UCSB shooter kills six
Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old student who posted a video online expressing anger over being rejected by women, killed six people and himself and wounded 13 on Friday. In his video Rodger spoke about being a virgin and laid out his plan for “retribution.” Rodger's parents warned authorities about Rodger’s alarming videos weeks before the shooting.
Thai army stages coup
Thailand’s military took control of the government on Thursday following six months of political crisis that resulted in 28 deaths. Protests caused the crisis, calling for the end of the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Thailand’s king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, has endorsed Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha who is now running the country. Chan-ocha said Monday that he will stay in power indefinitely and vows to create a “genuine democracy” in Thailand.
Obama plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2016
President Obama announced on Tuesday that the United States will leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal in December. Obama also stipulated that by 2016, the number of remaining troops will be reduced to zero. The decision depends on Afghanistan’s new president's signing of a bilateral security agreement that the current president, Hamid Karzai, has refused to sign. The two candidates for president have both said they would sign the agreement. President Obama said, "It's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Supreme Court rules against Florida’s IQ requirements for executions
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Florida cannot use a hard cutoff on a convict’s IQ as a determination for whether he or she can be executed. Justice Kennedy joined the court’s four liberal judges in the decision and argued that Florida’s law goes against the Eight Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling also affects a number of other states, requiring them to take a less rigid approach to mental disability in capital cases.
Nigerian government locates missing girlsbut can’t rescue them
Nigeria’s Defense Chief said Monday that the government knows the location of the nearly 300 missing girls but is incapable of using force to rescue them. The military chief and the president are split on how to rescue the girls. The military has ruled out force as it might endanger the hostages and the president has ruled out a prisoner-hostage swap. As the Boko Haram conflict continues, 54 people were killed on Monday, with more issues sure to follow.
The week ahead: Fires and continued debates
A wildfire in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula has grown to 193 square miles and is only 20 percent contained. The recent UCSB shooting has perpetuated gun control debates and calls for reform that emerge after such shootings, along with discussions about misogyny with #YesAllWomen trending after the event. Two democratic senators have proposed a bill that would raise federal employee’s wages by 3.3 percent. This bill matches another Democrat sponsored measure that was introduced in the House in March as well as President’s Obama’s minimum wage executive order.