Cat Tracks September 17
In 2010, guns were used in 11,078 homicides in the U.S. Even as these tragedies continue to mount, only a few states have managed to enact tougher gun control laws since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. States like Minnesota, New Mexico and Oregon are current target states for people like Mark Glaze, the executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, because gun legislation came close to passing in these states last year. Common sense changes like comprehensive background checks have been harder to pass than they should be. It will be interesting to see if the shooting in the Washington Navy Yard that has left at least 13 people dead will shake up the debate.
Vladimir Putin may be more politically cunning than people give him credit for. In an op-ed published in the New York Times last week, Mr. Putin pleaded directly with the American public to urge our government not to launch a military strike against Syria’s government. “No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage,” Putin wrote. Any attack on Syria without a UN mandate would be considered illegal under international law, and it’s a perfectly legitimate point that we cannot expect other countries to respect the UN if the U.S. only works with it so long as its convenient.
S in STEM
President Obama has led the charge to encourage college students to enroll in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors, citing high paying jobs in these fields that currently lack enough quality applicants. However, for science majors, the hype isn’t as good as it seems. According to a new study, engineering majors are among the most likely to find high-paying jobs after college, but the study found that biology and chemistry majors only earn an average starting salary of $27,893 and $31,070 respectively. The numbers are even worse at the UA – biology majors earn an average of $26,540 according to a 2012 job placement report from Career Services. In contrast, communication majors received an average offer of $29,930.
Tension in Korea
Jointly operated factories in the North Korean industrial park reopened Monday after 166 days of inactivity caused by tension between North and South Korea. The conflict was sparked by the North’s repeated tests of medium and long range missiles despite UN sanctions and the urging of long-time North Korean ally China’s condemnations. Regularly scheduled joint military drills between South Korea and the U.S. increased tensions, and for a while the world sat on the edge of its seat hoping the situation didn’t spiral out of control. Now we know the North Koreans weren’t serious about their threats and they never posed any real military threat.