The Weekly Grind Oct. 22-29

Drink in the week’s most important stories — all in one place. In the time it takes to drink your first cup of coffee, we’ll help you get caught up.

Lincoln’s Costco is located at at 1620 Pine Lake Road. It opened Saturday. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Costco opening provides Lincoln with another option for bulk goods

Lincolnites will finally be able to shop at Costco without leaving town. Located at 1620 Pine Lake Road, the members-only warehouse sells groceries, electronics and other necessities that customers, similar to what customers can find at a Sam’s Club. Costco’s opened less than five months after construcion on the store began.  Clay Bradshaw, the store’s manager, attributes that to familiar store layout. The Lincoln store hired 200 employees; 150 employees were hired locally. Bradshaw said half of his employees will be working part-time.

Costco’s normal hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. (Lincoln Journal Star)

UNL shutting down almost all blue emergency phones

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced Monday it would remove almost all of its blue emergency phones around campus. Only two phones, one at the Nebraska Union and one at the East Union, will still be working after this week.

“This decision was made primarily because these phones have simply outlived their usefulness now that nearly everyone has access to a cellphone,” University Police Chief Owen Yardley told the Lincoln Journal Star. “They are also expensive to maintain and replace.”

Nebraska Wesleyan is exploring the possibility of getting rid of its phones as well. NWU campus spokesperson Sara Olson told the Journal Star cell phones are the primary reason for removing the old phones.

(Lincoln Journal Star)


Kennedy in his motorcade in Dallas before his assassination. (The Sun)

JFK files released; Trump holding several others under review

The National Archive released around 2,800 records pertaining to the 1963 assassination of former President John F. Kennedy Oct. 26. Several files were marked confidential and brought to light different theories behind the assassination during the initial investigation. President Donald Trump held a select number for a six-month review process, citing potential threats to national security if they were released to the public alongside the rest of the cache. The records will allow historians to get a better sense of the process of the investigation, as well as put to bed many longtime conspiracy theories. It’s estimated that the collection contains over 3,100 records. (The New York Times)

Border-wall prototypes on display fulfilling a campaign pledge

Six border-wall prototypes are currently sitting on the border of Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego. After 30 days of work, six different contractors across the country are displaying their work in hopes of being selected for President Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall. The heights range across the prototypes from 18 feet to 30-feet tall, and all are made of non-concrete materials.

The border wall was one of Trump’s earliest campaign promises, and quickly became a linchpin during the 2016 presidential election season. The prototype project comes as a result of an executive order Trump signed in January, which ordered Customs and Border Protection to begin construction. (The Atlantic)

President Trump declares state of emergency over opioid epidemic

Almost three months after President Trump’s opioid epidemic commission advised him to declare a state of emergency, the president finally declared a public health emergency on Thursday.

“As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

The purpose of the declaration is to speed up the process of getting resources to the opioid epidemic by waiving regulations.  Lainie Rutkow of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told Vox it “could make a difference, or it could at least jump-start things that would then be helpful in the longer term.”

In 2016, over 64,000 people died of drug overdoses involving opioids in the United States. (Vox)

Another groping accusation is leveled against George H.W. Bush

Yesterday, best-selling author Christina Baker Kline became the third woman to come forward and accuse former President George H.W. Bush of groping her. According to Kline, Bush grabbed her rear end during a fundraiser for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 2014. Kline said Bush asked her during a photoshoot if she wanted to know what his favorite book was. When she answered, she said he grabbed her and said “David Cop-a-feel.”

Kline’s story is not unfamiliar, as actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick have also accused Bush of making the “David Cop-a-feel” comment while groping them in similar situations. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said earlier this week the wheelchair-bound former president is frequently at the waist level of women, and routinely tells the same joke while “patting women’s rears.” McGrath said Bush never meant to offend or act inappropriately, and apologized on behalf of him.

Numerous women have come forward this week with sexual harassment allegations against numerous powerful men in America. Most come after The New York Times and The New Yorker published stories earlier this week about sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. (The Washington Post)

Rohingya refugees trying to get aid at the Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh. These crowds can get dangerous; people have been crushed. (CNN)

Thousands of Rohingya refugees flee ethnic cleansing in Myanmar

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, which is a country in southeast Asia of majority Buddhist Burmese. An estimated 40,000 Rohingya are fleeing from violence including sexual abuse, mass killings, beatings and torched houses. The United Nations says these are clear acts of ethnic cleansing. But Myanmar, once known as Burma, refuses to let outside forces in to evaluate the situation, saying the Rohingya are doing these things to themselves. (National Geographic)

Catalonia pushes for independence despite push back from Madrid

A few weeks ago Catalonia, in the northwest region of Spain, held a referendum on whether to secede from Spain. The vote was heavily in favor of secession; of the 43 percent who voted, 90 percent of the voters were in favor despite police brutality against those who tried to vote.

After the voting, Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia, held off on making any rash decisions. He called for the Catalan regional parliament to vote on the final decision, who later decided to secede from Spain.

Meanwhile Spain’s National Court ruled that the vote was unconstitutional. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said if Catalonia doesn’t stop its attempts at independence, he will impose direct rule, which takes all of Catalonia’s political and diplomatic power away. The international community is likely to side with Spain’s national government. (BBC)

Saudi Arabia has big plans to advance its economy beyond oil

Saudi Arabia has been a big producer in the oil industry, but it is now setting its goals higher. The 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans for the country to embrace sustainable energy and to diversify its industries. He plans for the country to build a new city that uses solar energy and is operated by robots by 2030.

This goals announced on Oct. 25 will not be easy. It will require the government giving new industries tax breaks and encouraging these new industries to hire native Saudi Arabians opposed to immigrants who will work for cheap. The prince, however, is excited at the idea of a “moderate Islam,” which will allow the country to keep its faith while also allowing it to compete with the West. (The New York Times)


Free Battle of Troy Reenactment at Selleck Hall Quadrangle on Halloween

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of of Classics and Religious Studies is putting on a reenactment of the battle of Troy at the Selleck Hall Quadrangle on Oct. 31. The battle will start at 7:30 p.m. The event is free. For more information, contact Dr. Mike Lippman by email.  (Classics Events)

Relax & Re-Energize set for Nov. 2 in the Union

Campus NightLife is hosting Relax & Re-Energize on Nov. 2. The event will take place at the Nebraska Union in the Centennial Ballroom from 8 to 10 p.m. The event aims to help students take a break and relax during one of the more stressful periods of the semester. Local R&B group Mesonjixx will perform and crafts will be provided. All students need to bring is their N Card. (The Daily Nebraskan)

Halloween is Tuesday and will be celebrated by thousands dressing in costumes, giving out candy or attending parties –  all of which could cost upwards of $150. (The Sun)

Halloween is a costly time of year for many Americans

Halloween can be scary for not just little kids, but also your wallet, new polls find. While college students are likely to spend less, after adding up the cost of costumes, candy and decorations it averages $183. The total amount spend on the holiday is estimated to be $15 billion this year. (Fortune)

Curation by Ellis Clopton, Johnny Keeley and Elissa Kroeger

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