In the Know: April 4, 2014

“Today, Fort Hood was once again stricken by tragedy. As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. Fort Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again.” Governor Rick Perry in his reaction to another shooting at the Fort Hood Army base on April 2, 2014

Another tragic shooting at Fort Hood. An Iraq war veteran opened fire at the Army base in Texas on Wednesday killing three people and wounding 16 others before taking his own life. He was undergoing treatment for mental health issues, but authorities have yet to determine the motive for his shooting spree.

General Motors accused of covering up a defect that has killed at least 13 people. In a congressional hearing on Tuesday, GM’s CEO Mary Barra was questioned why it took GM 13 years to recall 2.53 million small cars for ignitions that can suddenly shut off the engine, disabling airbags and power assist for steering and braking. The saga continues as federal prosecutors continue their investigation.  

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake shook Chile as it hit offshore, and triggered a tsunami. By Wednesday afternoon the death toll had reached 6, which authorities are saying is low due to the strict building codes and preparedness of those who live along an arc of volcanos and fault lines.

Venezuela is battling a food shortage, so it’s instituting a new ID system. The system will track families’ purchases, which the government says will help to crack down on illegal resale of goods. But critics say the new plan could be the first step toward rationing.

Malaysia Flight 370 still missing. “I know that until we find the plane, many families cannot start to grieve. I can promise them that we will not give up,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday.

U.S. Supreme Court ruled to do away with an overall limit on how much individuals can give candidates and political parties in one campaign cycle. No more aggregate limits, really? Yes. The ruling opens the door even wider for wealthy donors to influence campaigns and many conservatives are calling the ruling a free-speech victory. We’ll see in 2016.

Middle East Peace talks aren’t going well. After a rough weekend, Secretary Kerry flew to Jerusalem to try to get things back on track. Since then, Israel has called off plans to release a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has said that his country will seek to join 15 international bodies (Israel’s not so keen on that idea). Let’s just say it doesn’t look good.

In his new book about Wall Street, author Michael Lewis is making waves by claiming that the growth of high-frequency trading rigs the stock market to the detriment of individual traders. But defenders of the market are fighting back, and creating quite the debate in financial circles. Intrigued? Watch Lewis explain his theory on 60 Minutes and then read why some are saying he is wrong.

Scientists discovered that a moon of Saturn has a body of water the size of Lake Superior. And you know what that means. All joking aside, scientists say this makes the country a prime candidate for extraterrestrial life.

Women’s Affairs
More women are running for elected office in Afghanistan than ever before. Elections to take place this Saturday will see 300 compete for provincial seats around the country. And for the first time, a woman is running for vice president on a leading national ticket.

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