Compiled by: Andrew Koch
Washington state suspends death penalty
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on Feb. 11 that he will issue a reprieve to any death penalty case sent before him, effectively suspending the death penalty. Eighteen states have abolished the death penalty, six of them in the last 10 years.
NFL draftee comes out
Michael Sam, a former all-American defensive end for the University of Missouri Tigers, recently revealed that he is gay. Sam, who was named co-SEC defensive player of the year and SEC leader in sacks, is the first openly gay NFL draftee. Though other NFL players have come out after retiring from the sport, Sam would be the first openly gay active player in NFL history if drafted this spring.
Shirley Temple Black dies
Former child actress and United States ambassador Shirley Temple Black, 85, passed away on Feb. 10. For more information on Temple and her career, see p. 11.
House votes to raise debt ceiling
The House of Representatives voted on Feb. 11 to raise the federal debt ceiling. The proposal will be sent for approval by the Senate. Republican leadership hopes that raising the debt ceiling will help Congress avoid a financial crisis like the one that occurred last fall, when the federal government shut down for 16 days when Congress failed to pass a budget for the new fiscal year.