The horrific shooting in Las Vegas Sunday evening continues to dominate headlines — and understandably so. As details continue to emerge and calls for gun control flood the national conversation, however, another familiar pattern is playing out: other vital stories are falling through the cracks.
Here are five to follow as the nation processes one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history:
1. Tensions continue to escalate with North Korea:
Often, headlines about North Korea dominate the news cycle at the expense of other important developments. But this week, President Trump’s saber rattling took a backseat to the violence in Las Vegas. On Sunday, he told Twitter he had advised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson he was wasting his time attempting to negotiate with North Korea — a method the North Korea has expressed openness to — tweeting:
I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
Trump appeared to imply he preferred a military solution:
…Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders also insisted this week that “now is not the time for talks.”
2. The U.S continues to drop bombs at an alarming rate, continually killing civilians:
A report released this weekend by monitoring group Airwars that received little attention (and, let’s be real, still would have been ignored even if the shooting Vegas hadn’t happened) reveals the wanton bombing the U.S. continues to unleash in the Middle East. As Anti-Media reported, “the organization found that in August, there was a sharp increase in the number of bombs the U.S.-led coalition dropped. This resulted in at least 433 civilian deaths in that month alone.” Civilian casualties were already high under Obama, but they have skyrocketed during the Trump presidency, which is unsurprising considering his administration’s apathetic view toward civilian life.
3. Puerto Ricans are still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Maria:
On Wednesday, as much as 95 percent of Puerto Rico was still without power. On Monday, 88 percent of cell phone sites were still out of service, and millions of Puerto Ricans still lack food and water. As of Saturday, 55 percent did not have access to clean drinking water. Rescue efforts were initially stalled, and private organizations and citizens have picked up the slack where FEMA and the federal government have failed. Meanwhile, President Trump has evaded responsibility and, during his visit to the island this week, threw rolls of paper towels at Puerto Ricans.
4. IRS awards a no-bid contract to Equifax to protect Americans’ private data:
Last month, Equifax admitted they had fallen victim to one of the biggest data breaches in U.S. history. They waited over a month to reveal it to consumers, attempted to dupe them into relinquishing their right to sue in a class action suit, and also sent them to a compromised website where they were supposed to be able to learn if their data had been compromised. This week, it was revealed that the IRS awarded that same company a $7.25 million, no-bid contract to “verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud,” Politico reported. Also this week, Equifax announced an additional 2.5 million Americans may have had their personal information hacked. The IRS claims the company is the only one that can provide the services outlined in the contract and has drawn outrage from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
5. Catalonia pushes forward with independence despite violent Spanish pushback:
Over the weekend, Spanish police violently attempted to stop Catalans from casting their votes in a referendum to determine whether or not their region of Spain would declare independence. Catalan was violently absorbed into Spain in 1714, and support for breaking away has been gaining momentum for years. An overwhelming majority of Catalans ultimately voted for secession in an election the Spanish government banned. Catalonia intends to announce its independence on Monday, underscoring the popularity of pro-secession movements around the world.
As the situation continues to unfold in Las Vegas, it is important to remain updated on new information there as it becomes available. However, it’s equally important to stay conscious of the other important events and developments as the world continues to turn. Though they may not be as sensational or attract the same “if it bleeds, it leads” media frenzy, these stories affect millions of people and, in many instances, also represent life and death situations.
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Contributed by Carey Wedler of theantimedia.org.
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