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The big story…
A record-setting NASA mission that looked at an object on the edge of our solar system occurred four billion miles away as the New Year rang in. CNN reports, “Mission scientists from NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have confirmed that the New Horizons spacecraft conducted a flyby of Ultima Thule, a Kuiper Belt object that’s a billion miles beyond Pluto.” Mission scientists were relieved to see the mission completed as there was only one chance to complete it as the New Horizons spacecraft whizzed past Ultima Thule at 31,500 miles per hour. New Horizons was also able to send back an image, taken from a half million miles out.
A malware attack originating from outside the country caused a delay in the printing of several newspapers over the weekend including the Los Angelos Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. The malware that is believed to have been used in the attack is called Ryuk, which spreads from computer to computer attempting to access encrypted data and demanding ransom in bitcoin for the locked files.
In marriage equality…
Former president Raul Castro has removed a gender-neutral clause in Cuba’s draft constitution saying that civil marriage is between two people with equal rights. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy’s report for CMN.
In reproductive rights…
After more than 200 years of criminalization and forbiddance, abortion is officially legalized in Ireland. The country’s president, Michael D. Higgins, signed the legalization into law on Thursday, Dec. 20, after its passage through both chambers of the national parliament. All or any abortion services will be provided “on demand” up to the 12th week of a woman’s pregnancy and will be free under the country’s universal healthcare system starting in 2019. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy’s report for CMN.
On Monday, Dec. 24, Israeli coalition party leaders in the Knesset’s governing majority agreed to dissolve and hold elections in April 2019 or earlier. Reasons for dissolving the national parliament vary including difficulties passing a new national law that would extend the mandatory military draft to ultra-Orthodox Jewish students across the country. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy’s report for CMN.
In animal rights…
Zoo intern Alexandra Black was attacked and killed by a lion who escaped its pen while Black was assisting in the cleaning of the animal’s enclosure. Deputies attempted to tranquilize the lion but eventually shot and killed the animal. Animal advocates are adamantly pushing for change as this is the tenth attack or escape since 1997 in a privately owned North Carolina wildlife facility.
Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. has gradually been returning to the stage over the past few months after his career came to a sudden halt during #MeToo allegations. Now the comedian is facing even more backlash after a recording of a recent set he did was leaked — a set that includes jokes about gender identity and the Parkland shooting survivors.
Last but not least…
Today’s Morning Scoop was made possible by Duane Paul Murphy, Natalia Kolenko, and the CMN Staff. A college senior decided to quantify the amount of pizza he ate during his four years. Answer: 900. Calories: 2.4 million. Mode of presentation? Hopefully, a pie chart.
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