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News Brief: August 28-September 1


The State Department is urging all U.S. citizens to leave Haiti immediately due to a spike in gang violence and kidnappings. 

Security risks for Haiti have been on the rise all summer. The country has been raised to “level four” on the department’s website with a red label warning “do not travel.” 

“Given the current security situation and infrastructure challenges, U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible via commercial or private transport,” the department said in a July warning.

Gang violence has seen a 28% increase in the first quarter of 2023. In July, an American mother and daughter were kidnapped and held for two weeks. All non-emergency embassy personnel have been removed from the country. 

The increase in gang violence began with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 and has been rapidly rising since. Over 100 thousand Hatitians have been forced to flee their homes and reside in temporary shelters. 

The U.S. is working with the United Nations to create a multi-national police force, led by Kenya, to combat the unprecedented quantities of gang-related crime. The police force will focus most of its efforts in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.


Stanford Medicine is leading a study in which people with paralysis and speech impairments find their voices again through the use of AI technology. 

“Brain implants, described as neuroprostheses, can record a person’s neural activity when they attempt to speak naturally, and that brain activity can then be decoded into words on a computer screen, through audio speech or even communicated using an animated avatar,” CNN reported

The team is led by Dr. Jaimie Henderson, one of Stanford Medicine’s neurosurgeons. Henderson has personal experience with the pain inflicted by speech impairments. 

“When I was 5 years old, my dad was involved in a devastating car accident that left him barely able to move or speak,” Henderson said. “I grew up wishing that I could know him and communicate with him. The early experience sparked my personal interest in understanding how the brain produces movement and speech.”

A video released by the Associated Press shows one of the study participants, Ann, who had been unable to speak for 17 years. Through the use of Stanford’s neuroprostheses, she began to communicate. 

As the technology advances, researchers are seeking to implement these communicative devices into patients’ everyday lives and fully restore their ability to share thoughts, ideas and feelings with the noisy world surrounding them. 


The Oklahoma County Jail is looking for new real estate, which is causing concern among citizens due to the proposed locations. The Citizens Bond Oversight Advisory Board narrowed down their options after a hearing on Wednesday night.

Citizens voiced their views for an hour, with many concerned why locations on the list were near schools. Several other options are near the airport, which were protested by local attorneys who emphasized keeping the location close to the courthouse. 

Inmates would not be released while students are present at the school, which opens those locations as potential places. 

However, Steven Stefanick, the Harding charter preparatory high school superintendent, argued the presence of a jail beside his school would have a negative impact on students, thus eliminating the location on Kelly Avenue and Britton.

Over the next 90 days, architects will continue evaluating potential build sites and making plans for a new behavioral health center. Only five options remain on the list and the board plans to choose one at their next meeting.

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