1. How a Government Shutdown Would Affect You
There’s a good chance the government is going to shut down tonight at midnight. President Obama and Congress have been trying to work out a budget for the past couple weeks, and the bill the House passed over the weekend doesn’t have a shot in hell of getting signed into law. So if we’re headed for a government shutdown, what does that mean for you? If the shutdown only lasts several days, it wouldn’t be that bad. Over one million government employees would be sent home, most of our national parks would close, and some sectors of the economy would see losses; but things would pick back up again once Capitol Hill worked out a deal to fund the government. However, if the shutdown stretches on for a week or more, it would do major damage to the U.S.’ already weak economy. Keep your fingers crossed our country’s leaders can do a better job negotiating than they have in the past.
• Are Americans scared of a government shutdown? The answer will surprise you (PolicyMic).
2. Terrorists Just Killed More Than 40 College Students in Their Sleep
Africa was rocked by a second terrorist attack in as many weeks when Islamic militants killed between 40 and 50 Nigerian college students in the early hours of Sunday morning. One survivor says the attackers rounded up the students into groups outside before shooting them; they also burned classrooms. Authorities suspect the attackers are members of the Boko Haram militant group that killed 29 students in a similar attack in July. Boko Haram militants have killed 1,700 since 2010 in their quest to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan has called a state of emergency to crack down on the militants, but if this attack is anything to go by, it isn’t working.
• Who are Boko Haram, and what do they want? (PolicyMic)
• Why Boko Haram terrorists bombed churches on Christmas (Pulitzer Center).
3. The Real Reason the Olympics Are Caving to Russia’s Anti-Gay Law
The Olympic torch began its seven-day journey from Greece to Russia on Sunday, but not everyone is looking forward to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee signed off on Sochi’s preparations for the games last week, dashing the hopes of gay rights advocates who hoped Russia would suspend its law banning homosexual “propaganda.” There’s been an uptick in violence against gay Russians since the law passed, and some worry the discrimination could extend to Olympic athletes. Advocates of gay rights have fought back by dumping out Russian vodka and calling for a boycott of the games. Now that they IOC has let them down, they’ll turn to Olympic sponsors for support.
• The real reason the Olympics are caving to Russia’s anti-gay law (PolicyMic).
• ICYMI: Watch this American journalist get kicked off the air when he stands up to Russia’s anti-gay law (YouTube).
4. 19 Of America’s Most Elite Firefighters Are Dead – And Broken Radios Are to Blame
19 members of Arizona’s elite Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting crew died at the end of June because their radios didn’t work, according to an investigation of the Yarnell Hill Fire released over the weekend. The report says the Hotshots lost contact with headquarters just before they died. The heartbreaking thing is, a plane with fire retardant was flying overhead waiting for details on their location. However, the report didn’t assign blame to anyone; the Hotshots followed protocol and received proper training. The bottom line is the highest death toll from a U.S. wildfire in over 20 years was caused by broken equipment.
• Step inside the shoes of America’s most badass firefighters (Outside).
• Prescott, Arizona, is lowballing the families of 19 dead firefighters (PolicyMic).
5. Two Reasons Breaking Bad Fans Won’t Be in the Dumps For Long
The moment TV-lovers have been dreading has finally come: Breaking Bad is over. Everyone’s favorite meth lab drama wrapped up Sunday night, and fans had mixed reactions. Some diehards loved the series finale (including Patton Oswalt and Conan O’Brien), while others thought it was a letdown; some even said the whole show was overrated. Breaking Bad fans won’t be down in the dumps for long; AMC is moving ahead with a spinoff show starring Walt’s sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman, and series creator Vince Gilligan is taking his detective drama Battle Creek to CBS. You’ll be able to get your fix of Vince Gilligan goodness starting next year.
• Say goodbye to Breaking Bad with this tear-jerking behind-the-scenes montage (Slate).
• 4 ways Breaking Bad changed TV forever (PolicyMic).
• The business behind Cinnabon’s over-the-top “almost pornographic” gut bombs (Bloomberg).
• Get an inside look at America’s massive meth industry (PolicyMic)
• How Google is changing the way we use the internet (Wired).
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