February Issue Current Events

Allie Zyck

2020 Presidential election season begins

With less than 700 days to go until the next federal election, candidates have officially begun to announce their intentions to run. In particular, the Democrat field is looking rather crowded. Senator Elizabeth Warren kicked off the season before 2018 had even ended, with several other politicians having throwing hats in the ring soon after. This includes Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, among others. This isn’t including the long list of those considering campaigns, which include former Vice President Joe Biden, 2016 candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders who have publicly discussed going after the nomination. Outside of the Democrat party, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering running as an independent candidate. Although the primary votes don’t even begin until 2020, this election season is already looking like a long one.


Record cold temperatures hit the Midwest

Considering the recent days off due to cold weather, you likely know that Chicago experienced record low temperatures on Jan. 30 during a cold wave that hit the entire Midwest. Aside from giving D214 students a five day weekend, this cold can cause frostbite, freeze train tracks and “frost quakes”. While it’s easy to focus purely on the time off, it’s important to remember that the cold is dangerous and can turn deadly for those who have no place to go. The most heartwarming story to come out of this cold snap was that of an anonymous donor paying for hotel rooms for 70 people that are homeless. However, with an estimated 80,384 homeless in Chicago, according to the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless, it’s inevitable that some were left scrambling for shelter. During this time of year, it’s important to recognize their plight while you’re cozied up inside.


FaceTime bug allows callers to eavesdrop on others

You may not want to use FaceTime for a little while. On Jan. 19, a 14 year old boy, Grant Thompson, discovered that when he tried to call his friends in a Group FaceTime, he was able to listen in and see the recipient before they answered the call. After discovering this, it took nine days for Apple to respond to the bug, despite the boy’s mom having exhausted every channel she could think of to report the issue. Since then, Apple has assured the public that a fix to this bug would come out in a software update in the following days, but many have questioned the company’s slow response. This situation adds Apple to the ever growing list of tech companies with some sort of security controversy. Although Apple has promised to fix the issue, it is a harsh reminder that our increasingly computerized world is taking away from our privacy, often in ways you don’t expect.

Power struggle in Venezuela draws global attention

The presidency of Venezuela is in doubt after years of hyperinflation and food shortages have made the famously socialist country unstable. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro was removed from power by opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido. Yet, despite claims of Maduro’s election being illegitimate, this coup has not been a clean one. Maduro has refused to step down from power, Guaido does not yet have enough support from Venezuelan political powers and the many countries that have a stake in Venezuela on which president is legitimate. The United States and the European Union have recognized Guaido as the new president, but other countries, such as Russia, China and Iran, still support Maduro. Many world powers have a stake in Venezuela, which despite being an oil rich country, has fallen into deep debt. But as long as they have their deep oil reserves, the entire world is going to want a piece of them. Considering the many powers at play, everyone should keep their eyes on this Latin American domestic struggle that might turn out to be a worldwide powder keg.