The Forum is excited to introduce our newest column, This Week in the News. The column will offer a digest of the most important news stories around the country from the preceding week.
Federal government shutdown continues: The bitter dispute that shut down the federal government last week appears to be at an impasse. House Republicans, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, stand their ground and are demanding concessions from President Obama and the Senate Democrats on the health care law. While all essential federal government services remain open, a number of government entities and databases have been shut down. The international community is panicked over the shutdown, as many countries are still struggling to recover from the effects of the American economic recession five years ago.
The Supreme Court to Rule on Hot-Button Issues: The Supreme Court will return on Monday to a controversial set of cases, including campaign contributions, abortion rights, affirmative action, public prayer, and presidential power. This session is especially precarious because these cases are putting a number of important precedents at risk, and thus many are expecting serious legal changes.
United States Captures Terrorist Suspect in Libya: On Saturday, Abu Anas al Libi, an al-Qaeda leader who, according to CNN, was responsible for two 1998 embassy bombings, was captured by the U.S. Army Delta Force in Libya. Abu Anas al Libi is currently in custody, although it is unclear what the federal government intends to do with him.
Capitol Hill Car Chase: A police officer was killed in Washington, D.C. this Thursday when he was run over by woman attempting to drive through a barricade in front of the White House. The woman attempted to evade police, and was ultimately shot and killed during the police chase. A one-year-old child was discovered in the car and taken into custody. The police are currently searching the woman’s laptop for a motive.
New Measures to Prevent Student Loan Defaulting: As part of President Obama’s plan to make education more affordable, the Department of Education will begin notifying students with loans to inform them of all their options, including income-based repayment programs. This measure is an effort to prevent defaults, as The New York Times estimates that student debt is now at more than $1.1 trillion.
States Struggling in the Wake of the Government Shutdown: States are scrambling to decide where state funds should be allotted in response to the significant cuts in federal funding. In California, for example, state parks like Yosemite National Park will not be kept open. According to The New York Times, California Governor Jerry Brown will not use state funds to maintain state parks because he is prioritizing the recovery from the state’s recent economic decline.