Officials in Mexico have arrested four members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang in connection with the disappearance of 43 college student in September. The details of the case are horrifying. On September 26, the group of student teachers went missing after an encounter with police officers and masked men near the town the of Iguala. None of the students have been seen since, but a mass grave was recently uncovered next to a near by trash dump.
The college students were planning on demonstrating at a political event for the town’s mayor and his wife—now the nation’s attorney general believes they masterminded the abduction with local police and drug gangs. The disappearance has sparked outrage and demands for answers in the country where more than 100,000 people have been killed by gang violence in the last seven years. So far, dozens have been arrested, many of whom are police officers with ties to the Guerreros Unidos ... Discuss
You can add “being a couch potato” to the list of things including “drinking soda” and “working a desk job” that are as deadly as a tobacco habit. From The Telegraph in the UK, “A landmark report by Public Health England (PHE) says lack of exercise is as dangerous as smoking—directly contributing to one in six deaths.” The paper says that the problem is so bad that “the welfare state in Britain could collapse under the burden of self-inflicted diseases.” Officials behind the report said that 10 percent of cases of stroke and heart disease could possibly be prevented if individuals who had almost no physical activity started moderately exercising regularly ... Discuss
Over the weekend, the Islamic militant terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 30 children from a village in Northern Nigeria. According to reports from the region, the group of both boys and girls may be used as soldiers for the insurgent group who has terrorized the nation for nearly five years. Though they have reportedly denied that they are responsible, the abductions fit the group’s pattern of violence. Earlier in the week, they raided another village, set buildings on fire and killed 17 people.
A week prior, they stormed two predominantly Christian villages, abducting 60 women. The recent violence followed an apparent ceasefire and an agreement from Boko Haram officials to release the more than 200 girls they kidnapped earlier in the year, sparking the international #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The release or further adherence to the ceasefire terms now seems very unlikely. A local chief in the region told CNN that the Nigerian military has done little to stop recent violence ... Discuss
Officials from the World Health Organization said this week that current estimates of the death toll caused by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa—which currently sits at 4,877—may actually be dramatically low. Tragically, they say the real number of Ebola deaths is likely closer to 15,000. WHO predicted that in order to control the outbreak and treat those infected by the deadly virus, the number of laboratories, staff and body-management teams will need to significantly increase in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea ... Discuss
The freelance journalist who was working as an NBC cameraman in Liberia has officially been declared free of the Ebola virus after receiving treatment in Nebraska. For the last two weeks, 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo has been in a special isolation unit at the Nebraska Medical Center, but will soon be released. On Twitter, Mukpo said, “Special shout out to Nancy Snyderman at NBC News. For the record me and her were never within 3 feet of each other once. Be nice to her plz.” TV’s Dr. Snyderman received criticism from the public after she was spotted outside of her home during a voluntary quarantine period following her NBC News crew’s return to the United States ... Discuss
One of three Americans held in North Korea has been freed and returned to the United States. Jeffrey Fowle had been detained in the reclusive country for five months after officials say he intentionally left a Bible while visiting a club in the country as part of a tourist visit. All religious activity is tightly controlled in North Korea and the act was seen as a serious crime.
CNN interviewed Fowle during his detention, who admitted to the “covert act and a violation of tourists' rules,” though the network said the interview process was tightly controlled by North Korean officials. The State Department seemed to be a little baffled by the sudden move by North Korea, telling the media, “we'll let the North Koreans speak for themselves about why they decided to do this, why now.” Two Americans—including missionary Kenneth Bae—are still imprisoned there, and the White House said they’ve been given no new news about their legal status ... Discuss