Top 10 Important World News Stories of August 2013

As summer winds down and many of us return to school whether it be as teachers or as students, let us reflect once more on the top ten most important world news stories of the past month.  August was another doozey in terms of events of likely lasting historical significance.  Indeed, some events from our previous month’s lists even had some degree of closure in August.  Some of the news this past month was positive, such as when American Jason Dufner has won the 2013 PGA Championship, his first major title.  Others, not so much, such as when two more women, both veterans, publicly accused San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, 70, of sexual harassment.  In any case, the most important news stories of August include, although are not limited to, the following ten events…

10.  New Species Announced

Our first entry is our shortest entry and probably our must fun entry (why does the news have to be so overwhelmingly depressing?).  The Smithsonian (that place where the exhibits come to life to torment Ben Stiller) announced a new species called olinguito and describe it as a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear.  No, we are not kidding…

9.  Kidnappers Met Justice

More serious than entertainment is the tragedy of kidnapping.  In late July, Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping, in a deal that dropped a possible death penalty in exchange for life in prison plus 1,000 years.  His sentencing hearing was held the first week of August.  Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight told police she was pregnant multiple times while being held captive and that Ariel Castro would starve her, feed her rotten food, punch her and kick her down stairs, which resulted in the termination of her pregnancies, an officer testified at Castro’s sentencing hearing on 1 August 2013.  Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus told police they were tied up with extension cords, duct tape, plastic ties and chains after their abduction, Detective Andrew Harasimchuk testified.  The victims also said they had helmets placed on their heads before being sexually assaulted.  Castro, who confessed to imprisoning and raping the three women in his Cleveland home, attempted to apologize in court and the judge told him he would be able to speak later.  A letter believed to have been written by Ariel Castro that investigators retrieved from his Cleveland home was displayed at his sentencing hearing.  The letter reads, in part, “Bottom line is, I am a sexual predator.”  Images from inside Castro’s home were also shown in court.  One bedroom had stuffed animals, toys, an easel and a bedside toilet.  The windows were boarded up, the door locked from the outside and it had a hole cut in it for ventilation.  Other photos showed the basement and a chain where Castro restrained his victims.  Knight told her captor during his sentencing hearing, “You took 11 years of my life away. … I spent 11 years in hell.  Now, your hell is just beginning.”  Knight, the only one of the three victims to appear at the hearing, said she “will overcome what happened” but Castro “will face hell for eternity.”  She said, “I will live on.  You will die a little every day.”  Describing himself as a “very emotional person,” Castro rather ridiculously suggested during his sentencing hearing that “these people are trying to paint me as a monster and I’m not a monster.  I’m sick.”  Finally, “A person can only die in prison once,” Judge Michael Russo told Castro in handing down a sentence of life in prison plus 1,000 years.  The judge called the sentence “commensurate with the harm you’ve done.”

Later in the month, kidnapping and murder suspect James DiMaggio was sought in a national manhunt.  Authorities searched for DiMaggio, who was suspected of abducting as many as two children after killing their mother in a fire.  A car matching the description of one linked by police to DiMaggio, the man suspected of abducting 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, was found in a remote area of Idaho.  The vehicle was located in the remote River of No Return Wilderness area in Cascade, Idaho, Ada County sheriff’s spokeswoman Andrea Dearden said.  DiMaggio is suspected of killing the teen’s mother, whose body was found in DiMaggio’s burned out San Diego home.  A second body found in the house is likely that of 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, Hannah’s brother.  Travelers on horseback in a wilderness area near Cascade, Idaho, next spotted a man and woman who matched the description of DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson, the San Diego Sheriff said.  The sheriff added that a blue Nissan Versa found covered in brush in that area was confirmed to belong to DiMaggio.  Finally, DiMaggio was shot and killed in the Idaho wilderness, authorities said Saturday, 10 August 2013.  The teenage girl is alive.  Hallelujah!

For more information, please see http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/09/authorities-warn-kidnapping-murder-suspect-may-have-homemade-explosives/

8.  Whitey Bulger Sentenced

As sad as the above two stories are, one man is charged with more murders than both Castro and DiMaggio combined–they don’t seem to have stopped, either!  Prosecutors said a potential witness in Whitey Bulger’s trial died from cyanide poisoning before a federal jury in Boston reached a verdict in the 32-count indictment against reputed mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts.  The charges include allegations that Bulger was involved in nineteen murders.  The jury convicted Bulger on 31 of 32 counts Monday by a federal jury in Boston.  In a conviction on one of the counts — racketeering — the jury found Bulger was involved in several murders.  Bulger, 83, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison plus thirty years when he is scheduled for sentencing on 13 November 2013.   This item further ranks higher as it is a reminder that the “mob” is still around and in fact has continued importance.  This importance goes well beyond America.

7.  Terrorism Indictments and Sentences

Yet, the above described crimes of kidnapping and murder lack the international significance of terrorism that arguably has even more visible consequences than the “mob”.  A number of terrorism suspects received indictments or even sentencing in August.  First, the U.S. Justice Department filed sealed criminal charges against suspects in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the Wall Street Journal reported.  Later, a grand jury indicted two students from Kazakhstan on obstruction of justice charges for helping suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev hide evidence after Boston Marathon bombings.  Moreover, U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Bales, who admitted gunning down 16 civilians in a 2012 rampage in Afghanistan, was sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield with Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  Bales pleaded guilty in June to more than 30 criminal charges, including 16 premeditated murder counts.  Finally, a military court found Maj. Nidal Hasan guilty on all 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the 5 November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas that killed 13 and injured more than 30.  A military jury unanimously recommended the death penalty for Hasan.

For more on this story, go to http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/28/jury-set-to-deliberate-fate-fort-hood-gunman/

6.  Embassy Panic!

While the previous entry concerns actual terrorist acts, this entry concerns an almost unprecedented reaction to fears of an unrealized act of terror.  Al Qaeda was linked to a terror threat that prompted the U.S. State Department to direct its embassies in key Middle East nations, including Egypt and Israel, to close Sunday, 4 August 2013.  “It’s my understanding that it is al Qaeda-linked, all right, and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia,” said Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Earlier, a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly on the matter called the threat “credible and serious.”  It was “directed at American targets overseas” but may not be confined to main diplomatic facilities, the official said.  In addition to Egypt and Israel, the State Department action included diplomatic facilities in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and Kuwait, according to the agency and Twitter postings.  Several U.S. officials also emphasized they have been watching growing threats emerging from Yemen for weeks.  Those threats, combined with the coming end of the month of Ramadan, plus the concern over several major prison breaks in the region, all contributed to the U.S. decision to shut down diplomatic installations.  The State Department extended the closure of several Mideast embassies through Saturday, 10 August 2013 to exercise caution in the wake of prior terror threats.  The department said the closures were not “an indication of a new threat stream.”  The State Department further ordered the U.S. Embassy in Yemen evacuated as a result of the threat by Al Qaeda that has triggered temporary shutdowns of American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.  The State Department also evacuated most of its diplomats from Lahore, Pakistan, in response to a terrorist threat against the U.S. consulate there.  Except for a handful of emergency personnel, the diplomats were moved to Islamabad, the Pakistan capital, officials said.  It was unclear whether the threat to the consulate was related to a current threat against U.S. facilities and personnel that prompted the U.S. to close diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The shuttering of 22 U.S. embassies and consulates for the day amid fears of an al Qaeda attack was an unprecedented move.  The State Department also issued a worldwide travel alert to U.S. citizens over an unspecified Al Qaeda terror threat, following word U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world would be closed over security concerns.  Nevertheless, because no act of terrorism actually happened, this entry does not rank higher.

For more information, see http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/02/us-issues-global-travel-alert-over-al-qaeda-threat-prepares-to-close-embassies/

5.  Massive Mergers

In economic news, two major mergers took place.  First, The Washington Post reported that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will buy the flagship newspaper and other print properties for $250 million.  Yet even bigger news came when The U.S. Justice Department and attorneys general from six states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging a planned $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways.  “The merger, which would result in the creation of the world’s largest airline, would substantially lessen competition for commercial air travel in local markets throughout the United States and result in passengers paying higher airfares and receiving less service,” the Justice Department said in a statement.  These two events have far-reaching consequences.  The first story influences how millions read their news, while the second affects how millions travel.

4.  The Ongoing Sagas of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden

Our buddy from previous month’s lists of news stories, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, continued to grab global headlines when his application for political asylum was approved and he has left a Moscow airport.  Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said, but the attorney would not disclose Snowden’s location, citing security reasons.  “We have won the battle — now the war,” WikiLeaks tweeted after Snowden was granted asylum in Russia.  President Obama subsequently canceled a meeting planned for September with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid tensions over Russia’s decision to give Snowden temporary asylum.  Obama said his decision to not meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow was not solely related to Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He said the United States must “take a pause” in dealing with Russia.  Obama said Snowden can return to the United States and “make his case” in court if he “believes what he did is right.”  Snowden had been holed up in the airport since arriving from Hong Kong on 23 June 2013.

As for WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, this other news-making leaker apparently intends to begin hormone therapy for gender reassignment and live the rest of his life as a “woman”.  Manning wants to be referred to as Chelsea — not Bradley — according to a statement.  His announcement came a day after a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents.  Manning, 25, was convicted in July of stealing 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos and disseminating them to WikiLeaks, the online anti-secrecy group.  The judge also reduced his rank from private first class to private and ordered him to forfeit pay and benefits and be dishonorably discharged.

Oh, and by the way, in other news, The National Security Agency collected thousands of Internet communications from Americans despite no terror connection, according to newly declassified documents…yay?!

For more on this story, go to http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/01/snowden-reportedly-leaves-moscow-airport-enters-russia-on-refugee-status/ and http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/07/obama-cancels-meeting-with-putin-amid-snowden-tensions/

3.  Two Major Developments for LGBT People

Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s lifestyle choices bring us to our third entry, which has more direct ramifications for numerous Americans than whatever becomes of Manning.  First, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill making California the first state to allow transgender students to pick the restrooms they want to use and the sports teams they want to play on based on their gender identity.  Second, the Treasury Department of the United States of America ruled that legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.  The ruling came two months after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

For more information see http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/29/pf/taxes/same-sex-marriage-tax/index.html and http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/12/california-gov-brown-signs-transgender-student-bill/

2.  Middle Eastern Chaos…Again!

Probably the most violent story of the month came once again in the Islamic world where the Arab Spring has plunged the region into many months of revolutionary violence teetering at times on anarchy.  Clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy made Wednesday, 14 August 2013 the country’s bloodiest single day since the 2011 revolution that ousted the previous president, longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak.  At least 149 people were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded, state TV reported.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that events in Egypt “are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy.”  The United States strongly opposes a return to state of emergency law in Egypt and calls on the Egyptian government “to respect basic human rights,” Kerry said.  President Obama said the United States “deplores” the violence against civilians in Egypt’s military crackdown against protests in Cairo.  The cycle of violence and escalation in Egypt needs to stop, Obama said.  He called on Egypt to lift its state of emergency.  The president said the U.S. has canceled its upcoming joint military exercises with Egypt.  The U.S. also temporarily held up military aid to Egypt, a U.S. official said.  Meanwhile, Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak, who had been held in detention since April 2011, was released from jail and taken to a military hospital in Cairo where he was placed under house arrest.

If the situation in Egypt was not unsettling enough, the situation in Syria appeared to begin spiraling out of control near the end of August.  Syria initially agreed to allow weapons inspectors full access to any site of a purported chemical weapons attack.  Nevertheless, on Monday, 26 August 2013, sniper fire hit a vehicle used by a U.N. chemical weapons investigation team in Syria multiple times, according to the United Nations.  The team “returned safely back to the government checkpoint,” a U.N. statement said.  Later that day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria are “inexcusable” and “undeniable,” adding that there was “a clear reason that the world has banned entirely chemical weapons.”  Kerry said that President Barack Obama “will be making an informed decision about how to respond” and “believes there must be accountability.”

On Thursday, 29 August 2013, The British government published its legal reasoning for a possible strike on Syria today, saying that it was justified on humanitarian grounds.  Nevertheless, on that same day, British lawmakers voted against military intervention in Syria in a major defeat for both British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Obama administration.  The vote, 285-to-272, came just minutes after members of Parliament rejected a Labour Party motion calling for additional time for U.N. weapons inspectors to gather evidence over whether President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in suburban Damascus.

On Friday, 30 August 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Syrian officials prepared for chemical weapons use for three days before the 21 August 2013 attack and that they launched rockets from areas controlled by the Syrian regime that landed in areas controlled by the opposition or contested.  Kerry also said the Syrian gas attack killed 1,429, including 426 children.  Later on that fateful Friday, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. military and his security team are looking at a “wide range of options” on how to respond to a chemical weapons attack in Syria.  Any U.S. action would not involve sending troops or waging a long-term campaign, Obama said.

The next day, Obama ultimately decided that the United States “should take military action against Syrian targets”; however, he added that he would seek Congressional approval when Congress returns from recess.  Thus was delayed until at least September 2013 the prospects of what could just be a limited military strike with minimal international consequences or something that could possibly escalate into a major regional war should Syria and its allies Hezbollah and Iran lash out on Israel in retaliation for a U.S.-led cruise missile strike on Syria thereby prompting an Israeli counterattack and who knows from there.  September 2013 could well be a critical month in our history…

Sources on Egypt: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/08/19/mubarak-to-be-released-from-jail-this-week-report-says/

Sources on Syria: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/world/europe/syria-civil-war/index.html and http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/29/syria-strike-push-hits-hurdles/ as well as http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/26/kerry-evidence-chemical-weapons-strike-in-syria-undeniable/ in addition to http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/30/kerry-says-clear-evidence-chemical-weapons-used-in-syria-as-intelligence/

1.  A New Malaria Vaccine?

On a much more positive note and one with much wider significance than even revolutionary violence in one country concerns the development of a vaccine for one of the world’s deadliest diseases.  U.S. researchers said they successfully tested a vaccine for malaria on a small group of volunteers and hope to conduct large-scale tests soon.  The vaccine involves multiple, intravenous injections of a weakened form of the disease, scientists from the National Institutes of Health, the Navy, Army and other organizations reported today.  Although the results were promising, more extensive field testing will be required, the researchers wrote.  The mosquito-borne tropical disease kills about 1 million people a year and sickens more than 200 million.  There is no current vaccine.  As such, the potential long-term significance of alleviating the suffering of hundreds of millions of people yearly is something that unquestionably trumps any shorter-lived sporting or political scandal.

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  • Ty R.

    I believe the Malaria Vaccine is the most important breakthrough. If the vaccine works, then it could really impact the world from a global standpoint. The rising populations in third world nations (that have more malaria cases) could promote things like tourism, spreading of culture, but maybe increase violence as well. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in the future.

  • Lukas J

    I think the most important event during the month of August is the chaos in Syria. Suddenly I feel like USA Army and government has the idea that they need to get involved. I am not saying it is a bad idea, but it is always US army who starts this involvement. And I am asking myself why is it like this?

  • Noelle Chorba

    As a Nursing major, my interests revolve around healthcare. To me, the most important of all of these news items would be the Malaria vaccine. If this vaccine proves to be valid and works, it can save millions of people affected by this fast-spreading disease. The only issue we may come across is making it affordable for those who live in third world countries, where this disease is more prevalent.

  • Breann Gindlesberger

    The malaria vaccine was the most important breakthrough to me. I will always have an interest in healthcare advances which is part of the reason I chose to go into nursing. This disease has caused so many deaths and other problems. I was unaware that they were working on a vaccine for it, so this was breaking news to me. I sure hope this testing works well and the vaccine proves to be effective.

  • Emily Kaiser

    The malaria vaccine is by far the biggest event in August of 2013 purely due to the possibilities that it grants to the world: this vaccine not only brings possible health and well-being, but a tide of hope. A hope for all those infected or in danger of being infected; a hope that missionaries of all sorts feel while helping those in need, renewed by a sense of accomplishment; a hope for all those searching for cures and vaccines for all diseases to continue pushing through because this possible vaccine for malaria proves that it is possible. Although the vaccine itself is groundbreaking, the inspiration that piggybacks with it means more to mankind than the riddance of the disease ever could.

  • Tyler Cates

    The most important event in August 2013 is the malaria vaccine in my opinion. I am an athletic training major, so I feel anyway to help people is great. If this vaccine actually works it could save a great number of lives. This disease causes so many deaths a year and just to be able to cut that number in half would be a great accomplishment.

  • Lia Hart

    The most important event in August 2013 would be without a doubt the malaria vaccine because if this can totally cure it then millions of people would survive and get to live this rest of their lives that God gave them. It will save a lot of tears to the people who get malaria and their families. The idea that millions of people will survive is more important and sentimental.

  • Andrew Conner

    Amazon and The Washington Post did not merge. Bezos bought the post with his own money, not amazons corporate funds.

  • T Goff

    Although I feel a lot of these issues are incredible (like the new species), horrific (such as the idiot Castro), scary (in terms of terrorism and war), questionable (leaks of information) and “about time” (equal opportunities for everyone regardless of ethnicity, religion and sexual preference) I would equally agree with most of the posts so far…that the Malaria vaccine is most important among these. New species only adds to our wonderful world of diversity; idiots like Castro will spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison; terrorism and war has the potential of uniting a nation; equality strengthens the possibilities of everyone pursuing a lifetime of happiness; but a vaccine allows individuals, who once had no choice but to deal with this disease, an opportunity to no longer suffer or watch their loved ones suffer and that is something that should be important to all of us.

  • Alexandra “Ali” Dunn

    Although it was very difficult for me to choose the most important event in August 2013, I would have to say it was when Ariel Castro was imprisoned for raping and murder. One, it is justice that will be served for the three woman and some of their unborn children. Two, in my opinion it opens the worlds eyes and makes them wonder how many more cases are out there? Where there are innocent woman being treated like sex slaves. Even though it was a small case, it is powerful because justie is being served.

  • Jillian Shultz

    The top ten stories in August were all interesting, the story that I felt as most important and interesting for myself was the possible new malaria vaccine. Being a Nursing student I am already interested in learning about the health care system and new findings and advances within science. I think that as our world keeps on advancing more, we will continue to find more medicines to help cure or prevent some of our world’s major diseases.

  • Carie Edwards

    As a daughter of a Vietnam veteran I am concerned with the state our government as gotten into with Syria. President Obama decided that the United States “should take military action against Syrian targets”. This could be a new destination for our troops; many of which are my friends, friends’ husbands and family members. I am curious and worried that the United States is getting over our heads with Syria at this time.

  • Angela Reed

    I think that the Malaria Vaccine is the most important event because if it works, it could change so many peoples lives, and even save some as well. I’m a nursing major, and up until this point I’ve learned more things about the effects of this disease then anything else. So to see that there could be a cure/vaccine for it is extremely important to the medical field, IF it works!

  • Melissa Smith

    Although there were many important events, I feel that the malaria vaccine was the most important event in August 2013. This can potentially save thousands of peoples lives. Since it has such an effect on so many people I feel that this makes it to the top of the list. Also, I feel that many times it is best to focus on the good (such as the cure) rather than focusing on the negative things (such as Ariel Castro).

  • Katie Redmond

    I believe that there are many important advances and news named on this list. From the perspective of a nursing major I find the Malaria vaccine interesting and hope that this gives others hope to eventually find cures/vaccines for other diseases such as HIV or cancer.
    From the perspective of an Ohioan I am pleased with the news that Castro has faced judgement and is getting a sentencing that he deserves. It is terrifying to think that things like this have happened so close to home.
    Also I think for people involved in political sciences they would have a “hay-day” reading this list because of all of the political and governmental information included.

  • TMK

    I think that the Malaria vaccine is a true break through. Not only for the people of the third world nations but also for the people that provide humanitarian efforts to these countries. As for the killing of Syrian people something has to be done. I do not understand President Obama reasoning for asking congress and waiting for them to return to make a decision. I think his decisions on Syria will definitely be brought up during election time.

  • Trisha Harvey

    I believe that the new Malaria vaccine is very important. I am currently a nursing student and working in the nursing field. More and more we see viruses and bacteria that are now resistant to everything that we have and it is harder to find cures for these viruses and bacterial infections. This is a positive to help with the spread of Malaria and we will not have to worry about these outbreaks if we can start to get everyone vaccinated for this.

  • Lynnette Bosley

    It was a tough call to pick an event for this month, but I am going to have to go with the events in Syria. The government intervening could have some serious consequences for the U.S., but only time will tell what they will be. The idea of chemical weapons is pretty scary and could have further consequences as well. On a positive note I believe that the breakthrough with the malaria vaccine is a great thing. Millions of lives could be saved, and with everything going on with other countries we needed some positive news.

  • Robyn Siburt

    In light of Castro’s recent death, I would like to say that he made my top 10. But he’s a creep, and I won’t give him the time of day. I would have to say, then, that my Top 10 would be the newly instated rights for the LBGT community! Regardless of personal beliefs and values, I can’t fathom why people, regardless of who or how they love, can’t have the same basic rights as any other person. It seems to me that everyone should be entitled to have a family and a home life, and be able to do all of the things that families do. Fear of the unfamiliar or something outside of another person’s comfort zone shouldn’t have an impact on the happiness of others. Thumbs up to California and all of the other states that recognize the that LBGT community has rights too!

  • Kia Tyler

    I know it is not the most important article from the choices above. Considering I have a gay brother though, it is to me. I believe the LGBT article where transgender students having the choice to choose which restroom they use and legally same-sex marriages are to be treated equal with female and male marriages is the most important. This is a huge step for the LGBT community. I will never understand the dilemma with this topic in the first place. Love is love, no matter the gender. Hundreds of years from now when whoever finds our remains we will all be bones and the same. Everyone is equal and nobody should be punished for who they love.

  • Alexander Byers

    I think that the most important event of August 2013 is the discovery of a new species. While this doesn’t have an impact on the day to day lives of most of the world’s population like the vaccine may or social change that the new tax regulations will, but I still think it is fascinating. We have been living here for thousands of years and we are just now finding this cute little guy and I think that that is awesome. It’s not like he’s super tiny and he doesn’t live at the bottom of the ocean. He looks like something you should see every day crossing the road in front of you. Sorry for getting so geeked out about this but I just think its really cool and Important for the scientific community.

  • Nicole Wrubel

    To me, the most important event during the month of August was the developments in the LGBT community. The changes brought in California allow for those who identify as being transgendered to be more comfortable being themselves. Now, it no longer would be humiliating to be forced to use a restroom or play on a sports team with what your sex may be biologically, but not with what you identify with as your gender. Also, recognizing these legally same-sex marriages federally was a huge step! To me, these changes are steps towards having all citizens have the same equal rights regardless of sexual orientation. Hopefully these acts will lead toward a more accepting society.

  • Brooke Keber

    It was extremely difficult for me to decide whether the Malaria vaccine was the most important event in August or the continued chaos in the Middle East. Both are huge events that could change history, but I’m going to go with the Malaria vaccine because it has the potential to save millions of lives and improve millions more, whereas the conflict in the Middle East will only destroy people’s lives. I truly hope the vaccine proves to be successful not only for the countless lives it will save, but also for the inspiration it could provide for other possible medical breakthroughs.

  • Karl Paulik

    I think the malaria vaccine is the most important. If the vaccine actually works it could save lives all over the world. It also shows how our technology and scientist continue to make new discoveries all the time which allows us to continue to grow as a country. Finally it gives hope that we will find vaccines or cures for diseases we do not have today such as cancer or AIDS

  • Amber Johnson

    Ariel Castro you are one crazy guy. I feel so bad for the girls that had to deal with his freaky personality, or should I say no personality. I did recently hear that he committed suicide in prison. Yes! He deserved it!! I would have to say my top 10 most interesting to me would have to be the malaria vaccine. The vaccine that could help out many people that are having problems. It now gives those people the fight to make this world a viable and worthwhile fight for more cures.

  • Molly

    I think that is disgusting that men who take women hostage for years at a time get away with it for so long. Those women are damaged for life and the brutality that they go through is unreal. Ariel Castro is a gross person with awful things that he did to women in his home, the fact he is in prison for life plus a 1000 years is totally appropriate. Death would have been way to easy.

  • Mallory M

    I think it is amazing that we are able to still find new animals!! The olinguito is exactly as the description impies, a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear. How much more adorable can you get?

  • RFonseca

    I believe that the vaccine is the most important and exciting to me because the fact is, I am going to be a doctor. If we can make breakthroughs like finding something to help possibly prevent deaths and serious illnesses buy one of the most deadliest diseases of the world then I believe that this will push researchers harder to succeed in their research in the cures for cancer. I have heard that there is a certain part of the AIDS virus that is extracted and put into the bloodstream which then in turn destroy the cancer causing cells. Before that, in Boston, Massachusetts, student researchers and professional researchers had discovered possibilities of finding if a person is prone to cancerous cells through the bloodstream. Malaria, at times, has been more scary to me because I am an outdoors type of person. I will get bit by a mosquito or tick and not think twice about it. Then I started hearing about diseases that insects were carrying from other countries and the lack of preventative care (bug spray and candles doesn’t count). After having a child, who also loves to be outside as much as I, well let’s just say it’s a scary thought…malaria. Although I do not really believe in most of the man made medicines and vaccines out there, I do care for my son’s health and well being so I would consider having him get the malaria vaccine if it were to come available. Does it not scare you to put a disease or a strain of a disease into your body to build up your fighter cells? To me, I have thoughts of so many other things happening….all the “what ifs.”

  • Michael Long

    I believe that the Malaria Vaccine is probably one of the most important things that has happened in August. Being able to save millions of lives each year is a tremendous achievement. Malaria is one of the most deadly diseases that we know of to this day, and to be able to eliminate one of our most feared diseases is a big sigh of relief. Hopefully more vaccines for other diseases come out soon as well.

  • KRT

    In light of all the horrible things that are happening in this country i would have to say that the most significant event that happen in august would be regarding our government and syria. Im very concerned about why our government feels the need to involve ourselves in other country we have yet to finish with iraq and what about iran? which i feel there is more of a threat to our nation then in syria.

  • Ashley Arthur

    I believe the Mallaria Vacine is the most important big thing that has happened during the month of August. The reason I say this is because the disease within mosquitoes kills millions of people and there is no vaccine. So finally scientists have come up with the right thing because this could save so many lives. It is so amazing how technology has advanced through over a decade and is still amazing me with what it can do . So I feel with more technology involved and scientists this will be nothing to worry about anymore.

  • Ethan Rawson

    I think the Malaria Vaccine is by far the most imortant topic on this list. Something like this could save millions of lives not just a specific area or group of people. Plus it’s a poitive subject that I didn’t even hear about on the news. Not the say the other topics are important, but the news like to appeal to our emotional side and focus on tragedies rather than the good.

  • Nathan Craig

    I think the most important event of the month was the conflict in Syria. Things have been getting very heated and this could not only effect our future but also the future of our world. Although I think all of these event were extremely important I would say that the conflict in Syria would be the most important of them all.

  • Christopher Bierman

    Instead of the Justice Dept, crying foul, I would much rather have Ben Stein or another qualified economist do their own analysis on the American Airlines and US Airways merger. When United and Continental merged, yeah ticket costs shot up. Will it happen with American Airlines and US Airways? Probably, but I think economists are better to tell us what the consequences of a merger are then a government body or news agency.

  • Annie Woolf

    I believe that the malaria vaccination is one of the top stories this month. Malaria has been an ongoing problem that doctors have been trying to tackle. There has been a lot of fundraising to get nets that protect people from mosquito bites. This is the most common way malaria is transmitted. If researchers found a cure to malaria it would be a huge break through in the medical world. Vaccinations to prevent malaria is just one step closer to helping solve this huge problem.

  • James Sedoris

    I think the developments in syria are the most important of the month, not only because they were just about the only leading story, but because it showed how polarized public opinion could be on the topic. It shows that the war hawks and peace doves of Vietnam are still around today.

  • gk

    The new species olinguito is uplifting and positive new. to much death and sorrow or politics.

  • Jeremy Snyder

    I think the new malaria vaccine is the most important. It could be a life changing advancement in medicine that effects many many people for years to come.

  • Titus

    Even though there were a lot of big stories in August, eventually most will be forgotten. I think number 10 on the list (New Species Announced) is an important one. Not so much on this one, but I think it great that new species are always being discovered.

  • kh

    I think the new species is the most interesting because it isn’t every day you see a cross between a cat and a teddy bear. I just think its cool to see all of the different creatures that people discover throughout time and what they are.

  • Cody B

    I agree with the others that some of these stories will be forgotten, however a vaccination for Malaria will be remembered for years to come when people are receiving them. Besides that, the chaos in the Middle East is dangerous because of the involvement Obama wanted to partake. You never know what could come of the United States entering even with positive intentions-it is just overall very dangerous for America.

  • Brandon

    I believe the merger of the airlines is most important because i believe if not watched carefully we might be dealing with someone who has a monopoly over the airfair in america, thus eliminitation of competition