by Rachel Spacek
11 dead after Chilean earthquake
An 8.3-magnitude earthquake that shook Chile’s coast killed 11 and destroyed over 170 homes Wednesday night. The quake triggered a 16-foot tsunami that left severe damage in coastal cities such as Coquimbo, La Serena and Illapel, though officials say the destruction could have been far worse.
Chile has a long history of being hit by large earthquakes, Randy Baldwin, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist told CNN. This long history caused country officials to increase efforts to closely watch earthquake activity and to rebuild structures to better withstand severe shakes, said Baldwin.
Tsunami warnings were issued thousands of miles away from the epicenter in Hawaii and California. By Thursday the warnings in cities in the U.S. were canceled, but warnings elsewhere continued.
Texas teen arrested over homemade clock
On Monday, Sept. 14, Ahmed Mohamed, an Irving Texas High School freshman, was arrested after a teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb.
One of Mohamed’s teachers was concerned after seeing the clock and reported him to the school principal. The police were called shortly after and detained Mohamed until they were able to confirm the homemade device was not a bomb. However, even after they confirmed the device was only a clock, the police investigated the situation further to determine if Mohamed brought the device to school to create alarm.
It was eventually confirmed that he did not intend to cause alarm, but rather brought it to impress his teachers. Even so, Mohamed was suspended from school for three days.
In the wake of the incident, Mohamed has received an overwhelming amount of support. President Obama even invited the young engineer to visit the White House, and praised his love and excitement for science.
Uber starts long-awaited operations in Nevada
On Sept. 15, the ride-sharing company Uber announced its launch of service in Nevada. The Nevada Transportation Authority approved the application during a hearing in Las Vegas last Monday. After requesting that Uber make some changes including the language in their insurance policy and clearer ride rates, it finally succeeded.
Last October, Uber began offering services in Nevada without state approval. This led to a long legal battle which led to Uber being kicked out of the state. The approval of the company this time around put an end to the state’s legal battles with the ride-sharing company.
The taxi industry has continued to voice concerns over the new approval. Representatives have brought up issues with the company’s insurance verification, driver background checks and passenger safety.
Uber has responded to concerns from the public with a “zero-tolerance” drug and alcohol policy that states if a passenger reports their driver is under the influence, that driver is immediately suspended. The policy was created partly in response to worries over the lack of background checks given to Uber drivers.
Sen. James Settelmeyer of Minden was the first Uber rider in Nevada and said in a statement that he is thrilled about the launch and relieved that Nevada riders now have a reliable source of transportation besides the traditional taxi.
Rachel Spacek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @RachelSpacek.