Current Events Cheat Sheet: Ding, Dong the Wicked Kim is Dead (Not Kardashian…)
Kim Jong Il, the longtime, ruthless dictator of North Korea, died from a heart attack on Saturday at the age of 69. Under Kim’s reign, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans died from a devastating famine and North Korea embarked on a dangerous nuclear journey. Kim didn’t want anyone to forget his country’s nuclear power, either. He used it to squeeze resources and aid from other nations and sent ‘practice’ missiles out over the ocean, hoping to build one strong enough to reach North America. North Korea will now enter an unstable period as Kim’s third son, Kim Jong Eun, transitions into power.
The Iraq War is over. Wait, really? You’d think there’d be more hub-bub surrounding the end of such a controversial, significant war (it’s a war, hello!) but, yes, there was a quiet ceremony on Thursday to mark its finish. After eight years, the American flag that flew over the U.S. troops’ headquarters in Baghdad was lowered indefinitely. Hopefully, the democratic government that has been set up will continue to grow stronger, but some are worried the negative influence of Iran will be too strong without American support. The Iraq War cost 4,483 American lives and about 110,000 Iraqi civilian lives. The total monetary price tag was a steep $800 billion.
Teenagers are smoking record amounts of weed. Yes, we have reached the pot-smoking levels of the 1960s, free-love era. According to a University of Michigan study, half of students surveyed had smoked by the time they graduated high school, and one in four had gotten high in the past month. Numbers on other tsk-tsk inducing behaviors are down, including smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and teen pregnancies. Could there be a correlation? Maybe we’re just so blazed out we can’t do anything else?
Pic o’ the Week:
Pete Souza/White House
The Obamas released a new family portrait just in time for the holidays. Some commentators takeaways? The president is aging fast. Well, what do you expect?