Welcome back to “News You Should Know,” the digest of important current events from the previous month that you may not have kept abreast of.
In the sentence above, I originally had the word “interesting” in place of “important,” but realized that is the problem with the news media today on the web.
What we find on the web and click on are “interesting” stories, though, big picture, they may not be important. For example, I just clicked on a story out of New Jersey on NJ.com where a guy with a Jeep parked in a funny way next to a Corvette whose owner parked it diagonally, taking up two spaces. The story was accompanied by video of the perturbed Vette owner finding some jalopy next to his prized possession.
That story surely was “interesting.” But “important?” Hardly. But this is what popped up. Before that, I clicked on a Vice story about an aborted “Superman” movie from the 1990s that was supposed to star Nic Cage. Interesting? A bit. Important? Hardly.
But that’s the way the Internet presents news to us, and why traditional newspapers may be better at prioritizing. Here are some of those stories.
We also mentioned ISIS in our last issue. Things have only gotten worse. Another American journalist was beheaded, along with an English aid worker and French mountain guide, somewhere in the region where ISIS (aka the Islamic State) operates (mostly Iraq and Syria). President Obama announced and implemented air strikes against ISIS, and the Pentagon released some grainy video of explosions. France later joined in with similar strikes. The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced that his office had received information that ISIS would retaliate with bombings of New York and Paris subways, but, as of press time, the US had not verified this claim.
Last month, we also mentioned the Ebola crisis that is hitting Africa. That, too, has gotten worse, and, in late September, Obama complained to the United Nations that the world wasn’t doing enough to curb the spread of the disease. Since our last edition, the number of infected has doubled to over 6000, with about half of those people dying. Obama said: “If we move fast, even if imperfectly, that could mean the difference between 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 deaths versus hundreds of thousands or even a million deaths.” Three Americans so far have gotten the virus, been treated, and survived, but West African facilities have been overwhelmed with patients, turning some away, who go home and infect others.
Remember the Heartbleed bug in 2013, which disabled about a half a million computers? A new virus, called Shellshock, may be much worse; and, unlike other viruses, this one could hit Apple Macintoshes. Speaking of Apple, the company unveiled a couple of new phones, both very big compared to most other smart phones, and Apple stock dipped a few percentage points after reports of a buggy iOS 8.0.1 release (which was recalled) and some bad PR that shows the iPhone 6 potentially bending if kept in a tight pocket for a while.
Since our last issue, the NFL football season got underway. Yes, again, the Jets aren’t living up to their potential and look to be dead in the water, but that’s not the news. The NFL made it to the front pages for its slow/covered-up treatment of domestic abuse cases involving Raven Ray Rice (an elevator video where he knocks out his then-fiancée) and Viking Adrian Peterson (photos of bloody abuse of his 4-year-old son). Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference on the subject that really satisfied no one, but this highly profitable corporation has kept him on. Both players are suspended indefinitely.
Eric Holder, 63, tendered his resignation as Attorney General last month, after six years on the job. He was a prominent, liberal Obama appointee and the first African-American in the position. It is unclear when his last day will be, and who will be his successor. Holder has been a proponent of bettering relations with minority communities and law enforcement. The Attorney General heads the US Justice Department, oversees US attorneys and marshals, and advises the President on legal matters.
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