Keeping it brief: five things to know for the week of Dec. 5-11


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Members of the Oakland community grieve at a memorial site after the names of seven of the eight victims were released.

By Zoe Graves, Intern

  1. 30 people confirmed dead after Oakland warehouse fire

Thirty bodies have been found so far after a massive fire destroyed a warehouse over the weekend in Oakland, California. The fire started during an electronic dance party that took place in the warehouse Friday night, and was put out by firefighters early Saturday morning. Officials expect the number of deaths to rise as they search the remaining 80 percent of the building. To learn more about the fire, click here.

     2.  Decision pending after Michigan vote recount hearing ends

After successfully initiating a recount in the state of Wisconsin, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has moved on to Michigan. Stein’s lawyer has challenged the two-business-day waiting period that is required under state law and instead wants to initiate an immediate recount. A staff member of U.S District Judge Mark Goldsmith said that the judge would be issuing a written decision on the date of the recount, but did not give a timetable on when the decision would be made. To read more about the recount, click here.

     3.  Alternate routes being explored for Dakota Access Pipeline

 Federal officials announced that they would not approve permits for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sunday. The pipeline runs beneath a section of the Missouri River that native tribes say lays near sacred burial sites. The announcement was a victory for thousands of protesters who have been camping by the site. For more information on the announcement and the Dakota Access Pipeline, click here.

     4.  Michigan and Ohio representatives want Lake Erie to be designated an impaired waterway

Congresswomen from Michigan and Ohio are asking the United States Environmental Protection Agency to designate Lake Erie as an impaired waterway due to its large outbreaks of harmful algae. The state of Michigan declared its portion of the lake impaired in November because it failed to meet Michigan water quality standards, and caused harm to fish and other wildlife. Despite the fact that 400,000 people were unable to drink tap water for two days because of the contaminated water in 2014, state officials in Ohio have said that they do not need to take the same steps as Michigan because they have already made changes to cut down pollutants that promote algae growth. To read more, click here.

     5.  Trump administration downplays phone call with Taiwan President

Aids of President-elect Donald Trump are playing down his phone call with the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. Many people are concerned that the conversation will cause a strain on the United States’ relationship with China, due to our one-China policy. Vice President-elect Mike Pence said the phone call was “nothing more than a courtesy call of congratulations from the democratically elected leader of Taiwan.” To read more, click here.