October News Update

Local

Wildfires plague the Pacific NW

By Halle Connell
A group of trees on fire with smoke above them.
© HAWKEYE Zoe Teran

Over the past decade, since 2012, wildfires have become all the more common in Washington, a city known for its rainy weather now famous for its smoky climate in the transition from summer to fall.

Multiple cities in western Washington have already had to evacuate due to these wildfires. There are still active fires affecting both Bolt Creek and Index, forcing residents to evacuate their homes. According to KING5 on Sept. 11, after an alert warning Index members to evacuate was sent out by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), several cities west of Index also falsely received the alert, causing panic and confusion throughout Snohomish county. DNR sent out another alert the same day clarifying their previous alarming statement.

Experts believe climate change is one of the main causes of wildfires besides direct human activity. Some of these factors include early snowmelt, drier summers and rising temperatures, all of which contribute to the lack of rain in the late summer and early fall.

Climate change isn’t the only main reason for all of these wildfires, though. Over 517 wildfires this year have been caused by human activity out of 836. Some of these include “vehicles driving on dry brush and utility lines or chains dragging,” According to KING5 news.

As of Sept. 21, Seattle and surrounding cities saw the worst air quality from wildfires since 1985, according to Weather Underground. During one of the worst smoke storms of the decade, Air quality skyrocketed to over 250 AQI. Good air quality averages around 0-36 AQI, 50 being an unhealthy AQI.

This smoke affects everyone, especially pregnant women, children, elders and anyone with a lung disease that affects their airways, including people suffering from past symptoms of COVID-19.

International

Iranian women protest for equality

By Halle Connell
A group of 4 silhouetted people holding a large blank sign
© HAWKEYE Lucas Barquin

Recent news of women in Iran getting beaten and killed for not wearing a proper headscarf.

On Sept. 17, protests in Iran broke out over a string of injustices against Iranian women catalyzed by the brutal death of Mahsa “Zhina” Amini.

Amini was 22 years old when she was unlawfully beaten and killed by officers in Iran for “Not having a proper headscarf” according to Iranian authority. Amini was in Tehran, Iran at the time of her “mistreatment,” her family said. Police saw Amini and deemed her headscarf “improper” and “too revealing,” then started beating Amini in public before she was sent to the hospital where she later died on Sept. 16, 2022. When the police were questioned, they claimed that when they came into contact with Amini, she suffered from “heart failure,” which they claimed was the cause of death. She then fell into a coma and died at the hospital three days later.

Iran developed a highly conservative Islamic republic after the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which caused a strict religious influence on future laws that forbid Iranian women from not wearing a headscarf.

Since Amini’s death, many people have taken to the streets to protest the brutality against Amini and other women who haven’t stuck to the religious norms. Women, both in Iran and around the world, have burnt their own headscarves in protest of recent laws. After protests started, police and Iranian authorities started to fight back and resist the protests, and many street riots formed because of it.

As of Oct. 14, protests are still happening and more are being killed because of it. An estimated 222 deaths have been caused by police resistance to the protests.

Death of Queen Elizabeth II

By Ciara Constantino and Mya Phin
A portrait style graphic of a young Queen Elizabeth smiling.
© HAWKEYE Lucas Barquin

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, surrounded by the royal family. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother,” King Charles III, the Queen’s eldest son and the oldest monarch to inherit the throne at 73 years old, said.

Her funeral was held on Sept. 19, 2022, at Westminster Abbey, with around 2,000 guests, nearly 90 of which were world leaders. Soon after, she was buried in King George VI Memorial Chapel next to her family and husband Prince Phillip.

Pakistan flooding threatens lives

By Terina Papatu
A simplistic graphic of waves.
© HAWKEYE Lucas Barquin

Beginning in mid-June, Pakistan experienced heavy rains and melting glaciers following a heat wave. Quickly, the heavy rain flooded the country, which is now one-third under water. The floodwater has spread to over 300 villages, displacing over 33 million people and killing nearly 1,500. The Dadu District in the Sindh province remains 8 feet under water. Studies from Brown University and Carbon Brief suggest the cause of South Asia’s monsoons is climate change. As of now, the worst flooding is in other parts of the province, including Bhan Syedabad and Johi Town. With 735,000 livestock missing and 2 million crops damaged, hope for a return to normal is low, but not gone.

Same-sex marriage voting postponed

By Rachel Davis
A government building with a heart over it labeled "delayed."
© HAWKEYE Lucas Barquin

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Sept. 15 that a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act would be delayed until after the midterms in order to garner the support of 10 Senate Republicans needed for it to pass. The act would codify same-sex marriage into law. The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the house in July largely along party lines, with 157 of 214 Republicans voting against it and every Democrat voting in support of it. If Republicans take control of the house, it’s not clear if current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would bring the proposal to a vote, as he voted against the proposal.

The fight for abortion rights

By Terina Papatu
Graphic of uterus
© HAWKEYE Rodney Budden

When Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022, it reignited a debate about reproductive rights and access to abortion. Consequently, several states have banned or limited abortion including Idaho, Arizona, South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. On Sept. 13, 2022, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks nationwide. This 15-week cutoff would allow exceptions only in extreme circumstances including rape, incest or if the pregnancy would harm the mother. There is reportedly almost no chance of this proposed bill being passed if Democrats are to continue controlling Congress.

Social Media

Ex-Try Guy Ned Fulmer’s affair

By Kaylee Miyamoto
© HAWKEYE Rodney Budden

Internet celebrity and former Try Guys member Ned Fulmer was caught in an affair with his colleague, executive producer Alex Herring, leading to Fulmer’s departure from the group. This was a shock to fans as Fulmer always publicly expressed his love for his wife, Ariel Fulmer. 

“Family should have always been my priority,” Fulmer said in an official statement on his Instagram. “But I lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship.” 

Despite Fulmer’s statement of the relationship being consensual, fans are still concerned over the power dynamic that may have been in play, Fulmer being Herring’s boss and more well-known publicly.