News Briefs Issue 12
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President Obama has claimed that smoking weedis no worse than drinking alcohol. The drug is still considered illegal nationally, but has recently been made legal in the states of Colorado and Washington. Although the president is not recommending that citizens smoke weed, he asserted that despite its use by people of all classes, those incriminated for smoking it are often the poor. Obama has openly stated that he has smoked weed in the past and believes it to be harmless.
As the excitement over the 2014 Winter Olympic Games grows, so does concern over security. Dozens have been killed by two bombings in recent weeks in Russia. Recent
threats of female suicide bombers, called White Widows, have led the U.S. to create
an evacuation plan for athletes. Meanwhile, Russian intelligence agencies continue their search for potential terrorists. The U.S. and Russia have discussed lending security
equipment to keep athletes and fans safe, but tensions remain high. Although the
Olympics are supposed to be about international unity, bombings have occurred in
the past during both the 1972 and 1996 games. As a result, safety is a primary concern as the games begin February 7.
A blue diamond was recently found in a South African mine. This stone is
said to weigh 29.6-carats and is worth millions of dollars. A blue diamond of slightly
smaller size sold for $16.9 million last year. The blue diamond is considered one of
the most rare and coveted stones on the market today. The stone was found in a
mine owned by Petra Diamonds, a company known for finding extremely valuable
stones at the company’s Cullinan mine. This mine was made famous in the early
1900s by the discovery of the largest diamond ever discovered — a massive 3,106-carat.
University of Oklahoma
Police responded quickly to a phone call concerning shots fired at the University of
Oklahoma earlier this week. However, it was discovered that the phone call was a false alarm.
No bullets or shells were found on the premises and no shooter could be located.
Although it is unclear exactly what happened, the school’s president was pleased to
report that everything went according to their pre-established emergency plan.
The government of Czech Republic is undergoing significant change as
political power shifts among various political parties. A coalition was
formed between the majority Social Democrat party (CSSD), the centrist Ano party,
and the Christian Democrats. CSSD holds a very small majority and it is unclear
whether this coalition will hold together in the months to come. The citizens of
Czech Republic are tired of political corruption and remain suspicious of all parties
and their motives. This is discouraging after the recent move from an interim
government that was trying to create more stability in the nation.