In the Know: January 8, 2016

“Our unalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness—those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.” President Obama, detailing his executive actions towards gun reform on Jan. 5

After a failed attempt to move gun legislation through Congress, President Obama announced this week—in an emotional address—that he’d go it alone. The new executive actions won’t accomplish the kind of sweeping reform Congress might have, but they’re a start. The president followed up with a televised town hall forum on guns on Jan. 7.

Federal officials and local law enforcement remain in a standoff with armed protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The protest remains peaceful, but has sparked debate across the country on issues from gun rights to the nature of terrorism.

It has been 75 days since a massive gas leak was discovered deep under the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch. On Wednesday, the governor finally declared a state of emergency.

North Korea may have tested a hydrogen bomb—a much more powerful type of nuclear weapon than they’ve tested in the past. Or maybe not.

“One year on: The assassin still at large.” Charlie Hebdo is still not shying away from controversy on the anniversary of last year’s fatal attack on the magazine.

Also in Paris: A man armed with a knife was killed after he threatened police in Paris Thursday, the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are having a tiff, and it doesn’t look to be getting better anytime soon.

Two Iraqi-born men were arrested Thursday in Houston and Sacramento in an ongoing terrorism investigation, according to prosecutors.

The White House is dispatching top national security officials to Silicon Valley to seek the tech industry’s help in disrupting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups.

“I regret it every day.” Vice President Joe Biden has lingering doubts on not running for election in 2016.

In the wake of Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal, the U.S. Justice Department has sued the German automaker for up to $48 billion.

Market turmoil in China continues to ripple across the world, sending stocks plunging.

Official advice from the U.S. government: The Obama administration has released its much-anticipated update to the Dietary Guidelines.

The periodic table has officially added four new elements—guess it’s back to science class for us.

Women’s Affairs
The makers of Monopoly are responding to unhappy Star Wars fans’ complaints that the new Monopoly: The Force Awakens game doesn’t include, of all characters, Rey.

Now there’s one less thing for pregnant women to worry about: harm to the baby when the mother takes birth control pills right before conceiving, or during the first few months of pregnancy.


image via of President Obama during his execuative action announcement on gun reform on Jan. 5

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