The Week in Review (1/19/13)
Chaos and Confusion in Algeria
The only thing that’s clear about what happened in the Algerian desert Thursday is the events remain very unclear. What we do know is it is believed the Islamist terrorists who took control of a British Petroleum gas facility in Algeria Wednesday are linked to Islamist rebel fighters in neighboring Mali. French troops were deployed to Mali earlier in the week to aid the Malian government combat the Islamist rebels. Without notifying the US or other foreign offices with nationals working at the plant, the Algerian army initiated a rescue operation which is still ongoing. As of Friday evening, the BBC has reported over 500 Algerians and almost 100 foreign workers have been recused, with around 30 foreign workers still missing. The death toll and the number of those still missing has varied widely from news source to news source, and complete details about the continuing rescue operation may not become concrete until next week.
The Fight for Gun Control Begins
This week President Obama signed 17 executive orders to strengthen gun control a month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some of the executive orders include: Directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research into causes and prevention of gun violence, grants local communities the opportunity to hire almost 1,000 school resource officers and counselors, improving incentives for states to share background check information, and addresses legal barriers in health laws that bar states from providing information regarding people prohibited from owning guns. Despite these orders, the real battle for gun control has only just started. The most critical elements of the President’s gun control reforms still need to run the Congressional gauntlet, which includes: requiring background checks on all gun sales, reinstating the ban on assault weapons, limiting ammunition clips to ten rounds, and an outright ban on armor piercing bullets. The NRA has already begun its counter attack, slamming the President with a commercial labeling him an “elitist hypocrite.” The nation will eagerly wait to see how Congress balances the Second Amendment with making serious efforts to curb what some consider to be the country’s most serious epidemic.
Photo via heavy.com
This week couldn’t have been much more disappointing and bizarre for sport’s fans. After apologizing to his charity early in the week, the former seven time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong admitted to using performing enhancing drugs (PEDs) during his rides in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was played for the nation Thursday. After years of adamantly denying using PEDs, Armstrong expressed to Winfrey how he was a product of a systemic doping culture in cycling. Those comments have prompted cycling regulatory enforcement officials to demand more answers. In an article circulated by the Associated Press, the World Anti-Doping Agency will likely seek Armstrong to provide more details into who ran the doping programs and how they were operated.
Photo via NBC Chicago
Then out of left field, deadspin.com was the first to break the story of Manti Teo’s deceased girlfriend, or lack thereof. The Heisman trophy runner-up and projected first round pick claimed he is a victim of a cruel joke, and the University of Notre Dame has hired private investigators to uncover those responsible.The whole matter would have likely gone unknown to the nation if deadspin.com weren’t diligent in their work, unlike every major media outlet that covered Teo’s heart wrenching narrative throughout the linebacker’s senior season. The fall out of these revelations have just begun for these athletes, whose reputations have been completely sullied by their actions.
“Dear Abby” Dies
Photo via Auto World News
The country lost one of its greatest national treasures this week, as Pauline Phillips, known affectionately as Abigail Van Buren by her readers, died at the age of 94 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Her long running and widely read column “Dear Abby” was published in over 1,000 newspapers globally, entertaining readers with her sharp wit while consoling those who wrote to her with unwavering advice. Empirical magazine would like to take this opportunity to thank Phillips for answering the nation’s most personal questions, and inspiring column writers around the world.