News On The Go: January 24, 2013

Maura Zurick

1. Scientists are resuming research on a deadly bird flu after a year-long pause. The team is comprised of Dutch and American scientists, and together they are studying a strand of the bird flu that spreads rapidly. The team said they created this strand in order to find out ways to stop it, but public outcry put the research on hold. Those in opposition fear the virus could be used as a terrorist weapon. The team, plus three dozen more scientists and flu experts, restarted their research Wednesday under new safety guidelines. The scientists hope to find better prevention methods for all forms of the flu virus.

2. Turkey’s foreign minister claims that Syria’s mass killing of its citizens should be considered a war crime. According to the United Nations, more than 60,000 civilians have been killed in the two-year conflict. Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, said the bloodshed needs to be stopped and urged the Security Council to step in. read the full story

3. The House passed a bill Wednesday that will allow the government to borrow money for the first time in four months. The money borrowed will be used to avoid a default. The passing of this bill will lead to debates this spring over taxes and spending the deficit. The measure passed in a 285-144 vote. Republicans backed away from previous demands that the government borrowing cap has to be paired with spending cuts. This bill suspends the $16.4 trillion cap on federal borrowing and will reset in May.

4. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, attributed the passing of strict gun laws to NYC’s historically high crime rates. Bloomberg has faced opposition from anti-gun control advocates such as the NRA, but he is also backed by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The coalition is made up of more than 800 mayors across the country. Bloomberg said policing the gun laws in New York is difficult, but if it helps decrease gun violence at all, then it is worth it. a href=”” target=”_blank”>read the full story

5. DreamWorks Studios says filming has begun on a movie about WikiLeaks. The film will star Benedict Cumberbatch of TV’s “Sherlock” as the website’s founder, Julian Assange. The movie will be titled “The Fifth Estate.” So far, filming has taken place in Iceland, and it is due for release in November. Assange is currently living in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces several misconduct allegations.

Contact Maura Zurick at [email protected].