News in Brief: What you may have missed over break

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Marc Murdoch '14, News and Features Editor

Winter break is often a time of business for students as many have travel, jobs or schoolwork to focus on during their time away from college. Sometimes, the idea of staying current with news and general goings-on in the world get pushed to the back and neglected. The following lists several notable occurrences during the winter break to help students catch up.

Russian bombings

A suicide bomber claimed the lives of 16 people on Dec. 29 in Volgograd, southern Russia. The following day another suicide bomb killed ten and injured ten others in Volgograd, 400 miles away from the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics: Sochi. This is the first time an Olympic host country has experienced an increase in terrorism so close to the beginning of the events. President Putin has vowed to double security along travel lines in addition to the 40,000 law enforcement officers at the games.

Shootings and stabbings

On Monday, Dec. 13, Karl Pierson, 18, entered his high school in Centennial, Colorado and shot a classmate before committing suicide. Police found several weapons on his body and later discovered that Pierson was intending to get revenge on a teacher who had disciplined him.

On Monday, Jan. 13, forty-three year old Chad Oulson was fatally shot in Florida after an argument over his texting his daughter during a movie. The shooter, retired officer Curtis Reeves, 71, is still being charged with second-degree murder, though bond has been denied.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15 Mark Winkler, 40, stabbed his 76-year-old mother in the stomach with a sword after a dispute over prescription medication. Edna Winkler refused medical treatment and suffered a small puncture wound. Mark has been charged with attempted murder.

Justin Bieber’s arrest

The Canadian teen pop star was stopped by police in Miami and arrested for street racing, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence of alcohol, THC [the hallucinogen in marijuana] and prescription medication. A toxicology report after the arrest confirmed the presence of THC and Alprazolam [Xanax] in large enough doses to impair him. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 14.

A petition to deport Bieber to Canada has reached over the requisite 100,000 signatures [239,000 currently] and has been sent to the White House for a response.  However, Bieber has already returned to his homeland to face assault charges.

Mayor Chris Christie

On Dec. 12, New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie came under allegations of causing a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee as a personal vendetta, not a traffic study as previously thought. The allegation is that Christie’s administration closed the bridge at Christie’s orders in response to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich refusing to endorse Christie.

Interoffice emails and letters have surfaced steadily over the past week to refute that Christie had no knowledge of the incident, including one email saying “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The investigation of Christie’s involvement is still underway, and he has not been charged or arrested yet.