With the internet bringing together stories from across the world, it is easy to get lost in the constant streaming updates that most news organizations provide on their websites. With so many different phone applications, email updates, and websites’ bookmarked, my phone is always vibrating to let me know of a new story. So to help myself keep up on current news and to inform others, I’ll be writing a weekly series on the top stories that have been trending over the past week.
1.Italian Cruise Ship
On Friday the 13th, an Italian cruise ship captained by Francesco Schettino hit a reef off the coast of Italy and ran aground. The 114,500-tonne Costa Concordia was on a trip around the Mediterranean when it “hit an obstacle”. Rumors have spread about Captain Schettino, who is being accused of steering the cruise ship too close to shore while performing a maneuver known as a “salute”. As events continue to unfold, I hope that Captain Schettino is not blamed unjustly as a scapegoat. Although one question does come to mind, whatever happened to the idea of the “captain goes down with the ship”?
2. Giffords Leaving Congress
One year after a gunman attempted to take her life, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced that she would forgo re-election plans in order to focus on her ongoing recovery. Six people were killed in the shooting and 13 were wounded. Much like other national issues, the shooting brought the members of Congress together in a symbolic show of bipartisanship, but did not bring any lasting changes. I remember the sadness I felt at the original time of the shooting, but Giffords’ strength in recovering after the attack has given the American people something to hold on to. Although she will be missed in Congress, it is important that Giffords can completely recover and I do believe we will see her in public service in the future.
3. Year of the Dragon
The Chinese New Year means that millions of Chinese families travel back to their homes to celebrate the New Year. The spring festival is the most celebrated holiday in China and the celebrations kicked off on January 23, 2012 as the year of the dragon started. My best memory from the Chinese New Year celebrations was the red envelopes that teachers passed out to us in elementary school. I can still taste the white rabbit candy with rice paper wrappers. I got a little laugh from a news article I stumbled across this morning; “New Year celebrations in Beijing caused 194 fires, mostly due to fireworks.” Hopefully there weren’t too many people celebrating the New Year by nursing firework burns.
4. Joe Paterno Dies at Age 85
Joe Paterno, who was college football’s winningest head coach and a Penn State icon, died on Sunday January 21st of health complications at the age of 85. Paterno’s death comes after a stressful ordeal with Penn State. He was fired mid-season, in November, due to sexual abuse charges against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno coached for 62 years at Penn State, where he rose from assistant to head coach in 1966. He led the team to 409 wins, three Big Ten Conference titles and two national championships during his 46 seasons as program leader. Even with a lack of information and interest in football besides UO, I can see the legend that Paterno was. I do believe that some college football fans shed some tears for the passing of a man they held dear to their hearts. All I can say is, what a way to go after such an amazing career.