National News

Ex-Speaker of the House Pleads Guilty to Trying to Evade Federal Banking Laws
Dennis Hastert, a Republican who served as Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007, has plead guilty to evading federal banking law by making a series of small withdrawals from his bank account to avoid having to report his intent. According to his plea agreement, Hastert made many withdrawals before paying $1.7 million to someone known as Individual A “in order to compensate for and keep confidential his prior misconduct.” The withdrawals were in increments less than $10,000, as a larger withdrawal would require a statement of purpose. Judge Thomas M. Durkin of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois will sentence Hastert in February 2016. Analysts expect Hastert to serve up to six months in jail.

General Motors Recalls 1.4 Million Cars over Fire Risk
General Motors (GM) is recalling 1.4 million cars, most of which have previously been recalled due to similar issues in 2007 and 2009. GM said the most recent recall is in response to 1,345 cars catching fire after dealership maintenance. Degrading valve cover gaskets in the vehicles’ engines has been leading to hot oil leakage in the engine after hard braking, which causes fires. A GM spokesperson said 85 percent of the fires happened after the car was shut off and no one was around. 19 minor injuries related to this problem have been submitted since 2009.

Army Surveillance Blimp Broke Free and Floated Around Pennsylvania
An Army surveillance blimp broke free from Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland at around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday morning. The blimp, called the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS), is an aerial detection system that is designed to track cruise missiles and other threats. Wind carried the 243-foot-long blimp for three hours before it hit the ground about 120 miles northeast of the proving ground. Two F-16 fighter jets tracked the blimp as it made its way north, hitting power lines and ripping poles out of the ground. No one was injured, but around 30,000 Pennsylvania residents lost power.

International Spotlight

Nigerian Military Claims to Have Released Over 300 Kidnapping Victims Held by Boko Haram
The Nigerian Military said Tuesday it has freed over 300 victims, mainly women and children, kidnapped and held in a remote forest by Boko Haram. The rescue operation killed at least 30 Boko Haram militants. Last year, the terrorist organization kidnapped 276 girls from a secondary school, leading to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The information is difficult to verify since the militants involved reportedly worked in a very secluded region of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Military has made unverifiable claims in the past. Many experts suspect the claim is part of an effort to uplift the morale of citizens affected by Boko Haram.

Austria Plans to Erect a Fence at a Border Crossing with Slovenia
Austria has decided to fence one of its most popular Slovenian border crossings in response to Europe’s current migrant crisis. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the fence is not an attempt to stop people from crossing into Austria, but rather to control the flow of migrants. Hungary recently fenced borders with Croatia and Serbia, and Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria may build barriers. To manage the migrant crisis, 14 European countries committed to set up reception centers to hold up to 50,000 people in Balkan countries and will send 400 guards to Slovenia in the coming days.

W.H.O. Says Two-Thirds of People under 50 Are Affected by Herpes
The World Health Organization reported that more than 3.7 billion people have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV 1), most having caught the virus in their childhood. This is amid a push by the Organization for a vaccine for the virus. Once someone acquires herpes, the virus stays in their system for the rest of their life and leads to occasional outbreaks of cold sores. HSV 1 generally causes sores exclusively around the mouth, however, particularly in richer countries where there is increased hygiene, it is seen more and more in the genital area after being transmitted through oral sex. Many pharmaceutical companies are working on vaccines for HSV 1 and 2.

A version of this story appeared on p. 13 of the Thursday, October 29 issue of the Daily Nexus.