Breaking the Bubble (01/27/2023)


Kyle Putt, Graphics Manager / The Bucknellian

Madison Kurtz, Staff Writer


Seven people were killed in a mass shooting last Monday in Half Moon Bay, Calif. The tragedy took place at a farm where the suspect, 66 year old Chunli Zhao, worked. It is believed that the attack was an instance of workplace violence. Xhao drove to a police station after the fact where he was arrested. Half Moon Bay is the state’s third mass shooting in eight days. 11 other people were killed during Lunar New Year celebrations in Monterey Park on Jan. 21 and six people were killed in Goshen, Calif., on Jan. 16. 


Classified documents were found in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home last Monday, Jan. 23. His attorney, Matt Morgan discovered over a dozen of them in four boxes and alerted the National Archives. The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division have begun reviewing them. Greg Jacob, Pence’s representative wrote to the National Archives that, “Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence. Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”


The Biden administration is being sued by 20 Republican states over the humanitarian parole program on the basis that the program’s recent expansion is unlawful. The program started in October for Venezuelans, allowing a limited number to fly into the country with the prerequisite of having a sponsor. A recent expansion of this program could allow up to 30,000 migrants into the country per month and would include the countries of Haiti, Nicaragua and Cuba. The adjusted program would also allow migrants to receive work permits and a two-year authorization to live in the United States. The states claim that the humanitarian parole program offers “exceptionally limited” parole power to the estimated 360,000 migrants that could enter the United States each year. They argue that the standard for use of parole implemented by Congress, described as on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,” is an unattainable standard given this influx of migrants. They argue that citizens would also face rising costs of social services. The states proceeding with the lawsuit are Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.


The Justice Department filed a lawsuit last Tuesday against Google for abusing its monopoly on website and mobile application ads. Ad-tech tools controlled by Google facilitate most buying and selling of ads that help to fund publishers online, and the company has taken steps to successfully monopolize the industry. The Justice Department claims that the company has hurt the ad-tech industry by forcing web publishers and advertisers that try using competing products to use theirs. The lawsuit specifically calls for the breakup of Google’s business brokering advertising online and the divestiture of Google’s ad exchange. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated at a press conference last week that, “For 15 years Google has pursued a course of anticompetitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics, insulate itself from competition, and forced advertisers and publishers to use its tools. Google has engaged in exclusionary conduct that has severely weakened if not destroyed competition in the ad-tech industry.”


A new system to capture carbon emissions from factories has been developed at Pacific Northwest National Lab, and can perform at the cheapest cost ever reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The technique starts with removing carbon dioxide from the source before it reaches the atmosphere. It then travels to a chamber where it is eventually compressed and transported to be converted to a carbonate and stored underground. The energy needed to follow through with the process comes directly from the factory. To install this system would cost $750 million, so to incentivize factory owners, the lab has also developed a reactor that would pump a small amount of the solvent from the carbon capture system into another reactor that can be used to make products like methanol or methane that companies can sell.

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