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It has been confirmed that the United States has hit the second-highest level of measles cases in 25 years. This year alone holds 626 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is an astounding 71-case increase from the numbers the agency reported last week in its weekly update. Since January, the number of reported measles cases has increased every week, with the lowest being seven cases in January, and the highest being 90 in the week of April 11.
Just yesterday I went to visit an old high school friend — let us call her Jazz — who dorms on Cook. As I walked through her apartment, I was hit with a spectrum of scents — some old food, some incredibly nauseating and some that were hard to identify. After I got over the initial shock, I asked about the unfamiliar smells and Jazz replied they were from the vast selection of protein powders and performance enhancers that littered her counters.
Ethan Lindenberger was 18 when he denied his parents’ wishes and got himself vaccinated. He lives in Ohio, which is 1 of 17 states that allow for parents and guardians to opt out of vaccination medications for philosophical purposes. Lindenberger’s parents refused any sort of vaccination for him and his four younger siblings because they believed in vaccination conspiracies, which put the whole family at risk for contracting easily preventable illnesses.
Title X of the Public Health Service Act became a law in the 1970s. This law states that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” The program has been helping low-income families for decades with family planning and preventative measures. In fact it is the cornerstone of family planning in America as it enables under-served women to gain access to high-quality resources.
Close your eyes and imagine ... Or rather open your eyes and simply look around you. The year is 2019. We are living in a society that has introduced electric as well as self-driving cars to our ever-growing highways. We have the International Space Station floating 32,333 cubic feet in volume, functioning in pressurized space. We have "smart shoes" that are capable of lacing themselves up. Yet, despite all the technological progress we have made, we still have very problematic ideologies that have not kept up with our other advances, one being sexualism.
The new year is approaching and with that, we should let go of false, antiquated ideas and let in new accurate ones. This year alone has almost been a test to see how many immigrant-based myths can be bought by the public. There are many beliefs that have circulated, but only a handful have been backed by evidence.
The #MeToo movement worked against sexual harassment as well as sexual assault. The movement went viral in October 2017, making waves internationally while shedding light on the ubiquitous prevalence of sexual harassment, particularly in the workplace. Although this movement made mass news, it unfortunately has not been enough to completely eradicate sexual assault. Amnesty International is a human rights, non-governmental organization, based in the U.K. The organization has more than 7 million members worldwide and recently analyzed rape legislation in 31 European countries. Based on the study, only eight countries — Cyprus, Ireland, Belgium, the U.K., Iceland, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg — define rape based on consent. Simply put, sex without consent is defined as rape. Correct?
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for gun rights. On Nov. 7, in response to medical proponents of gun control, it tweeted, “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, but, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.”
Dr. Cristina Gamboa is an obstetrician at Salud Para La Gente, a community health center located in Watsonville, Calif. She, herself, was an immigrant from Mexico and now works to provide for other families much like her own. Being in the healthcare industry, she has noticed many patients suffering from high-risk pregnancies along with serious complications. High blood pressure during pregnancy is one of the leading factors in maternal death and can be caused through bodily changes, which are induced by stress.
Selina Black was a mother of three and pregnant with a fourth child when she died due to complications from abortion-induced drugs. Sadly, her case is not as uncommon as one might expect as she is just one among hundreds of women who die from the antiquated and restrictive abortion law in Malawi. According to the 157 year-old law, abortions are only allowed if the woman’s life is at risk — abortions for any other reason are punishable with a 7-14-year prison sentence. Many times there are accidental or unintended pregnancies, which can be caused by an unreliable or complete lack of birth control, rape, incest or insufficient education and awareness. Many times women are not ready to raise a child due to their current situation. For some, motherhood would interfere with their education or employment, whereas others simply cannot afford to raise a child, have no support in doing so or have health problems which would prevent them from attaining a healthy pregnancy.
If you were to take a stroll from the College Avenue Student Center all the way to Scott Hall, I guarantee you would notice several of your fellow students whipping out their small, sleek, USB-like devices, to take an inhale and release a cloud of smoke. It seems like e-smoking has become a ubiquitous activity as many of us either personally use e-cigarettes or know others that do.
A drug overdose epidemic has seized our country, tightening its grip and raising the numbers to alarming heights. More than 72,000 people died of drug overdoses last year, a large number of which were opioid related, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This makes the number of opioid overdoses more than five times higher than it was in 1999, merely 20 years ago. Even more terrifying is the fact that this calamity extends its effects to pregnant women who abuse painkillers during pregnancy. The CDC confirmed that from 1999 to 2014 the rate of pregnant women misusing opioids has nearly quadrupled. This is a major public health issue and many mothers do not realize that their abuse can consequently affect their children through breastfeeding.
Picture this. The year is 2018. Barack Obama, a Black man, was our last president. The Black Lives Matter movement is bigger than before. And the simple idea of racism is deemed antiquated and socially inappropriate. And yet it still exists. In fact, you do not need to close your eyes to imagine this. Simply open your eyes and observe the everyday interactions around you, because racial prejudice is still very much alive regardless of the progressive steps taken to attempt its abolishment.
A lot can happen in three years. A newborn baby can develop into a toddler. A couple can find one another and get married. A student can complete their master's degree and another may graduate. A lot of growth and development occurs to a person at an individual scale, imagine what an entire country can go through in that amount of time. Last Sunday, March 25, marked the end of the third and the beginning of a fourth year since the war in Yemen began. The war started with sudden airstrikes on the 25th, and the civilians were shocked and hoped that it would pass in a couple hours, those hours turned into weeks, which turned into months, which finally turned into years.
On Thursday Feb. 22, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement to embody America’s new agenda. The federal agency in charge of handling immigration in the U.S. has removed the phrase that indicated America was a “nation of immigrants.” The new statement now reads, "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and honoring our values."
The Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam and takes place on the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. It is an annual pilgrimage completed by Muslims at least once in their lifetimes and is considered to be a mandatory religious duty if the person is healthy, financially stable and has access to resources to make the trip. Hajj takes place over five days in the holy city of Mecca located in Saudi Arabia and approximately 2.4 million made the trip in 2017. The purpose this pilgrimage serves is to create a sense of unity, purify the soul, pursue enlightenment and discover the divine presence. Thus, it is alarming to learn that people are violated while partaking in this religious journey. The abuse was recently publicized by Mona Eltahawy, an American author and columnist, when she tweeted the sexual harassments she underwent on her trip to Mecca.
Friday, Feb. 16 marks the release date of "Black Panther," what undoubtedly already has to be the most anticipated movie of 2018. The movie follows the story of a young prince, T’Challa, who goes back to his African nation of Wakanda, following the death of his father who was the king. The throne rightfully belongs to T’Challa but a powerful enemy stands in the way of this happening, forcing T’Challa to use his skills and powers as both a humanitarian and the Black Panther to save his nation. "Black Panther" is not your ordinary superhero movie. It is the 18th Marvel superhero-based movie, and it holds the greatest burden of them all.
This past Sunday, Jan. 28, was the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The Grammys is an award show in which artists are given awards for certain achievements in the music industry. During the show, performances are given by top, rising or summer bop-releasing artists, many of which tend to use their platforms to advocate for causes to raise more awareness amongst their audience. Two years ago, Kendrick Lamar used the stage for an electrifying performance of his song "Alright" from his album, “To Pimp a Butterfly." During his performance, there was actual fire burning on stage as he made countless references toward political conversations, such as police brutality, the mistreatment of minorities and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This performance resonated well among his audience as "Alright" has become the theme song for the BLM protestors.
Sunday, Dec. 12 marked the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day, which is celebrated annually and internationally. To commemorate the observance, many government, non-governmental, civil and social organizations host cultural events and exhibitions that are human-rights orientated. The purpose of recognizing this day is to establish the equal worth in every person regardless of skin color, race, culture, nationality and any other form of status, because at the end of the day we are all one and the same.
One name that most people are familiar with these days is Harvey Weinstein, the 65-year-old Academy Award winner, American film producer, former co-chairman of The Weinstein Company and newly uncovered sexual predator.