Find out what’s been happening while you’ve been relaxing
Summer is always a time for new and exciting developments. This summer of 2013 was not an
exception. With tensions developing in the diplomatic world to victories in the sports world to
crazy celebrity stunts in the entertainment industry, there was something going on constantly.
Luckily, if you have been living under a rock or just too lazy to keep up with the news, here is
your chance to get caught up on the biggest headlines of this summer. Let us fill you in so you
won’t be left out of your friends’ conversations.
Three Women Held Captive Found After 10 Years
Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, who were
kidnapped and held captive in Cleveland, Ohio, were finally discovered on May 6, 2013.
According to CNN.com, Knight was last seen in August 2002 at the age of 21, Berry was
last seen after her shift at Burger King in April 2003 at the age of 16, and DeJesus
disappeared in April 2004 at the age of 14. The three women each disappeared from
Lorain Avenue, only 3 miles from the home in which they were imprisoned and
experienced years of abuse from the home’s owner, Ariel Castro, age 52. Castro was a
former school bus driver, fired after making poor decisions such as leaving a child in the
bus unattended and using the bus for personal errands. He has been sentenced to life in
prison without parole, plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 of the 977 charges
Neighbors Angel Cordero and Charles Ramsey played key roles in freeing the
women. They rushed to Berry’s aid and kicked down the front door after they heard her
calls for help that fateful evening. They contacted the police and were able to free the
other two women and Berry’s 6-year-old daughter, who was fathered by Castro. Ramsey
became an instant Internet sensation after his colorful interview with the media following
the rescue. The victims are slowly adapting to their lives and have spoken out, thanking
the public for all the support.
Zimmerman’s Acquittal Has the Nation Riled Up on Race Debate
On the night of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old was
heading home from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. All he was carrying was a
pack of Skittles and a drink. A neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman
spotted Martin and called the police because Martin looked suspicious. He called the
police and was instructed not to pursue Martin. However, he did not comply and got into a physical altercation with Martin. It resulted in Zimmerman with a bloody head and nose
and Martin shot dead. Zimmerman claimed self-defense, but was charged with seconddegree murder and manslaughter.
More than a year after the incident in July 13 of 2013, the verdict was finally
reached that Zimmerman was not guilty, acquitting him. The all-women jury deliberated
for 16 ½ hours before they could not believe that Zimmerman’s act was “done from ill
will, hatred, spite or an evil intent” without a reasonable doubt. Out of the six jurors, five
were white and one was a minority. This verdict has the Internet in an outrage, claiming
that the act was motivated by racial profiling. The prosecutors did not label Zimmerman,
who identifies himself as Hispanic, as a racist, but did argue that he unjustly profiled
Martin because he was a young black male wearing a hoodie. On the other hand,
Zimmerman’s defense attorney says that his client was profiled by critics. O’Mara stated
that “things would have been different if George Zimmerman were black for this reason:
He never would have been charged with a crime”.
Both families asked for peace and are trying to move on. The Martin family has
asked for the verdict to be respected. However, it seems as though more problems are in
store for Zimmerman. Recently, he has asked for the state of Florida to reimburse him for
his defense expenses. He is also suing NBC for defamation because the recording of his
911 call to the police about Trayvon Martin was allegedly edited to make Zimmerman
sound racist. In addition, Zimmerman’s wife was arrested on charges of perjury during
his trial regarding their financial situation and has expressed doubt of staying married to
Zimmerman. Hasty judgment on Zimmerman’s part and media-driven rage has caused
both families so much pain. Hopefully we can learn from their mistakes to be levelheaded and willing to take responsibility of our own actions before taking them.
The Video Music Awards, or VMAs, are always a crazy time as America’s
leading stars and artists come out to showcase their talent (or lack of talent) and claim
their awards. From Lady Gaga’s bizarre performance, to Miley Cyrus “twerking” in a
non-PG-13 fashion, to Justin Timberlake and his NSYNC buddies reuniting for a medley,
VMAs 2013 was full of good and just plain crazy happenings. In case you missed it, here
are the winners of this year, as listed on MTV.com:
- Video of the Year: Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
- Best Male Video: Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
- Best Female Video: Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
- Artist to Watch: Austin Mahone – “What About Love”
- Best Song of the Summer: One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
- Best Video with a Social Message: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
- Best Hip-Hop Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
- Best Pop Video: Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
- Best Rock Video: Thirty Seconds To Mars – “Up In The Air”
- Best Collaboration: P!nk ft. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me A Reason”
- Best Art Direction: Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu – “Q.U.E.E.N.”
- Best Choreography: Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
- Best Cinemotography: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
- Best Direction: Justin Timberlake ft. Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
- Best Editing: Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
- Best Visual Effects: Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Summer’s Best Movies
Summer is just incomplete without some good movies. Here are a few of this
summer’s movies that have made it big in the box office and received good reviews from
- The Butler
This emotional movie tells the story of an African-American butler
working in the White House over three decades, serving eight presidents.
It follows the changes that occurred in American society over time and
affected the butler and his family. With a strong all-star cast and an appeal
to the history buffs in us, this movie was popular among both critics and
the audience, grossing $51.8M in 3 weeks.
- The World’s End
This comedy stars five childhood friends who reunite after 20 years in
their hometown for a drinking marathon, hitting every pub in attempts to
reach the town’s most coveted pub – The World’s End. However, reaching
The World’s End becomes literal as they realize there is something off
about their old town, and they have to fight for the future of humankind.
This apocalypse film, with a splash of sci-fi, expertly shows the bond of
friendship with great humor, grossing $8.8M in 2 weeks.
- You’re Next
Horrifying yet smart, this movie mixes brutal gore and black humor when
a Davidson family reunion is interrupted by a group of animal-masked
murderers who kill off the family members one-by-one. A well-executed
horror-comedy with fresh ideas, this movie grossed $7.0M in 2 weeks.
This movie is set in a futuristic world where the very wealthy live on a
perfect man-made space station called Elysium, experiencing all luxuries
while the rest live on an overpopulated, demising Earth. Matt Damon
plays a man who must fight for equality between the social classes to save
the millions of lives on Earth. As sci-fi action movie, it offers some social
commentary that makes you think. It has grossed a total of $68.9M in 4
- Pacific Rim
Another futuristic and apocalyptic movie (seems to be the trend this
summer), this film focuses on fantasy action as monstrous creatures called
Kaiju emerge from the seas and threaten to destroy humankind. Special
types of weapons called Jeagers, controlled by two pilots simultaneously,
are the only hopes of defeating the relentless Kaiju and defending
mankind. With more action than substance, this sci-fi movie appeals more
to the sense of imagery and fun as opposed to intellect and has grossed
$99.2M in 8 weeks.
Ichiro’s 4000th Hit
Japanese Yankees 39-year-old player Ichiro Suzuki hit the 4000th hit of his
baseball career on August 21, 2013 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. According
to ESPN, Pete Rose (4,256 hits) and Ty Cobb (4,191 hits) are the only other two players
to ever reach 4000 hits in the major leagues. He hit the single in the first inning against
Toronto’s starter R. A. Dickey, a game which the Yankees won 4-2. He was met with
much praise from his teammates, who poured onto the field to embrace him, and the
crowd, who gave him a standing ovation, as reported by MLB.com. Unfortunately, since
1278 of his hits were made in the Japanese league, there is much debate on technicalities and his accomplishment won’t be officially recorded in the books. However, he has
certainly secured a spot as one of baseball’s greats.
Heats Win 2013 NBA Finals and Lebron is Named MVP
With the end of June came the conclusion of basketball season’s playoffs.
According to NBA.com, the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeated the
Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs, 88 to 95. Miami defended their title
for the second straight year, securing them a spot as the 6th team ever to win consecutive
NBA Championships alongside the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakes, the Detroit
Pistons, the Chicago Bulls, and the Houston Rockets. This was Miami Heat’s fourth
appearance in the NBA Finals. Miami’s LeBron James was named 2012-12 Kia NBA
Most Valuable Player. This is his second consecutive year earning the honor and his
fourth time over the span of five seasons. Lebron totaled 1,207 points for the award from
a panel of 121 professional sportswriters and broadcasters as well as an NBA.com MVP
Around the World
Syria’s Civil War Calls for a Serious Intervention
There has been a lot of tension in Syria between its people and its government
over the past two years. It has finally erupted in angry rebellions that resulted in violent
retaliation from the government. It is becoming so violent now with the use of chemical
weapons that President Obama has decided it is time for America to act, although how
exactly is now the primary concern.
Even before the uprisings, the people of Syria were discontent with President
Hafez al-Assad’s strict rule for decades. He appointed family members in government
positions and shut down uprisings with an iron fist. In 2000, after Hafez al-Assad’s death,
his son Bashar al-Assad took over presidency and promised to be more modern and
democratic. However, when reforms didn’t occur fast enough, activists criticized the
government and asked for change. The civil war started in February 2011 when 15
schoolchildren were arrested and allegedly mistreated in custody for painting antigovernment graffiti on the walls of the school that read, “The people want to topple the
regime”. Protests became rallies of thousands and rebels vowed to oust Bashar al-Assad
from presidency. The Syrian government has started using chemical weapons against its
people, which the White House sees as a threat and concern to the rest of the world.
There are a few options of actions America could take, but all of them could lead
to devastating results. One option is sending in ground troops. However, with more than a
decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, not many are willing to risk the lives of our troops
in the Middle East. Another option is arming the rebels. Unfortunately, the most active
and effective rebels are the ones affiliated with al Qaeda. There is no telling where the
arms would end up assuming that it ends the revolution. There is also the possibility of
firing missiles from warships in the Mediterranean. This seems like pretty much the only
LeBron’s MVP speech at America Airlines Arena in Miami, FL
Courtesy of NBA.com
England Welcomes a New Royal Family Member
Admist tensions in other countries, one international story is warming our hearts.
Prince William and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge had their first son on July 22,
The result of a bombing in Aleppo, Syria on August 16.
Courtesy of CNN.com
A U.N. arms expert collects samples in an area outside Damascus, Syria of a suspected chemical weapons strike site.
Courtesy of CNN.com2013. He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, weighing in at 8 lbs. and 6 oz. They named him George Alexander Louis and he is third in line of the throne. They announced
his name two days after his birth, which is considered quick by royal standards. It is
traditional for royalty to have many names and for the names to be passed down from
generation to generation. George is a tribute to the Queen’s father. Alexander is shared
with three medieval Scottish kings and the 4th century ruler Alexander the Great. The
name Louis is Prince William’s fourth name and is a tribute to Lord Louis Mountbatten,
the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle. The new parents and His Royal Highness Prince George
of Cambridge are now residing at the duchess’s family home in Bucklebury to start their
life as a family.