“This, to us, Liberty Island, is really about a rebirth. It is a sense of renewal for the city and the country. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Heather Leykam, during her visit to the Statue of Liberty, reopened to the public on Thursday, July 4, 2013 after Hurricane Sandy caused extreme damage
WEEK OF JULY 1, 2013
Nation: The country mourns with Arizona.
On Sunday, an extreme wildfire blazed out of control in Yarnell Hill, located northwest of Phoenix, spreading to nearly 9,000 acres in two days. Nineteen firefighters, of a 20-man crew, died while fighting to protect their land when the blaze suddenly changed direction. This single day is now the deadliest for firefighters since the 9/11 attacks, and the deadliest wildland blaze for firefighters in 80 years. The Arizona Governor called the deaths “unbearable” describing the fallen as “brave men who gave their lives to defend friends, neighbors and perfect strangers.” Our hearts are with all those in mourning.
World: Egypt in turmoil.
Egypt’s military officially ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, suspending the country’s constitution. On Thursday, Egypt swore in Adly Mansour, head of the country’s Supreme Constitutional court to “assume the presidency” on an interim basis. The military plans to hold a new presidential election, but has not yet given a date. Morsi called the move a “complete military coup” and warned that “considerable bloodshed” could ensue, while fireworks erupted in celebration of his ousting in Tahrir Square. President Obama said the United States was “deeply concerned” about the move.
Politics: One more year for Obamacare.
The Obama administration announced this week that employers will have one additional year to institute changes associated with Obamacare. The mandate that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance by next year or face fines will be delayed until 2015. This won’t change the date by which most Americans will be required to have insurance, but it could slow down the implementation of most other elements of the law.
Health: Painkillers are dangerous drugs, especially for women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that more than five times as many women died of prescription painkiller overdoses in 2010 than in 1999. The study offered several theories for the increase: women are more likely than men to be prescribed pain drugs, to use them chronically and to get prescriptions for higher doses. CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden explained, “Over the past 10 years we’ve had a skyrocketing of prescriptions and now a skyrocketing of overdoses and deaths that have gone along with it.” In a call to action, Dr. Frieden implored, “Everyone has a role to play in reversing this.”
Current Affairs: Happy Independence Day!
The Fourth of July is known around America for barbecues, parades, picnics, and fireworks, but we thought we’d take a quick moment to remember what this National holiday is really about. Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. As a nation we began the journey of coming into our own over 230 years ago, and that journey continues today. Fun fact: USA Today and Foursquare have crowned the most patriotic city and the winner is…Knoxville, Tennessee! Followed by Oklahoma City and Raleigh, North Carolina; where does your city rank?