Current Events Cheat Sheet: Because it isn’t All About Suri’s Newest Rainboots

A 22-year old man opened fire at an Arizona town-hall meeting held by a congresswoman from Arizona, leaving six people dead and 16 wounded.

This is one of those weeks when a shockingly tragic event brought the country together. President Obama ordered all U.S. flags lowered to half-mast in honor of the victims, which included a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and a congressional aide. The Democractic congresswoman holding the meeting, Gabrielle Giffords, is still in critical condition at the hospital, though doctors said they were “cautiously optimistic” on Sunday. The gunman, Jared Loughner, is already in custody of the police.

Millions of fish in the Chesapeake Bay, hundreds of thousands of fish in the Arkansas river and thousands of birds along highways in Arkansas and Louisiana have shown up dead… and scientists are scrambling to find out why.
This is one of those freak happenings that scientists are quick to explain away, but no matter what, the simultaneous mass-deaths are creepy and bizarre. If you’ve got any sort of belief in the whole THE WORLD WILL END IN 2012 thing, this might be enough to convince you the theory is onto something (and um… did anyone see this movie? It could happen to animals too… just sayin’).  Here are the theories the scientists came up with: “cold-weather stress” for the fish in the Bay, some kind of infection for the ones in Arkansas, fireworks scaring the Arkansas birds to death, and crashes with power lines in Louisiana. Convinced? I sure ain’t.

The new 112th Congress convened on Wednesday.
Remember aallll those Republicans who were nominated in the lat elections? Well, they’re in office now- the Senate still has a Democrat majority but the House of Representatives has the highest Republican majority since 1942. Rep. John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, was elected the new House speaker, and many jokes were made over the massive gavel he used to call the session to order (ironic considering his last name. Was that immature? Sorry…) In light of the recent tragedy in Arizona, Congress has put their vote to repeal Obama’s health care plan on hold, but that is expected to be the first order of business when work resumes.

Rumors abound that Verizon will be getting the iPhone.
Nobody’s one hundred percent sure yet, but numerous clues have added up suggesting that Verizon will soon be offering the iPhone to its users. HOORAY! If you have Verizon (like me!), it will become much easier to convince your parents that an iPhone is, like, totally necessary! You won’t have to switch your whole family on over to AT&T anymore! The rumors have been around for a while, but recently a number of clues have come together: Verizon employees have been warned about mandatory training sessions later this month, a Verizon iPhone case was spotted, and, finally, Verizon is holding a big red carpet event this week (January 12th) to announce something. But… don’t blame me if it’s something else.

Sudanese people participated in an historic vote.
After years of civil war that left 2.5 million people dead, the people of Sudan headed to the polls on January 9th to vote on a referendum that would split Northern and Southern Sudan. This is a momentous occasion for both the Sudanese people and the world as we may finally see an end to the violence that has destroyed this African country for many years. People were lined up as early as 3 a.m. to have their opportunity to vote and while it will take some time to count, it is being reported that the majority of votes are in favor of a new state for Southern Sudan and the independence of its people.

A reporter discovered a homeless man with a “golden voice.”
The man, Ted Williams, has a voice you’d expect to hear on the radio or over a dramatic movie trailer, but instead, he’s been on the streets, in prison, and raddled by drug addiction. Listen to him here. Since his rise to fame, he’s received lots of job offers, including commercial work for Kraft and MSNBC and announcing for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.  He reunited with his 90-year-old mother after 10 years apart who told him, “don’t disappoint me… hold your life together.” Moms everywhere are the same, huh?

Picture of the week:

A French photographer had exactly .86 seconds to capture the moment when both the International Space Station and the Moon eclipsed the Sun, and he did it. Wowza.

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