By Maddison Cervantes


Every year approximately 40,000 girls and young women journey to King Mswati’s residence in Swaziland, Africa, to take part in a traditional festival famously known as Umhlanga, the country’s annual reed dance.

The eight-day-long event has been protested by human rights groups and has been called “outdated and sexist,” according to a BBC article. The young women are to parade in minimal clothing in front of Mswati’s home for a ceremony in which he will select a new wife. A majority of the girls travel from different areas of the country in trucks.

On Friday, Aug. 28, BBC News reported that one of the trucks full of girls crashed, leaving 38 dead and at least 20 severely injured.

One of the trucks transporting the girls collided with another vehicle on the highway and flung several of the passengers out of the truck.


On Wednesday, Aug. 26, in Moneta, Virginia, two journalists by the names of Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed by a gunman during a broadcast interview.

While both victims suffered gunshots to the head, Parker received shots to the chest and Ward to the torso, according to BBC News.

Both journalists worked for the local CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, and were interviewing Vicki Gardner, chamber of commerce executive, during the time of the attack. The gunman missed Gardner twice, but she then took a shot to the back. Gardner survived the initial attack and later made it to an ambulance.

NBC News stated that the gunman and former WDBJ employee Vester Flanagan fired on the victims 17 times and later died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He claimed that he had been mistreated during his employment and filed an EEOC complaint against Parker, though that complaint was eventually dismissed.

Gardner’s husband, Tim, claims that his wife is in “good condition” at a hospital. However, a surgeon informed him that Gardner’s wounds were centimeters away from being fatal.


The western United States continues to stand on edge as record numbers of wildfires persist across the region.

Thus far, the persistent Gasquet Complex Bear Fire in Klamath National Forest, along the California-Oregon border, has required $86 million worth of control from the Central Coast Incident Management Team.

While California and Washington have taken the brunt of the blazes, Nevada has found itself smothered by the resulting smoke. The smoke has proven especially dangerous for the elderly, small children and those with respiratory illnesses.

Alongside the string of fires in the north, Central California was struck by another set of flames on Friday, Aug. 14. KOLO News reported that as of Monday, Aug. 24, the Walker Fire, southwest of Lee Vining, has burned 3,676 acres. However, the fire is 98 percent contained.

As for the surrounding area, several local roads have been closed for fire operations and public safety, according to InciWeb, the Incident Information System. Along with those restrictions, the Walker Lake Fishing Camp has been evacuated and closed as well as the trail to Mono Pass and Aspen Grove Campground.

Maddison Cervantes can be reached at and on Twitter @madcervantes.