November’s News Bytes

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On Nov. 24, the Popocatépetl volcano in central Mexico erupted three times in one day. The first explosion occurred at 5:51 p.m. local time, while the other two materialized over the course of the night. Heaps of ash covered nearby villages as a result of the colossal 17,802 feet Stratovolcano. Inhabitants who were near the volcano were obligated to elude any form of outdoor activities due to the ash. Located 40 miles southeast of Mexico City, Popocatépetl has been active since the mid-1990s.

305 worshippers, including 27 children, were killed as a result of an attack on a mosque in Egypt. The attack was perpetrated by militants in the Egyptian region of northern Sinai. It is said that the aggressors, who arrived in five all-terrain vehicles in the nearby town of Bir al-Abd, torched seven vehicles that belonged to the worshippers inside before storming the main door and opening fire through the windows. Aside from the all-terrain vehicles, the militants were also equipped with camouflage pants, black T-shirts and masks. Those who were not sporting masks were described as having large beards and long hair. The incident lasted for about 20 minutes. Ebid Salem Mansour, a witness, said, “Everyone laid down on the floor and kept their heads down. If you raised your head you get shot.” Mansour continued, “The shooting was random and hysterical at the beginning and then became more deliberate: Whoever they weren’t sure was dead or still breathing was shot dead.” President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared that the attack “will not go unpunished” and that Egypt will continue its war on terror.

The battle for net neutrality has caught the American public in a storm. With net neutrality, the internet enables and protects free speech and provides free open networks for public use. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Ajit Pai, wishes to get rid of net neutrality. The FCC voted in favor of Pai’s decision to eliminate net neutrality in May, which resulted in over 20 million comments from the public urging the FCC not to move forward with Pai’s plan. Major phone and cable companies such as Verizon and AT&T will be able to decide what should and should not be blocked. Without net neutrality, freedom on the internet will cease to exist. The FCC will vote on the decision of whether or not to kill net neutrality on Dec. 14. Those against the removal of Net Neutrality can call members of Congress and the FCC and urge them not to move forward with Pai’s plan.

The case of Cyntoia Brown has resurfaced in the mainstream media within the public. Brown was raped and forced into a life of prostitution by a pimp and is currently serving a life sentence for the self-defense murder of a 43-year old Nashville man in 2004 who paid the 16-year-old for sex. Despite being a minor at the time of the trial, Brown was tried as an adult and will not be eligible for parole until she is 69-years-old. With the help of social media and multiple celebrities, the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown has run rampant. It is unclear why the case of Cyntoia Brown has resurfaced; although, one of the first instances of this case resurfacing can be traced to Rihanna’s post on Instagram that contained an image of Brown. Rihanna captioned the image, “Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named ‘Cut-Throat.’ After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men, you were purchased by a 43-year-old child predator who took you to his home to use you for sex. You end up finding enough courage to fight back and shoot and kill him.” The post was shared by other public figures such as Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, journalists and activists who are against the harsh punishment Brown is receiving as a result of self-defense. Support for Brown has been on a rise and people are calling for her to be freed.

On TV host Matt Lauer’s contract with NBC has been terminated as a result of inappropriate sexual behavior. Lauer was fired shortly after a woman and her lawyer visited the NBC headquarters in New York for a meeting with company executives. The woman had provided a detailed complaint of Lauer and his inappropriate sexual behavior. On Nov. 30, Lauer addressed the public and issued an apology claiming he is expressing “sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused.”

Charlie Rose, the former host for “CBS This Morning” and “Charlie Rose,” has also been fired over unwanted sexual advances towards at least eight women. Groping, nudity and lewd phone calls have been the main forms of sexual behavior surrounding Rose that has led to his termination. The victims ranged from ages 25 to 37 and were employees who had worked at the “Charlie Rose” show. Most of the women said that Rose alternated between fury and flattery within the sexual interactions. As a result, Rose was terminated from his contract with CBS and issued a public apology claiming he is “sorry” and “embarrassed.”