Compiled by Holly Henrichsen
Assistant Web Content Manager
At least four people have been killed and 16 people have been injured after a fire erupted early this morning on an oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico. According to USA Today, Pemex, Mexico’s petroleum giant, owns the oil platform and said it was using eight firefighting boats to combat the fire. The company said one of the deceased was a mexican oil services contractor and that 2 of the 16 that were injured are in serious condition. Approximately 300 workers have since been evacuated from the platform. The cause if the fire is still unknown.
Nigeria’s presidential poll winner, Muhammadu Buhari, has claimed his victory. According to BBC News, Buhari beat outgoing President Jonathan by two million votes. Buhari’s win is the first democratic transition of power from a ruling party to the opposition in Nigeria’s history. The 72 year-old winner will be sworn in May 29 and will take on the major issues of economic problems, corruption and the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Early this morning a noose was found hanging from a tree outside Duke University’s student center. Vice President of Student Affairs at Duke University, Larry Moneta, sent a mass email to students describing the act as “hateful and stupid” and said the Duke community would provide students with necessary support to get through this tough time. According to USA Today, the noose has since been taken down but not before many photos were taken and posted to social media. This discovery comes just two weeks after a black female student alleged that a group of white males chanted a racist song at her, which prompted the university’s presidents to send an email to students affirming the university’s commitment to racial equality. An investigation is currently underway for those responsible for the noose and Moneta urges students with information to come forward.
Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, has declared not to sign the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” as it is. According to USA Today, Hutchinson asks that changes be made so that the bill reflects the federal religious act. Large corporations are writing letters and making statements in regards to how the bill will reflect on their company. The Little Rock Chamber of Commerce expressed their objection stating that the bill is just simply “bad for business”.
The ban on hands-on cellphone use while driving took effect early this year on January 1st. The law banned use of any electronic device such as MP3 players and or tablets, cellphones, and navigation systems while operating a motor vehicle. Since Austin’s ban, it is reported that nearly 1,000 citations have been issued. According to the Austin-American Statesman, police issued a total of 554 citations for the month of February. Municipal court records show that from March 1st through Monday, there were a total of 423 citations written making the number of violators jump to nearly 1,000. Some area cities are keeping a close watch on Austin’s new law in hopes of adopting a similar law.
San Marcos is in the final stages of making all of it’s 19 railroad crossings “quiet zones”. This means that railroads operating in the area have agreed not to blare their horns in exchange for enhanced safety measures at crossing, according to KVUE news. All railroad intersections will have one crossing guard on either side of the tracks and a concrete median to stop cars from driving around, meaning that drivers would have to crash through a barrier to cross the tracks rather than driving around the barrier. San Marcos officials say their target date for the quiet zones to take effect is May 21st.