and recreational use.

There are good arguments for both sides, for and against, but before any decisions should be made, there needs to  be more research done. If marijuana is to be legalized, the pros should outweigh the cons.

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence was first discovered on August 30, 2018, when forecasters tracked a disturbance in the Atlantic, near the west coast of Africa. Hurricane Florence was considered to be a category 4 hurricane on September 10, 2018, and it was expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia. Hurricane Florence was a fast approaching tropical storm and the agency predicted heavy rain over the Carolinas and Atlantic. About 1 million people who lived on the coastline of South Carolina and Virginia were ordered to evacuate by the South Carolina governor. But as the hurricane struck the coast of the Carolinas’ on September 15, 2018, it was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane. Over the course of four days it managed to dump around 23 inches of rain in South Carolina and 35 inches in North Carolina.

After Hurricane Florence first struck the coastline, it damaged many structures and caused a loss of power which affected thousands of people, but the after-effects of the storm was much worse than expected. The rainwaters of the hurricane increased water in rivers and streams which have now caused flooding. North Carolina’s two biggest rivers, Cape Fear and the Pee Dee River, both saw increased water levels which became one of the reasons for the major flooding. The water level has now risen and many residents are still waiting for the water to recede. More than 8,100 residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia that were forced to evacuate are still staying at Red Cross shelters, or with family or friends.

In Kinston, North Carolina, the streets flooded to the point where the National Guard had to use a helicopter to distribute water to stranded survivors. In North Carolina, it is estimated that around 3.4 million birds, and 5,500 pigs, drowned to death, and in South Carolina, the flooding damaged cotton, peanuts, and hemp crops. According to authorities, Hurricane Florence’s death toll climbed to 36, as of September 19, 2018, when two women died when they got swept away by the floodwaters while they were in a sheriff’s van.

President Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina on September 19 to help out at a church at New Bern, North Carolina, which was one of the first few towns that was hit. Trump distributed box lunches that consisted of hot dogs, chips, and fruits for people who waited for over an hour to collect their meal. As President Trump handed a man a lunch box, he said “Have a good time.”

On September 20, the power plant operator of Duke Energy reported that there was about 2,000 cubic yards of harmful waste that had gotten into the water from the landfill because of the flooding. The company spokesperson, Erin Culbert, had stated that the company will continue monitoring the situation.

Americans are trying their best to help everyone who was affected by the hurricane by donating money to nationwide agencies that are assisting the victims. On September 18, NBA champion Michael Jordan donated around $2 million to the cause. Members of NBA Hornets organization are putting together around 5,000 boxes for food banks in Charlotte, North Carolina. The organization also partnered with Fanatics, the NBA merchandising company, to help raise funds by creating a special T-shirt which features the Hornets logo in the middle of the Carolina states with the words “Carolina Strong.”