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Water Found on Mars

On Tuesday, September 29, NASA announced its discovery of liquid water on the surface of Mars. Though the origins of the water is unclear, NASA stated that the water is extremely salty as it is filled with perchlorates, which are not drinkable. “…we think this is a very small amount of water-maybe just enough to wet the top layer of the surface of Mars. The streaks are [approximately] 4-5 meters wide and [approximately] 200-300 meters long,” said Deputy Project Scientist, MRO, Leslie K. Tamppari. Scientists agree that water is necessary for life to exist on Earth, which is therefore a good litmus test for determining if Mars is habitable. NASA and Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s dream for a colony on Mars by the 2030s may be one step closer to reality after this discovery.

Russia Launches Airstrikes

Last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched airstrikes against ISIS. Local videos also reveal that they are targeting rebel groups trying to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The United States believes Assad will continue to stay in power if ISIS collapses, so Russia’s intervention with the rebel groups may weaken this effort to defeat his regime. On Friday morning, October 2nd, Moscow reported that there have been 18 strikes since Thursday, twelve of which have been targeted towards the Islamic State. Warplanes also have reportedly attacked an Islamic State command center Friday morning as well.

Oregon Legalizes Marijuana

Oregon became the fourth state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, following Colorado, Washington, and Alaska. Residents in Oregon over the age of 21 are able to carry up to one ounce of marijuana in public, keep up to seven ounces of marijuana in private, and maintain up to four marijuana plants in their residence. With a tax on marijuana, Oregon will most likely see the positive results that Colorado experienced such as a major decrease in crime rates and large gain in surplus funds for projects like funding infrastructure and education.

Oregon Shooting in Umpqua Community College

On Thursday, October 1st, ten lives were taken and nine were wounded after a shooting occurred in Douglas County, Oregon. The shooter was included among the death toll, as he allegedly took his own life after authorities arrived to the scene. While the shooter’s motives remain unknown, witnesses reported that he questioned victims’ religious preferences before firing. Multiple news stations found that he ran a personal blog in which he voiced his opinions about school shootings, suggesting his lust for infamy. Prior to the shooting, there was a post on 4chan, an internet forum that allows anonymous posting, stating, “Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest” which is now being investigated by federal authorities for authenticity. The thread was posted at 1:19AM while the shooting occurred at 10:38AM, so it may have been the shooter. “Somehow, this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. We become numb to this,” said President Obama.

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