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News Brief: Week of Nov. 4-10


California wildfires

The most destructive wildfires in California history began Thursday and burned through the weekend, killing at least 23 and consuming thousands of homes, businesses and cars.

More than 27,000 residents of Paradise, CA were forced to evacuate suddenly on Thursday morning as the Camp Fire intensified rapidly and veered toward the city. Videos posted to social media showed evacuees surrounded by flames on both sides of the road as they attempted to flee. With the fire closing in and evacuation traffic in a gridlock, some were forced to abandon their vehicles and escape on foot.

Approximately 6,700 structures in Paradise, including homes, retail stores and restaurants, burned completely as the fire moved through, according to local authorities. Dozens of residents remain unaccounted for.

Further south, near Los Angeles, wildfires raged in the Santa Monica mountains, forcing mandatory evacuations and burning homes in Malibu and Thousand Oaks. The fires formed less than 24 hours after a mass shooter killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks.

Approximately 200,000 people across California have been forced to evacuate due to the wildfires.

Thousand Oaks shooting

A 28-year-old ex-marine opened fire at a bar in Thousand Oaks, CA late Wednesday night, killing 12 victims and himself.  

After shooting a bouncer and forcing his way inside the Borderline Bar and Grill, the shooter threw a smoke grenade and began firing. The .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun used to carry out the attack was purchased legally, according to authorities.

While normally open only to patrons over 21, Borderline was hosting its weekly “College Country Night,” open to anyone over the age of 18.

The victims included 54-year-old police officer Ron Helus, 23-year-old recent college graduate Justin Meek and 18-year-old Pepperdine University freshman Alaina Housley.

This shooting marked the 307th mass shooting in the U.S. this year.

For more Talon coverage of the Borderline shooting, click here.

Trump and Acosta

President Donald Trump and CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta exchanged words during a verbal altercation at a press conference Wednesday.

The incident began when Acosta challenged Trump on a statement he made calling the Central American migrant caravan “an invasion” while campaigning for the Republican party prior to the midterm elections.

When Trump reiterated his belief that the migrant caravan is an invasion, Acosta responded with several follow-up questions asking Trump about his beliefs on the caravan and immigrants.

When Acosta stated the migrant caravan is “not an invasion,” tensions escalated.

“I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN,” Trump told Acosta. “And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.”

Following this exchange, Trump declined to answer further questions from Acosta. When a White House intern attempted to grab the microphone from Acosta’s hands, he refused to give it up and appeared to place his left hand on the intern.

With the microphone still in his hands, Acosta posed a question to Trump regarding the ongoing Russia investigation. Trump responded by saying he is not concerned about the investigation because it is a hoax and commanded Acosta to put the microphone down. After posing a follow-up question about the investigation, Trump went on to call Acosta a “rude, terrible person.”

“I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” Trump said. “You shouldn’t be working for CNN. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”

Following the incident, the White House announced they would revoke Acosta’s White House press credentials.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet on Wednesday. “We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”

According to videography experts, the video tweeted by the White House was doctored to show Acosta touching the White House intern more aggressively than he really did.

Several journalistic organizations, including the America Society of Editors and Associated Press Media Editors, have demanded Acosta’s press pass be reinstated.

For more Talon coverage of President Trump and the press, click here.

Attorney General Sessions resigns

At the request of Trump, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from his position on Wednesday.

Sessions first came under attack by Trump in May 2017, when he recused himself of involvement in the Russia investigation against the president. According to a senior White House official speaking to CBS News, Trump wanted to fire Sessions before the midterm elections, but held off at the request of senior Republican leadership.

Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ former chief of staff, will replace him as acting attorney general.

National midterm election results

Tuesday’s midterm elections resulted in Democrats securing a majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans retaining control of the Senate.

Tight gubernatorial and senate races in Florida, Arizona and Georgia forced recounts, which are ongoing.

Click here for the Talon’s full coverage from election night.


State midterm results

Oklahoma Republicans secured victories in every statewide office but were dealt an unexpected blow when Democrat Kendra Horn flipped the traditionally Republican 5th congressional district.

Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt (R) defeated former Attorney General Drew Edmondson to become the next governor of Oklahoma.

Horn (D) defeated Republican incumbent Steve Russell (R) by a margin of less than 1 percent to win the 5th congressional district seat.

Click here for the Talon’s full coverage from election night.

Oklahoman added to most wanted list

A man accused of brutally murdering his ex-wife five years ago in Blackwell, OK has been added to the U.S. Marshals Service’s Top 15 Most Wanted fugitive list.

According to the Blackwell Police Department, 34-year-old Luis Octavio Frias waited for ex-wife, Jannett Reyna, to arrive at her mother’s house Aug. 8, 2013. When she entered the home, Frias stabbed her 41 times in front of her children.

Authorities believe Frias may have fled to Mexico. Those who encounter him should contact law enforcement immediately.


Ethics Bowl

The Oklahoma Christian Ethics Team took home first place at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl this weekend.

Eagles in Paradise

Oklahoma Christian University’s Student Government Association is holding its annual date week for students, starting tomorrow and running through Friday. Based off the TV show, “The Bachelor,” Oklahoma Christian students can attend a variety of events taking place during “Eagles in Paradise” week.

Whether in a relationship, looking for love or just hanging out with friends, students are encouraged to take advantage of the free opportunities provided to them this week. Below is the schedule of events for Eagles in Paradise:

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 9-11 p.m.

Ice Skating Arctic Edge

Wednesday, Nov. 14: 7-10 p.m.

Free Chick-Fil-A Milkshakes from the Oklahoma Christian location

*one per student with ID*

Thursday, Nov. 15: 7 p.m.

Performance of “Master Cat” in Judd Theatre

Dessert will be provided after with a student ID

Friday, Nov. 16: 8-10 p.m.

Open Jump at the Elevation Trampoline Park

*email with waiver required from the SGA

Saturday, Nov. 17: 5:30-7 p.m.

Extreme Animals: The SGA is bringing the zoo to campus. Check out Extreme Animals’ website to see some of the creatures coming to Oklahoma Christian.

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