Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Briefs

Posted on January 25, 2016 in News
By USM Free Press

Local & State

Man found dead in Durham rest area, foul play not suspected

Alan Kelley, 43, was found dead in a Durham rest stop on Tuesday morning, police say that there is no sign of foul play.

Kelley was originally from Durham, but most recent reports show that he was living in a Lewiston homeless shelter.

Five miles from where his body was found, lived his estranged wife and child.

Police say that when they found Kelley’s body he had a hypodermic needle in his clothes and was not dressed for the cold, a medical examiner will conduct a toxicology test before ruling on the cause of death.

Maine Moms Demand Action turn in petitions for ballot measure

Maine election officials are currently going through petitions for a ballot measure that would allow the Maine people to vote on requiring criminal background checks on all private gun sales in the state.

The group claims to have 72,000 signatures, they needed 61,123 valid signatures and election officials have until February 18 to verify the signatures, if valid the measure will be on the ballot this November.

Currently, most licensed gun dealers will offer a background for private sales, but most come with a fee. If passed, the measure would require that private sellers have background checks done on potential buyers through the federal system.

Top health official says Maine needs more data to help fight heroin addiction

On Tuesday, the top health official in Maine said that the state needs better data to help connect patients of addiction with effective treatment.

According to Mary Mayhew, the state’s health and human services commissioner, substance abuse providers that are contracted through the state still have around $500,000 in unspent funds, which she believes is an indication that treatment availability is meeting its demand.

Despite her claims, those who run these treatment programs have been complaining that there isn’t nearly enough treatment capacity to tackle the heroin problem in Maine. Especially those who are uninsured, they have the most difficult time finding treatment.

Mayhew said that more data would give the state the information it needs to make decisions on the strategy for tackling the heroin problem in the state.

“The providers are not submitting comprehensive data to us. We’re not getting the kind of detail we need,” Mayhew said.  

National

2015 was the hottest year on record

On Wednesday, scientists reported that across the globe, 2015 was the hottest year on record, breaking the record that had been set the previous year in 2014. In the United States, 2015 was the second hottest year on record, with a December that was the warmest and wettest on record.

Scientists say that part of the heat had to do with the El Nino weather pattern which was releasing large amounts of heat into the atmosphere from the Pacific Ocean, but most of the heat comes from global warming due to the large amount of carbon emissions by humans.

It isn’t certain yet, but the back to back record years in heat may put the world back on a path of rapid global warming, after a period that saw relatively slow warming since the last El Nino which was in 1998.

Two astronomers found signs of potential ninth planet

It’s possible that a ninth planet has been discovered by two astronomers that say they have found signs of something that would fulfill the current definition of a planet.

The two astronomers have yet to find the planet, only evidence that it exist. In a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, they lay out their evidence for the planet’s existence.

The planet is most likely located further out than Pluto and an equal to Earth, but it’s likely that it’s much larger, with a mass about 10 times the size of Earth and 4,500 times the mass of Pluto.

Obama finally comments of poisoned Flint, Michigan drinking water

Dozens of Flint residents have been poisoned and hundreds of others are still unsure if they will see any ill effects after lead was found in their drinking water after the city switched it’s water source to save money. The city has since gone back to Detroit for its water.

“I told her that we are going to have her back, and all of the people of Flint’s back, as they work their way through this terrible tragedy,” President Obama said in a White House meeting with Flint Mayor, Karen Weaver.

Just hours before President Obama made this statement, Mayor Weaver stated that something like this never would have happened in a rich suburb. Flint, Michigan is a poor city with a mostly black population.

Hillary Clinton also stated in the Presidential Debate on Sunday, January 17, that there would have been action if this had happened in a rich suburb in Detroit.

International

20 killed during Taliban attack at a university in Pakistan

Last Wednesday, Taliban members in Pakistan stormed a university, killing at least 20 people, most of which were students and teachers. As of now, reports show that there were at least four attackers.

The attackers used fog for cover as they made their way through fields, scaling the back wall of the university, storming through classrooms and open firing.

Security forces cornered the attackers, which some described as appearing to be teenagers, in two university blocks, sparking combat that reportedly lasted for hours. Officials report that the attackers were killed before they could explode their suicide vests.

1,400 year old monastery in Iraq reduced to rubble by Islamic State

Irbil, Iraq was the home of St. Elijah’s Monastery for 1,400 years before the Islamic State destroyed it on Wednesday, continuing their destruction of ancient cultural sites.

Recently, the monastery was used as a place of worship for U.S. troops.

“I can’t describe my sadness,” said Rev. Paul Thabit Habib. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled. We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land.”

St. Elijah’s Monastery has joined a list of over 100 religious and historic sites in Iraq and Syria that have been destroyed by the Islamic State.

More Brazilian babies are being born with birth defects due to Zika virus

There has been an increasing amount of cases in Brazil of children being born with abnormally small heads because their mother has the Zika virus. There have been 3,893 cases since October.

This is the largest outbreak on record of the Zika virus, which is transmitted through mosquito bites.

Currently, the virus has killed five babies and another 44 cases are being investigated.

Brazil isn’t the only Latin American country being hit by the virus, latest reports show that Colombia has had more than 13,500 cases of the virus reported.

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