By: Andrew Koch ~Campus News Editor~
Xavier students may have been on vacation, but the world did not rest.
Here is a collection of some of the biggest headlines from the past month.
Bombings rock Volgograd
Two suicide bombers killed 32 people on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 in Volgograd, a city in southern Russia. The Caucasus Emirate, an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist and separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place in a railway station and on a trolley bus. The attacks have raised questions about the Russian government’s ability to protect spectators of and athletes in the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Christmas shopping hacking scandal
In the largest security breach of its kind, nearly 110 million people who shopped at Target and Neiman Marcus stores during the holiday season had their personal information, including credit and debit information and email addresses, stolen. The culprits remain at large, though some authorities identify a 17-yearold Russian hacker as a key suspect.
Utah sways on same-sex marriage
A Utah district judge ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional on Dec. 20. The Utah Supreme Court then put a halt to same-sex marriage licensing on Jan. 6 to examine constitutional questions, leaving the legal status of the over marriage in question. The Obama administration vowed to recognize the marriages performed, and the Utah state tax commission later stated that these couples would be able to jointly file tax returns on Jan. 16.
Christie Bridge Scandal
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his administration are under federal investigation after allegations that they blocked the George Washington Bridge that runs from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to Manhattan last September for political reasons, slowing emergency vehicles. Four of Christie’s top administrative officials have been dismissed following the allegations of the scheme, of which Christie denies any knowledge.
Chemical Leak in West Virginia
Over 300,000 people in West Virginia were told not to drink or bathe in their tap water after 7,000 gallons of chemicals used to clean coal leaked from a storage tank into the Elk River near a water treatment facility. The advisory, which began on Jan. 9 when the leak was discovered, has been lifted for most counties, and the negligent company has filed for bankruptcy.
Colorado opens Marijuana Sales
Colorado began selling marijuana to individuals age 21 and older on Jan. 1st, becoming the first state to sell legalized recreational marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2012. Washington has also legalized recreational marijuana use, and 18 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana. On Jan. 19, President Barack Obama called for marijuana legalization, stating that the effects of marijuana are no worse than those of alcohol.