Monday, February 18th, 2019

News Briefs

Posted on February 01, 2016 in Briefly, News
By USM Free Press

Local & State

USM sports teams play for good causes

Over the weekend, USM’s basketball and track teams played their “Think Pink” game in order to raise money for cancer research. All athletes and fans were encouraged to wear pink to the game, and all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.

“Our Think Pink events are the athletic department’s opportunity to give back in a small way.  Cancer is a disease that has a far-reaching effect. Like any university, many of student-athletes have lost a loved one or watched a loved one battle cancer. These annual events mean a great deal to our student-athletes, and they take great pride in being able to show their solidarity through raising funds and awareness,” Meredith Bickford, associate director of athletics, said.

The USM women’s ice hockey teams also played games for the Wounded Warriors Foundation over the weekend, selling t-shirts and collecting donations to make care packages that would be sent to soldiers who are currently deployed overseas.

Gov. Paul LePage says Maine should have death penalty for drug dealers

Last Tuesday, Gov. Paul LePage came out saying that he was in support of reinstating the death penalty. This was said just one day after he made comments about bringing back the guillotine, but he clarified that it was only a joke.

LePage said that the death penalty should be used in cases of drug trafficking, home invaders who sexually assault the residents and people convicted of murder.

“I talk about people dying (from drug overdoses) every day, but no one wants to hear that,” LePage said during a town hall meeting at Husson University in Bangor. “When I talk about the death penalty everyone wants to protect the drug traffickers. I want to protect the people of Maine.”

This statement comes just a few weeks after Gov. LePage said he wouldn’t be giving a State of the State address this year, opting to send a letter to the state’s lawmakers instead.

In the state of Maine, the death penalty has been abolished since 1887.

A new report shows that Maine’s veterans agencies are underfunded

Maine has an estimated 140,000 military veterans, and in a new report released last Friday, the report recommended to expand Maine’s Bureau of Veterans Services to better serve those who need it.

The bureau last updated its policies over 15 years ago. The report is a result of a committee that met five times during this past summer and fall, and its focus was to show how the bureau could be enhanced, not to critique the work that the bureau was doing.

“We have to increase coordination and communication,” said Rep. Jared Golden, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “One of the biggest findings was that young veterans were feeling ignored.”

According to Sen. Ron Collins, one of the biggest problems is that young veterans have very little information on the types of services that are available to them.


Seventh Republican debate takes place just days before caucus votes

During the most recent Republican debate, which took place on Jan. 28 in Iowa, just days before republican caucus voters will cast their ballots for who they want to be the nominee in their party. The debate featured all the remaining candidates except for front runner, Donald Trump, who decided not to participate in the debate.

During the debate Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said that Hillary Clinton wanted to put Barack Obama on the Supreme Court, noting that when she was asked about it, she claimed that she would consider it.

Senator Ted Cruz claimed during the debate that millions of people had lost their jobs and, in turn, had been forced into doing part-time work because of the Affordable Care Act. An article put out the next day by USA Today, however, showed that the economy has added millions of jobs since the Affordable Care Act was instated, and that now fewer people were working part-time jobs.

One Oregon protester killed, others arrested

Protests at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon have been going on for weeks, but last week the group suffered two losses, as one of their members, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed and their leader, Ammon Bundy, was arrested.

Bundy and others were pulled over by police last Tuesday. Everyone obeyed orders to surrender except for Finicum and Bundy’s brother, Ryan Bundy. At this time it is unclear who shot first, but it ended with Finicum dead and Ryan Bundy wounded.

Bundy’s father, Cliven Bundy, said that Finicum died supporting his beliefs. “He was a wonderful man,” he said. “He was a student of the Constitution. He was interested in freedom, and I think he gave his life where he felt it was best.”

State Department holding 22 Clinton emails

Last Friday, the Department of State said that it would not release 22 emails that were sent by Hillary Clinton because they contain “top secret” information

The emails total 37 pages in length and were never marked as classified at the time they were sent out, but are now being upgraded at the request of the United States Intelligence Community because they likely do contain sensitive information.

The news of the emails not being released comes just three days before the Iowa caucus, and many believe that the news can only hurt Clinton and her chances of getting the necessary votes in Iowa to defeat opponents Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.


NSA documents show that US and UK have been spying on military drones in Israel

A recent report put out by The Intercept shows that American and British spies have been secretly monitoring military drones in Israel. Until now, Israel had refused to even say that they use drones in warfare, keeping their drone program completely secret.

Classified documents exposed by Edward Snowden show actual images of Israeli drones in action. The NSA has refused to comment on the authenticity of the files, and the Israeli Embassy has yet to comment on the photos released.

The documents also show that American spies were able to tap into video feed of an Israeli fighter jet and to spy on an Iranian done.

A town in Northern Italy welcomes its first baby in nearly 30 years

Ostana, a small town in northern Italy, has welcomed the first baby born there in 28 years. The baby, Pablo, is the youngest resident of Ostana, and when he was brought home from the hospital, neighbors gathered to celebrate his birth. He is the town’s 85th resident.

“At first I couldn’t believe it was true,” Giacomo Lombardo, the town’s mayor, said. “The news almost shocked me. It’s a dream come true.”

Since about half of the town’s population is seasonal and don’t live there year round, Pablo, his parents and two sisters make up 10 percent of the town’s permanent residents. Ostana residents said they hoped that with the birth of Pablo, many more families will decide to have babies there.

Chinese miners rescued after being stuck for 36 days

On Dec. 25, a mine in Eastern China, where 29 people were known to be working,collapsed, trapping the miners 700 feet underground. After 36 days, four miners who  survived the collapse were pulled to safety last Friday.

For those 36 days, the miners were relying on food and water that was lowered down to them while rescue workers figured out a plan to get them out.

At least one miner was killed, 11 were able to escape the collapse, leaving 17 miners trapped underground. After infrared cameras were lowered into the mine, they found four survivors, while the other 13 are  considered missing.

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