Northeast to get Hit by Snow

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 11/15/18

The northeastern United States is predicted to see its first snowfall of the year, and it’s only halfway through November! Weather.com predicts the possibility of snow starts at 12:15 and then will turn into a rather cold, icy rain mixed with snow, creating slush.

Despite being turned into rain later on and throughout the morning, Winter Storm Avery, the name of the snowstorm that is expected to hit states from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, all the way up to New Hampshire and Maine, is said disrupt travel and commerce in the area.

Although it is very likely there won’t even be an inch of snow due to the rain and area of snowfall, experts say this snowstorm could be the gateway to a very cold and snowy winter, and to exercise caution while in the snow today.

Sources and Pictures: Weather.com, Flickr, Google Weather

Wildfires Continue to Spread in California

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 11/12/18

Wildfires in North California have continued to spread west as hundreds of acres have been completely destroyed. So far, 31 are confirmed dead and over 200 missing in what’s considered “the deadliest fire in California history”. The fire, known as “Camp Fire” after the nearby creek where it originated, continues to worsen in the California heat.

As of right now, the fire is spreading towards Chico, California. A city with a population of about 100,000 where many citizens who’ve lost homes has come to. Currently, traffic jams have clogged many roads leading out of the fire, and that includes around Chico, which is where the university California State Chico is located.

Among those that lost their homes include notable individuals like Miley Cyrus, Niel Young, and Gerard Butler. Through an on pour of donations and help, certain areas originally covered by the blaze have been uncovered, but other areas are in severe danger.

Sources and Pictures: Wikipedia, CNN, The New York Times

OPINION: Esports are not Real Sports

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 11/10/18

The craze over esports has grown and grown, and to be honest, I don’t have a problem with that. Video games are fun as heck, and competitive competitions are a great way to spread popularity, share skills, and all around have fun. However, you cannot call it a sport.

Sure, studies have shown that playing video games helps your mentality, it increases your alertness and is overall good for your mental health, but the definition of a sport is a competition or activity that requires physical exertion or contact. In esports, the most “moving” you do is moving your fingers and thumbs around pressing different buttons.

So stop comparing virtual athletes to real athletes. Stop comparing Ninja to LeBron James, the Overwatch World Cup to the FIFA World Cup, and overall esports to real sports. While video games are fun and I have nothing wrong with them or video game competitions, in the end, you can’t compare it with real sports.

Sources and Pictures: Flickr, Oxford Dictionary, IGN

12 Dead in Thousand Oaks, California Shooting

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 11/9/18

Over the night of Wednesday, the seventh, reports came in that shots were fired at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular venue for country music and dinner in Thousand Oaks, California, north of Los Angeles. Now after the shooting, twelve have been confirmed dead including multiple college students from nearby California – Lutheran as well as a police officer, although it’s uncertain whether he was on duty or not.

The shooter was later identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a veteran of the US Marine Corps who lived with his mom just minutes away from the bar. In fact, witnesses say that Long used to frequently travel to the bar, stating that “he was part of the community.” Long also had a marriage in 2009 but divorced in 2011 and later dissolved the marriage in 2013.

Long’s neighbor noted that his mom “lived in fear” of Long, as the neighbor noted, “it took half a day for the police to get him out of the house.” FBI agents confirmed after the shooting that Long took his own life after killing 12 others. The FBI also stated that there are no other dangers in the area and that service dogs and personnel will be deployed to help survivors.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, FBI, Wikimedia Commons

Trump Fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 11/8/18

Yesterday, President Donald Trump asked for the resignation of current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions after months of criticism in handling the Mueller probe and the FBI investigation. This move was seen coming by many Republicans and Democrats, as Trump’s approval of Sessions has dropped tremendously.

Sessions actually received the letter, not by Trump, but by new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. After writing his resignation, many Democrats came to criticize the decision in firing him. Current Minority Leader and future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that the decision “was a blatant attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation.”

As of now, the new US Attorney General is Matthew G. Whitaker, who was chief of staff to Jeff Sessions. Sessions was also seen as a loyalist to President Trump, being one of the Trump cabinet’s original picks, as he was invited for his likability from President Trump, as he was a proud ally of Trump and former Senator from Alabama.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Twitter, Washington Post, CNNPolitics

EXCLUSIVE: Democrats Flip the House, Republicans Keep Senate

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 11/7/18

Dramatic, hard fought, and down to the end. These phrases describe the seven-hour-long midterm election last night, as dozens of house seats, as well as Senate seats, went down to the wire, many of which were too close to call.

The Democrats have flipped the House of Representatives in their majority for the first time in 8 years, as it has been two midterm elections since the Democrats had a majority in the house. They needed to gain 23 seats in order to retain a majority and was able to accomplish that early on in the night with victories in key battleground states like Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As of now, votes are still live but House Democrats have the ability to add even more seats to their gain, as some races were too close to call from last night.

As for the Senate, the GOP will maintain their majority with a two-seat gain. Republicans managed to defeat incumbents in Florida, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri while still taking losses in Nevada and Montana, in order to keep a Senate majority. However, four Senate races are still up, and The New York Times projects that the Republicans can expand their majority to 53 seats.

Sources: The New York Times, CNN, FiveThirtyEight

EXCLUSIVE: We’re Back! Insights and Predictions at 2018 Midterms

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 11/5/18

The buildup for the 2018 midterm elections has reached a peak, as tomorrow, millions of Americans will be choosing their representatives in what many are calling “The most important election in years.” At stake in the midterms, is control of both lower and upper houses, with all 435 House of Representative seats up, and 35 Senate seats up, too. According to numerous polls, many American voters are treating the election as a referendum on Trump halfway through his presidency, while others will be voting within party lines or for new candidates.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats are being projected to win, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 7 in 8 chance of regaining control of the house as of 6:00 PM. What has caused what many call a “blue wave”, is liberal and sometimes independent backlash of President Trump, while other polls show that issues like gun violence and controversy surrounding Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh has energized voters. In order to win back the house, 23 Republican seats will need to be turned over to Democratic control, while the Republican’s strategy consists of accepting a loss in seats, but still maintaining a majority in the House of Representatives.

As for the Senate, Republicans are poised to hang on to a majority in the upper house, as many tight races are up in the air, some of which favoring the Republicans. Also, not all seats are up for election, protecting some individuals on both parties from facing tough reelection or voting out. Overall, the Senate Republicans are projected to keep the same number of seats, 51, if not gain a few more from close races in Nevada, North Dakota, Tennesee, Missouri, Florida, and even surprising upset watches like Democrat Beto O’Rourke taking on Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas, or Republican challenger Bob Hugin running to replace Democrat incumbent Bob Menendez in New Jersey.

Sources: CNN Politics, FiveThirtyEight, 270toWin, Wikimedia Commons