National News

Officer Convicted of Murder
In North Charleston, South Carolina, white police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder on Tuesday after shooting and killing black 50-year-old Walter Scott after pulling him over for a broken tail light. According to Slager, there was a scuffle during which Scott took a taser from the officer, after which Scott began to run and incurred eight fatal gunshot wounds to the back. Video footage that surfaced from the event showed Slager shooting an unarmed Scott, then walking over to place a dark object next to him, thought to be a taser. Protests have begun in North Charleston, and many citizens have begun to draw parallels between Scott’s death and the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. (CNN)

Boston Marathon Bomber Prosecuted
Twenty-one-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on Wednesday for the over 260 injured and four dead runners resulting from a bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Tsarnaev’s lawyers said he was involved in the bombing, but that his brother was the driving force for the attack. Prosecutors said the two were equal partners in a plan to “punish America” for wars in Muslim countries. The jury in Massachusetts is currently deciding the extent of Tsarnaev’s sentence. (BBC News)

Thanks, Obama!
On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced support for a federal ban on the practice of queer youth conversion therapy, which its proponents claim can covert individuals from homosexual to heterosexual. Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said enacting a federal ban would require congressional approval, but that individual states should pursue passing similar laws. The Obama administration also said it had opened a gender-neutral bathroom next to the West Wing, open to all White House staff, to take a symbolic step toward ending gender discrimination in the country. (New York Times)

International Spotlight

The Great Sea-Wall of China
For the past few weeks, China has been dredging white sand from and around a partially immersed coral reef known as Mischief Reefs, building a sea wall in an attempt to gain land mass. Mischief Reefs is part of Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, a cluster of islands claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam and, indirectly, by Taiwan. The action poses a threat to the United States government because of the U.S.’s treaty alliance with the Philippines. China also previously created an island on Fiery Cross Reef, approximately 200 miles west of Mischief Reef, with a harbor capable of docking warships. (New York Times)

Putin Down Sanctions Against Russia
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday he believes European nations should end sanctions against Russia. Tsipras announcement, made during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, said Greece openly disapproves of the sanctions placed by the United States and Europe on Russia after its intervention in Ukraine. According to Tsipras, sanctions are an inefficient solution that can allegedly bring about a second cold war. Tsipras also said the counter-sanctions by Russia have hurt the Greek economy. (The Guardian)

ISIL Prisoners Released After Eight Months
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant released more than 200 Iraqi Yazidi prisoners on Wednesday in Himera, north of Baghdad, Iraq, after eight months of captivity. Most former prisoners are currently in states of malnourishment and abuse. According to General Hiwa Abdullah, a peshmerga commander in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, 216 prisoners were in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect. He also said 40 children are among those released, while the rest were elderly. No reason was given for the release of the prisoners who were originally abducted from the area around Sinjar in the country’s northern area. (The Guardian)

A version of this story appeared on page 6 of the Thursday, April 9 print issue of the Daily Nexus.