Compiled by SARA RATHOD ’15
Nation and World Columnist
White House ramps up efforts to combat rape on college campuses
The White House issued a report calling on colleges to aggressively combat sexual assault after a series of highly-publicized rapes at Amherst College in Massachusetts and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. The recommendations urged colleges to adopt anti-assault policies that have worked well on other campuses and conduct systematic surveys to better understand the prevalence of sexual assault, test students’ attitudes and awareness about the issue and provide schools with a tool for developing solutions. In an effort to encourage men to act as allies and intervene when they see someone in danger, President Obama, Vice President Biden and celebrity actors will stress the importance of the issue in a public service announcement. Federal officials will also create a website called NotAlone.gov to support survivors of sexual assault. The task force, led by Biden and the White House Council on Women and Girls, has sought the support of both assault survivors and college administrators in crafting its recommendations. Today, one in five women continue to be sexually assaulted while they are in college.
Storms in South and Midwest kill 30, endanger 70 million more
At least 30 people across six states in the South and Midwest were killed in deadly storms that raced through the region on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The storm systems spawned tornadoes which ripped apart homes and businesses and lifted trucks into the air. “People were running around screaming, trying to find their kids. There was nothing left,” Melba Reed told CNN, describing the aftermath of a tornado in Louisville, Mississippi. Arkansas and Mississippi were the hardest hit, although a vast region stretching across the South and reaching all the way into Pennsylvania and Ohio are under some threat. The National Weather Service estimates that 70 million are at risk due to severe weather in the eastern half of the United States. Makeshift shelters have been set up for those who were displaced from their homes, and the National Guard, local police and residents continue to search through the rubble for more victims.
Pope Francis canonizes two former popes with very different legacies
On Sunday, Pope Francis elevated the status of two of his most famous predecessors to sainthood, uniting both the liberal and conservative strains of the Roman Catholic Church in one ceremony. Pope John XXIII, a champion of liberals, was known for passionate speeches on equality and embracing the poor. During the Holocaust, he made efforts to rescue Jewish refugees from the Nazis by persuading leaders in Eastern Europe to open their borders to allow their escape. Pope John Paul II, the longest serving pope in modern history, was known for upholding the Church’s orthodox teachings related to family values and for helping to bring an end to Communist rule in Europe. He was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries in order to expand the reach of the Catholic Church, and was an outspoken opponent of apartheid in South Africa. Addressing the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared John XXIII and John Paul II “men of courage” who lived through the tragic events of the twentieth century.
South Korean Prime Minister resigns in wake of ferry sinking
The Prime Minister of South Korea Chung Hong-won apologized and offered to resign from his post following public outcry after the ferry Sewol sank, leaving 302 passengers, the majority of whom were students, dead or missing. Chung is the highest-ranking official to lose his job over the tragedy. Shortly afterward, the President of South Korea offered a formal apology to the nation. The government has faced harsh criticism for its failure to respond quickly and efficiently to the slow-motion disaster. The ferry sank in calm waters, not far from the shore and listed for nearly an hour before it capsized. Evidence that lax regulatory agencies and loopholes have also implicated government officials. On Monday, South Korean authorities arrested three people suspected of destroying evidence related to the sinking. The Washington Post likened the public response to a “Katrina moment,” in which deep-seated flaws in the government’s emergency response system were revealed. “When we look at this disaster, it’s clearly man-made,” Kim Geon-ju, a volunteer assisting relatives of ferry passengers, told the Washington Post. “I’m ashamed.”