CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
Congress Passes 9/11 Legislation Allowing Victims to Sue
On Friday, Congress passed a bill that will allow victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudi Arabian government. The Senate allowed the bill to go to Congress in May, and the decision was made by vocal vote on Friday. However, President Obama can still veto the bill, especially because there are concerns that it will put U.S. officials stationed overseas in danger. A proponent of the bill, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), says that it is more important to give attention to the victims’ families than to “diplomatic niceties.” The vote follows Congress’s release of 28 pages that linked 15 of the 9/11 hijackers to Saudi Arabia.
Miami Sprayed for Zika
Miami was aerially sprayed with the insecticide Naled, meant to kill Zika-carrying mosquitos, on Friday. Planes carried out the procedure despite contention over the insecticide’s effect on the environment. Among the 20.6 million residents of Florida, 56 have contracted Zika at home, and 596 have contracted the illness while abroad. Even though the use of Naled may be controversial, experts say that the insecticide carries no effect either to humans or the environment. The practice is not new; Naled has been used in the U.S. since the 1950s, and continues to be used on around 16 millions acres of land every year. It has been used to control mosquito populations after natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. The small quantity that is used breaks down quickly in both water and sunlight, and poses no health risk, according to the CDC.
Two US Citizens Arrested Over CIA and FBI Hacks
Andrew Otto Boggs and Justin Gray Liverman were arrested for involvement in hacking the email accounts of the director of the CIA and the chief of National Intelligence, among others. In addition, Boggs and Liverman’s group “stole and published details of 29,000 FBI and Homeland Security agents and workers,” according to BBC. According to court documents written by the FBI, the hackers were able to accomplish this by manipulating technical support staff into granting them access to the accounts. In addition, they posed as technicians of various service companies and had passwords reset, taking control of the accounts. Three UK teens are also being pursued for involvement in the crime.
Over 11,000 Turkish Teachers Suspended for Suspected Terror Links
Over 11,000 Turkish teachers have been suspended over suspected links to a militant Kurdish group known as the Kurdistan workers party (PKK). According to state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu, at least 11,285 suspends were made. The number could grow to around 14,000 at the conclusion of an investigation conducted with govenors’ offices across Turkey. A Turkish official informed CNN that the suspended teachers are on a temporary suspension including paid leave while awaiting formal investigation. Following an attempted coup in July, Turkey has been under a three-month state of emergency. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim promised to suspend every teacher associated with PKK.
Three Arrests Made in Failed Paris Attack
Three women were arrested Thursday over a failed terrorist attack. French prosecutor Francois Molins said that the women were in connection with the Islamic State in Syria, who “wanted to make the women into fighters.” The women were under surveillance when they were spotted in a car with gas canisters near Notre Dame cathedral on Thursday night. One of the women was shot and wounded by the police during the altercation. According to Molins, one of the women was engaged to three men connected with terrorism. There are concerns over more pending attacks. President Francois Hollande said that even though this attack was thwarted, “…there are others and we must be able to act each time before it is too late and that’s what we’re doing.”
North Korea Runs Another Nuclear Test
The fifth and most recent of North Korea’s nuclear tests was conducted on Friday. The country claims that this technology will allow it to build “an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons,” according to Fox News. World leaders condemned the action, much like the prior tests, saying that it is a threat to international safety. This test is in defiance of international sanctions, and raises concerns that North Korea has taken a more concrete step towards its threat of a nuclear warhead aimed at the U.S. The UN Security Council will likely meet on Friday to discuss ways to handle the nuclear test. The question of North Korea’s true ability to build small nuclear weapons still stands, but South Korea suspects that the North does not yet have the technology. It is expected that the technology could develop quickly, however.