Beyond the Hedges
US Government narrowly avoids shut down
The Obama administration and Congress came to a budget agreement on Friday night only an hour before the midnight deadline. A spending bill was passed that includes a nearly $39 billion decrease in estimated discretionary spending, a cut that Obama characterized as the largest annual spending cut in history. Had the government shutdown occured, approximately 800,000 federal workers would have been furloughed, National parks would have closed and all government contractors would not have been paid.
Source: Christian Science Monitor, Pittsburg Tribune
"I just thought it was somewhat embarrassing that they couldn't come to any sort of consensus. Personally, I would rather see Congressmen from both parties be willing to give in when it is necessary, rather than stick to their guns so much just to prove that they have strong opinions. Also, weren't they supposed to pass this budget like 6 months ago?"
— Fran Iyer, McMurtry College sophomore
Violence on Ivory Coast with new President
The very day that Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara started his rule, plundering and gunfire filled the streets of Abidjan, the commercial capitol of the country. Backed by the Republican Forces, Ouattara has deployed soldiers in an effort to restore public order. This chaos follows a civil war that ended with a 10 day battle. Some of the looting has allegedly been carried out by militias and thieves loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo. UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos estimated that the Ivory Coast requires $300 million in emergency aid.
More from The Rice Thresher
Rice Pride ended its partnership with Houston Hillel, a Jewish campus ministry at Rice, on Sept. 18. Pride’s latest statement on the decision says that the organization will no longer “receive funding or co-create spaces with Houston Hillel” and cited concerns by Palestinian and Arab students who did not feel comfortable engaging in Pride due to the partnership.
The Baker Institute will hold its 30th anniversary gala Oct. 26, welcoming three former secretaries of state: Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and James Baker.
Rice announced a plan to establish an Academic Resources Center staffed by trained professionals in an email to academic fellows on Sept. 20. Led by Senior Associate Provost Matt Taylor and Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman, this multi-year plan will begin with the development of a paid peer tutoring and teaching assistant program.