Columns
Pieces of the Puzzle: Escape to Africa

Esteban and Martha may seem like ordinary people to everyone around them, but when things aren’t going so well, they do the only thing they can think of. To others, it may seem like a terrible idea that will only end badly. To them, it seems like a chance that will lead to a lifetime of happiness. Image via: www.evokefoods.com

Monday April 18th, 2016

by Rachel Green

Tensions high in Brazil in wake of impeachment vote

Tensions are high in Brazil this week following the impeachment vote for President Dilma Rousseff Sundaynight. The deliberations for the vote took over five hours of heated arguments before the impeachment vote took place. The Chamber of Deputies’s final vote was 367-137. Rousseff is under fire because she has been accused of tampering with the state budget in order to make the Brazilian economy appear to be better than it was before she was elected in 2014. Some members of a congressional committee also claim that Rousseff was involved in a corruption scheme at an oil company. A video response put out by Rousseff showed her stating that she was innocent of any crime, unlike those accusing her. While the Chamber of Deputies was deliberating, pro- and anti-impeachment protesters gathered outside in Brasilia. The lawmakers were all allowed to speak before they cast their vote, which is what caused the proceedings to last so long. So far, Rousseff has not been implicated in any scandals or schemes.

200 U.S. troops, Apache helicopters to be sent to Iraq

Breaking news this morning: the U.S. will send over an additional 200 or so troops to assist and advice forces already overseas. Apache attack helicopters will also help support these forces in their fight against the Islamic State group. This decision comes as an attempt to take back the city of Mosul, Iraq’s largest city, which has been under Islamic State control for the past two years. The 217 new troops will take the number of soldiers in Iraq from 3,870 to 4,087. As the troop increase has not yet been formally announced, officials have not been able to make a statement on the increase, according to the Associated Press.

Pennsylvania legalizes medical marijuana

Pennsylvania has become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana on Sunday. The new law will take effect in 30 days. While the Medical Marijuana Act will take effect soon, it is predicted that it could take months or even a year for Pennsylvania to grow marijuana that will be used to treat in-state patients. Education is also needed for the officials who will be working on the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and for doctors who will be prescribing medical marijuana. The new act contains 17 conditions that medical marijuana can be used to treat, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and cancer.

Debate on tuition rise amidst budget discussions

It looks as if we could be getting a tuition increase at the start of the Fall 2016 semester, along with the rest of Iowa’s public universities. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, in response to lower-than-requested higher education funding levels at the Iowa State Legislature, the president of the Board of Regents has called for discussion in relation to tuition for public universities. In December, the regents voted to freeze tuition for the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa, but now they are conditional based on the legislature.

Harreld debates athletic funds allocation

University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld has begun debating if the UI’s fiscal problems could be solved by shifting sports revenue into academics. This story comes from an interview Harreld held with the Daily Iowan, where he spoke about his idea, although it is far from being a new idea. In 2011, former state Board of Regents president advocated for allocating athletic funds toward academics.

Odd News:

The State University of New York at Buffalo accidentally sent out acceptance emails to 5,000 students. A spokesman for the University at Buffalo stated that the emails were sent out to students whose applications were still being reviewed, and that even though this accident occurred, the applicants were still being considered for the university. In addition, the university sent out a statement on its website that explained the emails were sent out because an incorrect email list was generated from an applicant database.

The first ever Pastafarian wedding was in New Zealand this weekend, where the pseudo-religion has taken a great hold and generated a large following. Pastafarianism is a part of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was started in the U.S. as a protest against religion “encroaching” into public schools, although it has gained legitimacy in New Zealand since its beginnings. The wedding rings were made of pasta, and when it was time for the bride and groom to kiss for the first time as a married couple, they did it classic Lady and the Tramp style, with both slurping on the end of a noodle until they met in the middle.