Former President Barred From Conducting Business in NY
Image c/o Maansi Srivastava/Pool, Reuters
By Edith Cuevas
A New York judge found former President Trump liable for inflating his net worth to secure better insurance and tax rates, according to the Washington Post. Trump has been ordered to pay a penalty of $355 million plus interest, pushing the total penalty to $450 million, according to the New York Times. This decision by Justice Arthur F. Engoron comes after a yearlong battlewhich was put forth by New York’s attorney general. Along with the fine, Trump has also been barred from conducting any business in the state for the next three years. While he remains the owner of his businesses, he no longer controls the business decisions.
His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, have also been barred from conducting business in New York, and they have both been ordered to pay $4 million in fines for falsifying business records. These penalties will undoubtedly cause serious strain to the Trump Organization, and to Trump himself. The former president has 30 days to pay the penalty or secure a bond. Trump must post a bond that covers the full amount in penalties and interest before he is able to appeal this decision by Judge Engoron, according to the Washington Post.
As severe as this penalty was, it was the precursor to the criminal trial that is set to begin March 25th. If Trump is convicted, he may be sentenced to up to four years in prison. It is important to note that the presidential candidate would not be able to pardon himself if he were re-elected.
Image c/o City of Walnut Creek
By Edith Cuevas
A Walnut Creek City council meeting was hijacked on Tuesday by a white supremacist wearing a “white power” t-shirt. His man identified himself as “Scottie” and delivered a two-minute speech full of hateful and antisemitic rhetoric, going as far as ending his speech with a Nazi salute.
The man expressed that his speech was necessary to speak up about the new restrictions on public comments during zoom meetings of the city council. Scotty expressed that his “first amendment right was being restricted by Jews” directly referring to the only Jewish member of the city council, Kevin Wilk. Directly pointing at Councilmember Wilk, Scotty said “I’m here today because of people like you think we’re scared to show up and show our face and call you out in person, and I dare you to shut me down.”
The man immediately left the room after his speech, leaving the Council and attendees shocked in silence. Councilmember Wilk was the first to break the silence, “Mayor [Loella Haskew], I would just like to say something now that public comment has ended, that we live in a free country and there is free speech, and that means that we have to listen to awful and heinous comments like we just listened to,” said Wilk. “And I would like to apologize on behalf of the City Council and anybody that had to hear that horrible, horrible speech.”
Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Darling stepped in and added “And we want to apologize to you, Kevin, because we know this is clearly so directed at you and so vile and not who we are as a city.”
Councilmember Wilk also expressed, “I’m not going to cower from this. I’m going to stand up for people in the community. For every one of my voice, there’s a thousand people out there that wish… that are feeling that they don’t have a voice.”
Walnut Creek police have informed the public that the FBI is aware of this individual and will coordinate with the council to keep all future meetings safe.
Delving into the Russian opposition leader’s death and aftermath.
Image c/o Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters
By Anthony Romero
Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was announced dead on February 16th by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service and was confirmed by Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh. Having spent more than a decade in prison, Navalny was being held at an IK-3 penal colony in the arctic town of Kharp, 2,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, while serving a 19-year jail sentence on charges of political extremism. According to reports from penitentiary staff, Navalny had gone on a walk before suddenly falling ill and losing consciousness shortly after. Despite efforts from medical services, Navalny did not survive the ordeal and his body has only just now been returned to his family on February 24th. The international community has heavily scrutinized the circumstances surrounding Navalny’s sudden death, as questions have been raised about the extent of President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the elimination of his political enemy.
Navalny has been no stranger to run-ins with the Russian government. A former real estate lawyer, Navalny first delved into politics in 2008 as an anti-corruption activist working on a blog exposing allegations of malpractice and abuse from major corporations run by the Russian state. Navalny’s efforts against Putin’s regime soon gained traction on social media sites like Twitter (now known as X) and Russia’s Facebook equivalent, Vkontakte. He first gained prominence by outright claiming that Putin and his allies were a group of “crooks and thieves,” running a patron system that stole from the nation and its people while enriching themselves. Navalny used his newfound popularity among the Russian middle class to establish the RosPil lawyer group and the Foundation for Fighting Corruption to continue putting pressure on the political elite. In 2011, Navalny led a series of street demonstrations against Putin’s third presidential term, cementing himself as the voice of a modern movement. This outspoken position, while bringing new life to the Russian opposition, would also bring Navalny a lot of strife.
The first inklings of political retaliation came in July 2013 when the Russian government sentenced Navalny to a 5-year suspended term related to charges of embezzlement during his early days as an advisor to the local governor of the Kirov region. This was followed by the Yves Rocher case in 2014, in which Navalny and his brother were found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 3 and a half years. The most infamous attempt on Navalny’s life occurred on August 20th, 2020 during a flight from Siberia, when Navalny fell violently ill before going into a coma. After an emergency transfer from Russia to Berlin, German doctors identified traces of the Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok in his body. The poison was planted in Navalny’s underwear with medical staff stated if it were not for the plane’s emergency landing, he most likely would not have survived. It was this and other attempts to kill or poison Navalny, as well as Russia’s sordid history of eliminating political opponents, that drew suspicion upon Navalny’s actual death.
Navalny’s death has left the Russian opposition movement without its most visible leader, casting a shadow on any hope for pushing back against President Putin’s rule. On February 23rd, U.S. President Joe Biden mobilized over 500 sanctions targeting Russian entities, the military-industrial network, and various financial institutions, including 3 officials directly involved with Navalny’s imprisonment. These mark the most extensive package of sanctions since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in 2022. “If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he [Putin] will keep going. And the costs to the United States − along with our NATO Allies and partners in Europe and worldwide − will rise,” announced President Biden. The POTUS described Navalny as a voice of truth and a powerful force against the corruption of the Russian establishment. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin, during a conference in Munich, also made a statement regarding Navalny’s fate: “His death in a Russian prison and the fixation and fear of one man only underscores the weakness and rot at the heart of the system that Putin has built. Russia is responsible for this.”
As of now, Navalny’s spokeswoman has confirmed that his body has been returned to his mother Lyudmila. Navalny’s mother was reportedly told to agree to a secret burial as criteria for his return, or else he would be buried in the arctic prison grounds where he died. Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya previously accused President Putin of holding her husband’s body “hostage” and maintained that the Russian president had Navalny killed. At the Munich Security Conference, Yulia at first doubted whether Russia was telling the truth about Navalny’s death, but proclaimed, “But if this is true, I want Putin, his entire entourage, Putin’s friends, his government to know that they will bear responsibility for what they did to our country, to my family, to my husband.” Despite international condemnation, the Russian government has continued to deny responsibility and called the international outcry hysterical.
Highlighting California’s race for Senate, local measures on the ballot, and polling data for statewide elections.
Image c/o Getty image
By Jenevieve Monroe
While Saint Mary’s students are cramming to persevere through this wet and dreary February, millions of Californians are preparing their ballots for the upcoming primary election on March 5th. This year’s media headlines have highlighted the race of candidates seeking to succeed late Senator Diane Feinstein. She announced in February 2023, that she would not run for reelection in 2024. Later that September she passed away, leaving behind a legacy as America’s longest serving female Senator. Feinstein’s trailblazing career has inspired citizens across the state to seek out her Senate spot. As of late February, the four remaining frontrunners include:
Adam Schiff (D), Lawyer and former Congressman
Steve Garvey (R), former Dodgers player and businessman
Katie Porter (D), Lawyer and Congresswoman
Barbara Lee (D), Social worker, Congresswoman, and small business owner
These candidates attended their third and final debate on Tuesday evening (February 20th). They discussed issues like “career politicians” abusing DC budgets and raising inflation, the return of earmarked funding, oil inflation and climate policy. There was also a heated round of accusations against certain candidates for accepting corporate money “from Big Pharma, Big Oil, and the Big Bank executives.”
An updated poll released by Emerson College shows Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff to be in the lead with an overall 28% voter approval rate. He is followed by Republican Steve Garvey at 22%, Democratic Rep. Katie Porter with 16%, and Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee at 9%. There is still a notable margin of undecided voters, polling at approximately 17%. With such a large margin of uncertainty, who knows what the upcoming weeks may hold?
The East Bay’s District 12 is also hosting elections for a new representative this year. Expect to see three candidates on the ballot:
Tony Daysog (D), Alameda vice mayor
Lateefah Simon (D), Nonprofit foundation president
Jennifer Tran (D), Professor/Chamber President
If you weren’t already stressed out with decisions, prepare to be. Last, but not least, are some of the presidential candidates! You can find the full list of candidates online at California’s Secretary of State webpage. To keep it simple, expect to see six major names on the ballot [endorsed by SF Chronicle]:
Nicki Haley (R), former UN ambassador
Donald Trump (R), former President
Joe Biden (D), US President
Dean Phillips (D), Member of Congress
Jill Stein, Political activist
Cornel West, Political activist
While politicians fight their way up the approval ratings, California voters are looking to see what topics they ought to expect at the booths. Voters statewide get the opportunity to weigh in on a single prop issue in March, but will have more to choose from by November. Here’s what to expect for the first proposition:
PROP 1, “Mental health care reform including bond measure to fund treatment beds”
“Proposition 1 would shift the way California spends tax revenue from the Mental Health Services Act to cover addiction treatment and housing. It would also authorize $6.38 billion in bond funding to build residential mental health treatment facilities. It’s part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to get people with severe mental illness who are languishing on the streets into housing and treatment.”
Make sure all local property owners check their ballots this year! In Contra Costa County, one of the proposed measures has specifically requested $52 million in bonds for the Moraga School District. These bonds are intended to fund the district’s building and facility infrastructure. If Measure D passes, the district will pay for the bonds “by levying $30 per $100,000 in assessed value on property.” A similar measure will be on the ballot for the Antioch School District as well. With a request worth $195 million, the district intends to pay for the bonds “by levying an additional $48 per $100,000 of assessed value for property.”
There’s a lot going on for Saint Mary’s students in the next few weeks.
Hang in there voters, we’ll get through it.
Why is Meta Being Sued and What Effect Has its Technology Had on Local Students?
By Lucy Bikahi
American Journalism Student
As of October 2023, 40+ states are suing Meta for actively contributing to the youth mental health crisis through the technology offered on their social media apps, specifically Instagram. According to an NPR article, Meta is being accused of knowingly deceiving the public in regard to how safe their technology is and, as stated by the attorneys general, has “exploited and manipulated children.” Growing up on social media undoubtedly has an effect on those using it, regardless of how profound it may be from person to person.
In an exposé published in the Wall Street Journal in September of 2021, the newspaper reported that Facebook, now Meta, had conducted research on how Instagram affected the mental health of teenagers using the app. There were clear statistics featured in the article showing that the mental health of teenagers was being negatively affected. Despite having years worth of research on how their app was negatively affecting teenage users, Meta neglected making any significant changes to improve this issue, instead continuing to preach that it was good that their applications were bringing people together and that any negative impacts their applications were having were “quite small.”
Emma Dunbar, who has been an educator in SFUSD for 15+ years, sat down for an interview to discuss the impact she has seen social media has had on teenagers’ mental health with the rise of social media. When as if Meta’s applications have had an effect on teenage mental health, Ms. Dunbar answers, “Oh for sure. Basically all school discipline is now attached to social media, and there’s a ton more school discipline. So there’s more mental health [issues] in addition to that discipline,” Ms Dunbar says, speaking from experience as a former principal. One example she gives of the way teens are now utilizing Instagram are massive anonymous group chats that essentially function as online burn books. “Instagram won’t take anything down unless there’s a threat to life, so these massive toxic group chats exist and they really can’t be controlled.”
The effects of growing up on social media carry on far past grade school; students who started using social media in middle and high school continue using it through college as it becomes deeply ingrained in users’ lives. “People try to post the best versions of themselves, like a life half of them probably don’t have, and it makes you jealous. It makes you want certain things you think you should have or that you’re not good enough if you don’t have it,” says SMC junior Abigail Burrell, who has been on Instagram since seventh grade. “Seeing what other people post sets these expectations in my mind, it makes me more conscious of what I post,” says SMC junior Jerin Philip, who has been on Instagram since high school. While it’s a more subtle effect than what is being seen in San Francisco’s school district, growing up on Instagram has caused people to obtain a sense of constant comparison as second nature.
Meta was contacted for a comment, with a link to the WSJ article included in this article along with interview questions. A response was never received.
The National Zoo’s pandas have departed for China
Image c/o Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
On Wednesday, November 8, the National Zoo bid farewell to their giant pandas Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and their 3-year-old cub Xiao Qi Ji. As the zoo held a nine-day “panda-palooza” to commemorate its decades-long panda conservation program, hundreds of fans came to say goodbye to Washington, D.C.’s panda family. “It felt amazing,” exclaimed 10-year-old Kelsey Lambert, who traveled from San Antonio with her mother to catch a final glimpse of the bears, “My mom always promised she would take me one day. So we had to do it now that they're going away.” The National Zoo’s pandas are just the latest departures from American zoos, following the Memphis Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s return of their pandas to China in recent years. After the three pandas arrived in Chengdu, only four pandas now remain in the U.S., at the Atlanta Zoo. But why? How come U.S. zoos are suddenly losing their pandas?
The answer lies in the tricky relationship between the United States and China, with rising tensions causing speculation that this gradual pullback of pandas is a sort of diplomatic “deep freeze” from the Chinese government. Dennis Wilder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues, suggests this response is a possible punitive measure for a variety of recent developments, ranging from U.S. sanctions on China’s officials to American restrictions on the import of Chinese semiconductors. In an interview with the Associated Press, Wilder claims that Chinese officials suspect a growing animosity between themselves and NATO-affiliated countries and allies, hence the ongoing rollbacks on panda loan contracts in not only the U.S. but in Scotland and Australia as well. Things came to a head with the death of Le Le, a panda on loan at the Memphis Zoo, at the age of 25. Due to the average panda’s lifespan reaching up to 30 years old in captivity, the unexpected death incited an explosion of allegations on Chinese social media platforms that claimed the Memphis Zoo mistreated Le Le and his female partner Ya Ya. This controversy ensued even after an inspection by a Chinese medical team confirmed Le Le’s natural death due to a heart condition and was only quelled after Ya Ya’s return to China after her loan contract expired in April of this year.
The practice of China loaning giant pandas to the U.S. began in 1972 during President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China. First Lady Patricia Nixon recalled growing quite fond of the bears during a dinner exchange with Chinese Premier Zhou En-lai, who would agree to lend the National Zoo two pandas as a form of goodwill. Two months after the visit, pandas Ling Ling and Hsing-Hsing arrived in Washington, D.C., and the diplomatic tradition has continued ever since. In the meantime, the National Zoo remains hopeful that future pandas will one day return to their care, even sending an application that is currently being reviewed. As for Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Xiao Qi Ji, many view this as inevitable and simply their time to go as the two adult bears reach old age. “They are at the age when they should be in China,” said conservation biologist Melissa Songer, “I don’t want to have a panda pass away outside of China.” While the future of American zoos hosting giant pandas remains unclear, the National Zoo’s panda family has settled into their new home at the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve.
The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/08/us/politics/panda-zoo-china.html
PBS Newshour: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/national-zoos-giant-pandas-to-return-to-china-in-december-leaving-only-a-handful-in-america
Richard Nixon Foundation: https://www.nixonfoundation.org/2011/02/pat-nixon-and-panda-diplomacy/
Will the town of Grandavik be spared from this volcanic activity?
Image c/o NBC News
By Lillian La Salle
As cracks widen into chasms destroying Icelandic infrastructure and sinkholes swallow up property in the small town of Grindavik, some scientists remain hopeful that the community will be spared from the impending volcanic eruption.
Iceland, a country of less than 400,000 people has been at the mercy of volcanic activity for years and even stands between two tectonic plates with a considerable amount of seismic activity. According to the Complete Guide to Iceland, the country has seen an uptick in volcanic activity, with the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupting in 2021 and 2022 after not erupting for 6,000 years. According to The New York Times, the new volcanic activity is 40 miles away from the small town of Grindavik, home to a little over 3,000 Icelandic citizens. PBS said City officials ordered the evacuation of citizens on November 14th and a week later citizens were allowed to return to secure their key possessions. Icelandic resident Ingibjorn Gretarsdottir says in an interview while waiting to reenter the town, “The earth has collapsed about one meter or something, so the lava is under our house. We don't know if we're going to have a home or what.” Meanwhile, other residents are quickly packing as much of their lives into their cars to escape to safety, with some residents packing their business supplies in with their familial belongings to make sure they still have a livelihood.
It is unknown the exact effects the eruption will have on the town of Grindavik, but scientists explain to PBS that the eruption of magma may come from the fissures that have been evolving and expanding in the ground throughout the town, spreading the volcanic effects across a wider range. Already Jon Thor Viglundsson, a spokesman for Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, explained to the New York Times that the sewage systems are under great stress with the magma causing the lines to rupture. Mr. Viglundsson adds that the eruption also poses a large threat to the infrastructure of the town, putting thousands at risk.
On the more hopeful side, The Times and PBS have secured information that the seismic activity causing earthquakes has been steadily declining. The Times includes the previous amount of seismic activity, which reached over 1,000 earthquakes all across the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwestern part of Iceland in only a 24 hour period. Since last month when the earthquakes reached their peak, Iceland has seen over 10,000 earthquakes all across the peninsula. In the past week seismic activity is less frequent and has a lower magnitude than before, giving hope to Iceland that their towns will be safe. Kristin Jonsdottir, head of Iceland's volcanoes department, explained to PBS that, “Every day, what we're seeing is a decline in the rate of earthquakes and also in the rate of energy release from the earthquakes.” However, she explains this decline in seismic activity does not mean that an eruption will not occur.
Iceland Meteorology Officer Benedikt Ofeigsson says that, “If an eruption will occur, it's probably within days, rather than weeks.” Citizens question whether they will be able to return to their homes in Grindavik at all, and Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir is working to ensure housing and salaries for the citizens who are displaced by the danger of eruption. The town is also working tirelessly to protect their powerplant form the scortching magma that could melt it down to nothing. The Times explains this power plant provides energy and hot water for over 30,000 people and was expected to take 30 days to complete. However, a PBS interview with Vidir Reynisson, Director General of Icelandic Civil Defense found that, “We are a little bit ahead of schedule...even if we would have an eruption in the dike at this moment…we would at least to delay the lava flow to the power plant.”
Although the displacement of thousands is causing great distress among Iceland and numerous other countries throughout the world, Forbes explains the global effects of this eruption will not be as widespread as the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 which delayed 100,000 transatlantic flights due to the substantial amount of volcanic ash in air circulation. The impending eruption will have lasting effects on the people Grandavik, and all of Iceland will suffer the impacts of earthquakes that will ensue with this volcanic activity. Thankfully Icelandic Officials are acting quickly and efficiently to protect their citizens and their livelihoods from the volcanic activity that threatens their communities.
Image c/o AboutAmazon.com
By Tucker Long
On September 26, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against online shopping giant Amazon for illegal conduct that allows the website to wield monopoly power. The FTC lodged this complaint along with seventeen state attorney generals, alleging that Amazon unfairly uses its power as a digital marketplace to “inflate prices, degrade quality, and stifle innovation for consumers and businesses.”
Amazon is not being sued for its size or market share, rather the tactics the company uses to push out smaller sellers and promote its own merchandise, degrading the experience for not only the sellers but the customer as well. Amazon not only provides webspace for online retail, but they also sell their own merchandise, in direct competition with third-party sellers. According to a source on NPR, around 60% of products sold on the website come from sellers other than Amazon. Because Amazon is the largest online retailer, its actions can have strong effects throughout different online retail spaces. The FTC is alleging that if a third-party seller’s merchandise is selling at too low of a price point somewhere else on the internet, Amazon can bury that seller’s products on Amazon so far down in the search results that they lose significant traffic and relevancy. Sellers are not able to just up and leave Amazon because it is still the best way to sell products online, and because of this Amazon is keeping prices high across the internet. Furthermore, Amazon is able to add conditions to their “Prime” service for sellers that make it more difficult to sell elsewhere online. Services like Prime and their advertising service are costly and technically optional, though it is said that they are “virtually necessary for sellers to do business.” Because Amazon is so fundamental when it comes to the online retail industry, third-party sellers cannot just pivot and take their business elsewhere, rather it is still more lucrative to play by Amazon’s rules. The company is able to decrease revenue for their own sellers and make it so other online retailers cannot prosper, this is seen by the FTC as abuse of monopoly power.
On top of this, the FTC is claiming that Amazon promotes paid advertisements and Amazon’s own products above more relevant or better-reviewed ones, making the customers’ experience worse. In a report released on November 2, The Washington Post writes that according to newly released details from the lawsuit, Amazon executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, are instructing this kind of behavior. The suit is quoted as saying that “Amazon executives internally acknowledge this creates ‘harm to consumers’ by making it ‘almost impossible for high quality, helpful organic content to win over barely relevant sponsored content.’”
Amazon denies the allegations put forth by the FTC. In a statement put out on their website, the company says that while they “respect the role the FTC has historically played in protecting consumers and promoting competition.” They believe that their current iteration is “misguided”. If successful in their lawsuit, Amazon claims that the FTC will be forcing them “to engage in practices that actually harm consumers and the many businesses that sell in our store—such as having to feature higher prices, offer slower or less reliable Prime shipping, and make Prime more expensive and less convenient.” Amazon aims to bring low prices to customers and to help independent sellers be successful on their website, according to David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel.
Currently, the FTC is trying to prove that Amazon broke the law, and if so, to put a stop to it. The outcome is still far from being determined, with FTC chair Lina Khan saying, “At this stage, the focus is really on liability.”
Image c/o AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File
By Edith Cuevas
Pleasant Hill pilot Joseph Emerson has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder after attempting to shut-off a plane’s engines mid-flight. As an off-duty pilot, Emmerson was able to fly with the pilots in the cockpit jump seat. Takeoff was smooth, according to the New York Times. It was when cruising altitudes were reached that Emmerson began to show signs of agitation.
“I’m not ok,” he told the pilots. This is when Emerson reached over and attempted to pull the fire-suppression handles, which were designed to cut the fuel supply and shut down both engines. “I thought it would stop both engines, the plane would start to head towards a crash, and I would wake up.” Emerson continued to tell the New York Times.
In the weeks leading up to the incident, Emerson had ingested psychedelic mushrooms. According to ABC 7, the ingestion of psychedelics can have a lasting effect on a person but can also trigger an underlying mental health illness.
According to Emerson’s wife, Sarah Stretch, he had become depressed in 2018 following the sudden death of his best man, Scott Pinney. “The loss of Scott was devastating to us, and for Joe especially. I feel like he has never come to terms with his death.” This weekend getaway was meant to commemorate the death of Pinney. This is what plunged him into the hallucinogenic state that Emerson was in such desperation to wake up from.
There are restrictions imposed by the FAA that prevent pilots with depression from flying, and it also prevents the use of prescriptions for any mental health treatment. According to the FAA, this is to prevent any potential issues in the cockpit including mental breakdowns or suicide attempts. Pilots had to undergo routine medical assessments, disclosing various medical diagnoses, such as depression or anxiety, along with details of consultations with health professionals.
Many pilots avoid seeking medical treatment fearing permanent grounding. In a significant shift in 2010, the FAA approved specific antidepressants for pilots dealing with mild or moderate depression. However, the pilots that opted to take the medications were still grounded for a month for a monitoring period. The entire process of gaining approval to resume active flying could extend even longer, with no guarantee of ultimate approval. The potential impact on careers, as noted by aviation doctors, industry lawyers, and pilots, prompted many aviators to either falsify information about their treatment or altogether sidestep seeking help. Instead opting for the risk of a $250,000 fine and five years in prison
Emerson told The New York Times, “I started to have this feeling that this wasn’t real. I thought of a lot of traumatic things that in that time where I was like, ‘Am I dead? Is this hell?’ I am reliving that trauma.”
According to Emerson, he was briefly brought back to reality, he then left the cockpit on his own and immediately asked one of the flight attendants for help. As he walked down the aisle, he looked at the passengers, all seemingly unaware of what had just happened. That is when Emerson began questioning the reality of what was going on. “You need to handcuff me right now, or it’s going to be bad,” is what Emerson told the flight attendant according to the police officer who interviewed the flight crew.
“I am horrified that those actions put myself and others at risk,” Emerson said. “That crew got dealt with a situation there’s no manual, checklist or procedure that’s been written for. And they did an exemplary job keeping me and the rest of the people on that plane safe.”
The FAA announced that they will be creating a committee to provide recommendations on breaking down barriers that prevent pilots from reporting mental health issues. “A mental health diagnosis is not a career ender. We have completed clinical research and amended policy to make it much easier for pilots on a widening number of antidepressants to continue with their careers,” said the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Susan Northrop.
A historic space to honor veterans of past and present.
Image c/o Expedia
By Lillian La Salle
On Veterans Day, the Bay Area’s own Alameda County celebrated its veterans at the USS Hornet Museum, which celebrated its 80th year of being commissioned by the United States Navy as an Essex-class aircraft carrier, as well as its 25th year of being made a museum. The ceremony honored veterans and all those who worked to maintain the Hornet and consisted of a wreath laying, a flyover, and a number of different speakers. An NBC Bay Area news report stated that speakers included East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee as well as Retired Rear Admiral Jonathan Yuen, who spoke about the accomplished veterans and the great milestones the USS Hornet represented for the United States. According to the Air Museum Guide, the USS Hornet (CV-12) has lots of history, including helping with WWII, the moon landing, holding historic aircrafts and helicopters, and honoring the prior USS Hornet (CV-8) which sank during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands in 1942. The rich history of past engineering masterpieces are housed in this massive ship, and the public is strongly encouraged to tour and learn more about the American Navy, and others who worked to maintain the ship. Other exhibits include daily logs and photos of pilots who used to fly from the Hornet during WWII between 1944 to 1945. This ship acts as a time capsule honoring all those who made sacrifices during their service to America. With this upcoming holiday season let us keep these veterans in our thoughts, and if you are in the Bay area be sure to stop by the new Hornet Museum to witness the amazing exhibits it has to offer.
Madison Sciba '24,