By: Staff Writers Carolyn Ge and Victor Zhou
Local: San Jose declares emergency housing crisis
The San Jose City Council declared an emergency housing crisis in a unanimous vote on December 8 to prepare for the impending El Niño storms. The city will provide for four temporary homeless shelters when overnight lows are at 38 degrees or below with a less than 50 percent chance of rain or 42 degrees with a 50 percent or more chance of rain, based on National Weather Service forecasts. The council has set aside $430,000 to house a maximum of 100 people a night for 30 nights between Dec. 15, 2015 and March 31, 2016. They will work in collaboration with HomeFirst Services, a Milpitas-based nonprofit organization, to house and provide services for the homeless.
National: Shooting in San Bernardino kills 14
Two shooters, a married couple, killed 14 workers and wounded another 21 in a planned attack in San Bernardino on December 2. A makeshift pipe bomb was also found at the site, but it was successfully defused before it could further injure anyone. A search of their home found a stockpile of ammunition and bombs, and the FBI have deemed the attack as an act of terrorism. Law enforcement officials say that the attack was an example of self-radicalization and that major terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, were not behind it.
International: China pledges $60 billion in African funding
During a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 5, President of China Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion worth of funding to further African economic development as China moves away from raw imports. The money will be spent on 10 projects over three years, though it is not confirmed where in Africa these projects will be located. China, who has been Africa’s primary trade partner for the past six years, looks to improve infrastructure, worker training, and existing technology. This amount is significantly greater than the $30 million of aid given by China at the last summit in 2012.
Quirky: Chinese artist makes brick out of Beijing smog
Chinese artist Wang Renzheng, known as “Nut Brother,” created a brick out of smog particles from Beijing’s air to raise awareness about air pollution in the city. From July 24 to November 29, he spent four hours each day sucking up the air pollutants with an industrial vacuum. On November 30, he mixed the 100 grams of smog he collected with clay and baked a brick. The air pollution in Beijing reached a toxic enough level on December 7 to require a red alert, the highest possible level alarm.