500 Words or Less: Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Nobel Prizes, and More

Major events (10/1-10/8):

  1. Vegas massacre
  2. Puerto rico
  3. Nobels
  4. Washington tax plans
  5. Catalonia

Vegas Shooting


Some records were meant to be broken, some are never going to be, but some should never have to be. In the new worst mass shooting of our nation’s history, Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old gunman, fired into a crowd of over 20,000 concert-attendees in Las Vegas from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino 32nd floor. As a result, 59 people died and around 500 others were left injured. Paddock’s motivations are still left unclear, and his unassuming background as a real-estate agent free of legal trouble continues to perplex investigators. Furthermore, authorities revealed that Paddock had obtained his dozens of weapons legally, rejuvenating the debate on gun control.

Puerto Rico in the Aftermath of the Storm

Late September–ongoing

Hurricane Maria left a trail of devastation in its path earlier this summer, heavily affecting Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. Millions were left without drinking water, food, or a means to communicate with loved ones. The situation was exacerbated by what some consider to be a slow federal response, drawing criticism from Puerto Rican officials and mayors.

Nobel Prizes

Early October

Nobel Prizes were announced earlier this week for literature, medicine, chemistry, and
more. Some of the celebrated scientific discoveries included imaging techniques, research on black holes, and developments on the body’s internal “clock.” Most notably, the Nobel Peace Prize was given to anti-nuclear weapons campaigners for spreading awareness and pursuing a treaty regarding nuclear weapons.



Washington Tax Plans


The Trump Administration finally revealed the long-awaited tax proposal, although many details remain unclear.  Taxes for the wealthy are cut significantly (for income and assets), however the cuts for the middle/lower class have yet to be fully detailed. As it appears, the Washington is attempting to lower taxes as a whole.

Catalonia Chaos


On October 8, a massive unity rally broke out in the streets of Barcelona, Spain, lead by anti-separatists demonstrating against the Catalonian referendum that declared Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Catalonia’s desire for independence sparked heavy debate around Spain, and Barcelona has not been the only region to host a rally.

Over the past few days, rallies supporting both sides of the referendum have occurred all over Spain, with this particular rally in Barcelona bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets, including former government minister Josep Borrell, who is against Catalonia’s
separation from Spain. On the day of the vote, Spanish riot police were seen beating people away from the ballots with rubber batons and many ballots were actually seized by the Spanish police. Nearly 900 people, both Catalans and Spaniards, were injured in the chaos.

The ultimate decision as to Catalonia’s independence is expected on Tuesday, when Carles Puigdemont, the leader of Catalonia, will address the regional parliament. Clearly, the country remains deeply divided on the subject of Catalonia’s independence, as it could seriously affect the economic and political balance of the region.