World in Brief

Natural Disaster: Many Homeowners Left Without a Means to Repair Flooded Homes After Hurricane Ian

On September 28, Hurricane Ian struck the Florida coast near Fort Myers and Cape Coral. A Category 4 hurricane, Ian quickly ravaged the Florida Peninsula with winds above 100 mph and torrential rain, cutting off residents’ power, destroying homes, and damaging water treatment plants. According to “The New York Times,” a combined 84 people have died in hurricane-related incidents. In the aftermath, many residents are left with flooded homes, with no clear way to proceed. Many homes in Florida with extensive water damage are not covered by flood insurance, with only two to four percent of residences covered in the Seminole, Orange, and Polk counties, reported “CNN.” Although disaster aid will provide reimbursement for damage costs, many homeowners will only be able to repair a small portion of their possessions with the amount given. 

United States of America Politics: Entire Uvalde Police Force Suspended Amidst Aftermath of School Shooting

The entire Uvalde police force was suspended on October 7 due to continued criticism over the force’s shortcomings during and since the elementary school massacre on May 24 that killed 19 students and two teachers. According to “The New York Times,” the faults of the police’s response to the May shooting extended beyond the previous chair of the department, Pete Arredondo, who was fired last August. Many officers hesitated to approach the actively shooting gunman, going against standard protocol and delaying confrontation with the shooter for over an hour. Lieutenant Miguel Hernandez, Arredondo’s replacement, and Ken Mueller, director of student services at the UCISD (Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District), have been placed on administrative leave, with Mueller electing to retire, reported “ABC News” and “CNN.” Uvalde school district Superintendent, Hal Harrell, also announced his retirement. According to “ABC News,” amid the suspension, the district has requested Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to be stationed on campuses. Relatives of the victims, who have been holding around-the-clock vigils outside the school district headquarters, commended the suspension, celebrating a “bittersweet win.”

World Politics: First Counter-Revolution Led by Women In Iran Rages On

Protests took Iran by storm following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. While Iranian authorities claim that Amini died of heart failure, her family accused the government of covering up her murder, stating Amini was perfectly healthy. According to the “Times Magazine,” protests have spread to over 80 Iranian cities and overseas, as “The New Yorker” also reported sympathy rallies have taken place in London, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Tokyo. Entering the fourth week of unrest, protesters continue to demand justice for Amini, government accountability, and personal and political freedom, said the “Times Magazine.” In another report by “Times Magazine” and the “Associated Press,” Iranian women and youth have taken to cutting their hair, burning hijabs, and chanting phrases like “Death to the dictator!” in public and on social media platforms. The rebellions have led to more than 41 deaths reported by Iran’s state-run broadcasting service, reported the “Times Magazine.” Those analyzing the movement say that the protests are not likely to die down soon. 

War/Conflict: Partial Collapse of Sole Bridge between Russia and Crimea Disrupts Russian Supply Lines

The outer two lanes of the only bridge between Crimea and Russia fell in an explosion on October 8, killing three and dealing a hit to Russia’s supply lines to the peninsula. The Ukrainian government expressed approval towards the partial collapse but did not explicitly take credit for the affair. According to “The New York Times,” the attack is a blow to Russian war supporters’ pride. The explosion is emblematic of an unorganized Russian military: despite the strategic importance of the bridge, Russian soldiers could not protect it. With two lanes of the bridge out of commission, Russia’s ability to wage war in southern Ukraine has been seriously impeded, as the Russian Military’s ability to transport fuel, equipment, and ammunition to conflicted Ukrainian provinces is now severely limited, reported “The New York Times.

Health: Largest Outbreaks of Avian Flu Over the Past Year Plagues the U.S. and the U.K.

All poultry will be kept indoors starting October 12 in Norfolk, Suffolk, and some regions of Essex of the U.K. as a cautionary measure to prevent the spread of avian flu. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is most likely carried by migrating birds, spread through contaminated body fluid and feces, or direct contact, reported “The Guardian.” Similarly, highly lethal avian flu was detected in Arkansas chickens, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday, October 7. “Reuters” reported that more than 47 million birds had been culled to restrain the nation’s worst outbreak since 2015. Detrimental declines in poultry and other wildlife populations are likely to persist if countries do not take immediate action, as disease spillover has increased along with intensive farming, “The Guardian” reported. In another article published by “The Guardian,” the situation is only projected to worsen as wild birds wintering in Europe start their migration, increasing risks of future outbreaks