Category Archives: World News

Hybrid Bear Numbers Rapidly Increasing

DrakeMackley, Staff Reporter

Since May of 2016, sightings of the rumored polar-grizzly bear hybrid species have greatly increased in Northern Canada. Grolar, or Pizzly bears have light tan fur, large polar bear claws, a slender snout and the shoulders of a grizzly. After several studies comparing the DNA of grizzlies, polar bears and their new hybrid offspring, scientists found that all three have the same number of chromosomes, and the hybrid offspring have traits that fall in between the polar and grizzly bear species.

The cause of this hybrid species is partly due to climate change and its effect on the melting ice caps that polar bears use as their hunting grounds. Because polar bears are not finding enough food in their natural habitat to sustain themselves and their offspring, the polar species has been migrating south in search of food. While polar bears migrate south, grizzly bears have been expanding their territory northwards, and the overlapping habitats encourage the two species to mate.

According to evolutionary biologist Eline Lorenzen of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, polar bears and grizzly bears were once the same species and diverged as two species between 343,000 to 479,000 years ago. Lorenzen has mapped genomes of eighty-nine polar bears. She claims that this interbreeding “is not unique in any way.” There are traces of ancient grizzly DNA in polar bears from a divergent species split that occurred almost a million years ago.

The southward migration of polar bears combined with the interbreeding with grizzlies could lead to the extinction of the polar bear species. Because the hybrid and grizzly traits are more favourable in the new habitat than polar bear’s, eventually polar bears will become grizzly bears and polar bears will become extinct. Lorenzen stated that a new species will not be named because polar bears will go extinct and the hybrid and grizzly bears will converge into one species over “thousands of years.”

Where Does the Gun Point Now?

JourneySherman, LeahZarzour and LavanyaChellam

 On Friday Nov. 13, ISIS attacked a Paris concert venue, Batlacan, slaughtering 129 people. Lesser acknowledged attacks occurred the day before in Beirut and Baghdad. Over 60 individuals were killed by suicide bombers.

It seems like there is an unfortunate, never ending stream of breaking news regarding ISIS. By adding more nations to their “hit list,” they make it known that no one is safe or out of harm’s way. It seems like their weekly threats have become daily. ISIS has rattled the world, and the world is holding its breath in lamentation for the prodigious heap of unnecessary deaths. The attacks have left many feeling as though they live in homes made of twigs, and until now ISIS was just the big bad wolf that only existed in storybooks.Their infamous beheading videos would  seem like child’s play if we had only believed what was coming.

The organization describes the current situation in layman’s terms as “the calm before the storm.” If the massacring of almost 200 people within 48 hours isn’t “as bad as can be,” according to ISIS, the world needs to brace itself for that which will come.

     The ringleader of The Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was recently killed in a raid in a  Paris suburb Nov.18. He is accused of leading the phalanx of gunmen and suicide bombers into the concert venue and surrounding cafes, killing over 100 innocent individuals.

With the western media constantly covering the massacre in Paris, little concern was shown in regards to the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Baghdad. When the stories were pushed through The New York Times and The Washington Post, they were quickly overshadowed by the horrific attacks in Paris, one of our nation’s favorite cities.

Although these attacks occurred across the world, Chattahoochee was still impacted. Theodore Rizo (SO), believes “Paris holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts. If you even whisper the name Paris, their eyes glaze over as they go on a daydream-vacation to the city of lights. The western media has taken advantage of that and continues to strike fear in the hearts of many so as to gain more views and make more money.”  

Social media outlets Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were overflowing with concerns for Paris to the point where it consumed the media. Little did the world know that terror would pursue before they could swallow their fears down.

 On Sunday Nov. 21, terror struck even closer to home when an online group, called Anonymous, unearthed a possible ISIS threat to a WWE event at Philipps Arena. The threat was later proved false, but the fear and investigative tension grew nonetheless, because the wolf does come eat the boy when the villagers refuse to believe the child’s wail.

The world is plagued with worry and fear and fights—of  what will come, and even worse—when and how it will.

 

Nepal Eartquake: Hooch Here to Help

RachelLevin
JourneySherman
MarisaSnelson-Ono

The recent earthquake in Nepal has left the poorly infrastructured and unprepared country in ruins. The heart of the quake occurred in the heavily populated capital, Kathmandu, and measured at around a 7.9-8.1 magnitude on the Richter scale. This is the deadliest natural disaster Nepal has seen in 80 years and resulted in over 8,400 casualties and 9,200 injuries. Multiple resulting aftershocks as high as 7.8 have worsened conditions, leaving thousands of displaced citizens afraid to seek shelter, aid, or rescue. With a death toll rising each day and hospitals running out of room for injured patients, the situation in Nepal has surpassed an emergency and is now dire.

This heartbreaking tragedy in the small Asian country has shaken the hearts of countries all over the world who are eager to help in any way possible. However, the quake has set in motion a domino effect of other natural disasters that have prevented sufficient aid from reaching remote or badly damaged regions. Nepal’s rocky terrain and weak infrastructure have citizens posing as sitting ducks with no food, water, or shelter. Subsequent mudslides have also blocked crucial roads that lead to rural areas surrounding the capital. Landslides and frequent storms have created more unimaginable destruction, most notably
the avalanche on Everest that killed 17 and injured 34. Hundreds of citizens have been, and could still remain, crushed underneath the ruins of historical monuments, homes and religious temples. Officials are still searching for over 200 missing individuals. This disaster has not
only affected Nepal, but killed over 100 people in the surrounding countries of India, China, Tibet and Bangladesh.

Chattahoochee alumnus Lowell Cook is currently living in Nepal, studying Buddhism in one of the many ancient temples that is a staple of the country. In the past several days, this Hooch alum has seen firsthand how the disaster has affected those around him. Countless people living in Kathmandu and its surrounding regions were ordered to evacuate their
homes, with many spending multiple nights in open public areas. Lowell and his neighbors have spent nights following the earthquake in a sleeping bag on a tennis court. Only after the dangers have passed did he and the others were able to return to their apartments.

Home displacement is one of the key problems being dealt with by Lowell and the Nepalese people, but other concerns are giving them no time to catch any breaks. Mr Wolfe, a Biology teacher here at Chattahoochee was, unbeknownst to many, a peace corps volunteer in Nepal for two years in a small village. His main concern right now is that “Monsoon season is approaching, and because a lot of people’s homes have been destroyed they aren’t going to have a place to sleep or live and will have to be in the mud. That also means disease can spread very rapidly due to the lack of bathrooms and sanitation. Disease is already a big issue during monsoon season in Nepal, so now that you have a lot of people in tent camps very close to each other, it’s going to spread a lot faster.”

Mr. Wolfe lived with several families during his time in Nepal and says he’s been “checking up on them” through facebook. “All people that I have the ability to communicate with are fine. Most people that lived in the village wouldn’t have access to electronic means of communicating, so from what I’ve heard through them and their contacts is that they all appear to be fine.” He is worried for other survivors, though, due to their inability to get quick support.

“Here,” he says, “We have the ability to get heavy support, withdraw savings quickly or find a place to stay if we lost our homes. They don’t have the means to help themselves; they don’t have a lot of savings and most are living day to day for ends meet.”

The ground also trembled with care here for Chattahoochee students, with many deciding to take action and support the thousands of displaced, broken and distressed citizens of Nepal. In response to the disaster, Chattahoochee’s Indian Cultural Exchange Club (ICE) and Green School are teaming up to raise money to send to Nepal. To help out, there is a booth set up across from the school store in the cafeteria where you can donate. The ICE club is accepting donations in the cafeteria until Wednesday the 13th, and any amount is welcomed. Sophomore Aditi Choudhury has been helping the ICE club in their efforts out of concern for her family living near the India/Nepal border. “My family was affected by the earthquake, so by helping ICE collect money I’m helping my family as well as countless others who need the support.” Her main goal is to be able to donate to the Nepali people “because they need it and don’t have the means to deal with earthquakes like these. They don’t have medical supplies or other basic needs so by collecting money we can help them recover more quickly.” The struggle Nepal is facing in light of this disaster is unimaginable but any support is better than none.

More than two weeks after the earthquake, headlines on the topic have slowly began to disappear from the national media. Yet, the concern for the people of Nepal is likely to linger in the Hooch community for as long as there is a somebody who is in need of help.

College students’ favorite meal not as safe as it seems

SamBerman

In several recent studies, ramen noodles have been linked to cardiometabollic syndrome, a major risk factor for serious cardiovascular disease and stroke. This phenomenon occurs mostly in women, and is more frequent for people who consume instant ramen noodles more than twice a week.

Will this mean that people need to stop eating ramen all together? It seems as though this complication can be easily avoided. Most researchers believe that the cause of these problems comes from the packaging of the noodles. A common packaging method for ramen is Styrofoam cups, which are known to hold a hormone disrupter called bisphenol A. Researchers say that buying ramen that comes in plastic wrappings is safer. However, Styrofoam packaging may not be the only cause of the heart diseases associated with ramen noodles. Ramen contains high concentrations of saturated fat and also has monosodium glutamate, which is known to cause heart disease. Ramen also contains the chemical preservative and petroleum byproduct called tert-Butylhydroquinone.

Although there are health concerns associated with ramen, the general public should not be overly concerned with the effects of consuming ramen noodles. Researchers believe that if people account for moderation when eating ramen, they should be safe. Further, people should try their best to stay away from the Styrofoam cups and just use a normal bowl.

 

(Cover photo courtesy Rameniac.com)

Typhoon Haiyan: What one Chattahoochee student is doing to help

ListyaMunthe

On Nov. 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan landed in the Philippines, claiming the lives of over 4,000 people. It is said to be the most power tropical cyclone to ever make landfall. With wind speed as high as 195 miles per hour, everything in the typhoon’s path was destroyed. As aid arrives, the world is getting more glimpses of the horrors and destruction Typhoon Haiyan created, and it is predicted that the body count will soon rise as helpers discover more bodies among the debris.

The Philippines is receiving aid from all over the world, whether it is in the form of money, personnel or resources. Unfortunately, rescuers have been having difficulty distributing food, water and medical supplies throughout the Philippines due to the widespread destruction that made roads impassable, cut electricity, left government buildings in shambles and forced 600,000 people to be homeless.

With hospitals in ruins, schools and airports now function as the hospitals. There are very few doctors, nurses and medical kits, but the number of injured people has been skyrocketing. Mothers who were or are about to be in labor risk their child’s life, for the hospital does not have the emergency supplies necessary to deal with the complications of birth. Those who did not die in the storm are suffering from diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid fever and bacterial dysentery because of the collapse in sanitation, lack of fresh water and the inability of the health teams to respond quickly.

Tacloban, the city in the Philippines that is said to have been hit the hardest, is now a wasteland. Currently, President Benigno Aquino III is in Tacloban to ensure that the city’s residents get more aid, an effort he personally made after receiving several complaints that survivors were not getting the proper help.

The Philippines is also running low on fuel, making it difficult for the few remaining trucks to distribute food and water. With resources becoming scarcer, violence has increased throughout the towns that were affected. Rioting, looting and stealing are now common on the streets of the hardest-hit cities, and already eight people have been crushed to death in an attempt to obtain rice from a government warehouse.

The people of the Philippines are waiting for the aid the world has to offer. Luckily, no Chattahoochee students’ family members were lost during this typhoon, but Arielle Perez (SR), a Filipino native from Manila, is organizing a way for Johns Creek to help out the victims of the typhoon. On her own family’s dime, she has ordered 1,000 bracelets to sell to Chattahoochee students. All of the proceeds will go directly to the Atlanta Red Cross Chapter’s rescue and relief efforts of the typhoon victims. When asked about why she started the fundraiser, she responded, “It’s in my nature to always help out those in need, and when I heard about the devastation in the Philippines, I decided to find a way to raise money since I knew I couldn’t physically be there and help out.” Perez plans to begin selling the bracelets the week after Thanksgiving break, so make sure to bring some money to spare for a good cause.

(cover photo courtesy New York Daily News)