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News Brief: Week of Nov. 25-Dec. 1


George H.W. Bush dies

Former President George H.W. Bush passed away Friday night, according to family members. He was 94 years old.

A World War II veteran, Bush began his career in politics in 1964, when he unsuccessfully ran as a republican in the Texas U.S. Senate Race. He would go on to become a U.S. Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations and Vice President in the Ronald Reagan administration before becoming the 41st President of the United States in 1988. He served one term in office.

In 2000, his son George W. Bush defeated Al Gore to become President. He was re-elected in 2004 and served eight years in office.

An arrival ceremony will be held at the U.S. Capitol today at 4:45 p.m. ET. Bush will lie in the rotunda until Wednesday morning, allowing members of the public to pay their respects.

A second memorial service will be held Thursday morning at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, TX. He will then be buried at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, TX.

Alaska earthquake

A magnitude 7 earthquake shook Anchorage, AK and surrounding areas Friday morning, causing millions in damage but no loss of life.

Videos and photos posted to social media showed grocery store items being knocked off shelves, children taking cover under desks and parts of major roads cracked and collapsed.

Anchorage, the capital and largest city in Alaska, is home to approximately 300,000 residents.  

Gov. Bill Walker issued a state of emergency shortly after the earthquake, saying “there is major infrastructure damage across Anchorage.” (NBC News)

Cohen pleads guilty

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, plead guilty Thursday to lying to members of Congress about a 2016 real estate deal Trump pursued in Moscow, Russia while also running for the presidency.

As part of the plea, Cohen admitted he lied before Congress when he stated the president ended efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in the Russian capital city in January 2016. According to two sources who spoke to CNN, Cohen was under the impression Trump would pardon him for lying.

Cohen’s claims could further implicate Trump, according to USA Today. Special counsel Robert Mueller has investigated claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election since May 2017.

Migrants clash with Border Patrol

Hundreds of migrants stormed the U.S. border Nov. 25, eventually clashing with U.S. Border Patrol officers.

After clearing a fence on the Mexican side of the border, migrants flooded the Tijuana River, an off-limits buffer zone between the two countries. As they approached the border wall on the U.S. side, border patrol officers sprayed tear gas.

The conflict closed the San Ysidro Port of Entryone of the busiest international border crossings in the U.S.—for approximately five hours.

On Monday, Mexico announced nearly 100 migrants who “violently” and “illegally” attempted to cross the border would be deported to their home countries in Central America.

More than 3,000 migrants remain in Tijuana. On Thursday, they were transported to a new shelter after their housing conditions at a former sports complex deteriorated rapidly.

NASA spacecraft lands on Mars

After a seven-month journey from Earth to Mars, NASA’s InSight Lander successfully touched down on the red planet Nov. 26.

The spacecraft will operate for two years, testing for earthquake activity and monitoring Mars’ interior. According to experts, the lander could give insight into how Mars became deserted and desolate.

Due to harsh winds and unpredictable weather, more than half of all unmanned missions to Mars fail, NASA Director Jim Bridenstine told The Washington Post. It takes eight minutes for data to travel from Mars back to Earth, so scientists have little direct control in the landing of the spacecraft.

Insight will begin conducting scientific experiments in two to three months, according to science system engineer Elizabeth Barrett. (Washington Post)


Tornadoes touch down

A late season severe weather outbreak spawned two tornadoes in Eastern Oklahoma Friday night, one of which caused extensive property damage.

A large, wedge-shaped tornado was reported on the ground near Webber Falls, OK at 9:30 p.m. The tornado remained on the ground for approximately 60 miles, eventually tearing a path of destruction through a residential neighborhood near Lake Tenkiller.

After surveying damage Saturday morning, the National Weather Service classified the tornado as an EF-2, with winds of up to 135 mph.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported. (4029 News)

Murderer escapes from county jail

A man serving a life sentence for first-degree murder escaped from the Payne County Jail on Thursday night.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections officials say 34-year-old Patrick M. Walker posed as his cellmate, allowing him to post bond and walk out of the jail free. Officials say Walker, who was staying at the jail because of a court appearance, “closely resembled” the inmate he was posing as.

Described as black, 5 foot 7 and 174 pounds, authorities say Walker may now be using the identity of his cellmate, Charles Pendarvis. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Those with information on Walker’s whereabouts should call 866-363-1119. (NewsOK)

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