Breaking the Bubble

A lot of things went on outside the bubble of Tech in the past week. Here are a few important events taking place throughout the nation and the world.

Flash floods devastate Midwestern U.S.

Parts of the midwestern United States have been afflicted with devastating damage after rising rivers resulted in massive floods.

At least 15 people have died as a result of the severe weather, over a hundred counties have declared states of emergency. The overflowing of lakes and rivers has caused homes to collapse and continues to threaten dams and levees.

A 250-mile stretch of the Mississippi River has been closed by the Army Corps of Engineers as a result of flooding. In Iowa, the city of Cedar Falls has been evacuated as the Cedar River continues to rise.

U.S. air strike kills Pakistani soldiers

A clash with insurgents on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border resulted in an American air strike that left 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers dead, according to the New York Times.

Commenting on the air strikes, the Pakistani military referred to them as “unprovoked and cowardly.”

Details of exactly how the mistaken strikes happened are still unclear and an investigation has begun; according to American military officials, the attack was aimed at Taliban fighters who had begun firing at American-led forces. An alert by the Americans before the air strikes to the Pakistani troops in the vacinity never made it to them and they were killed along with, according to a Taliban spokesman, eight Taliban fighters.

Unemployment in U.S. jumps to 5.5%, highest increase since 1986

Data released by the Labor Department last week showed that the unemployment rate in the United States rose one-half of a percent in May to reach 5.5%, the highest increase since February of 1986.

Overall, 49,000 jobs were lost in the US economy, the fifth consecutive month in which jobs were lost.

The main sectors contributing to the loss in jobs are construction, manufacturing, retail trade, and temporary help services, according to the Labor Department.

The rate of 5.5% is the highest since October 2004.

Truck drivers strike over fuel in Europe, Asia

Soaring fuel prices have led to striking and even rioting by truck drivers in Spain and Portugal, in which two strikers have died after trying to stop traffic from crossing the picket line.

Strikes have also been announced by truck drivers in South Korea and Thailand, while truck drivers in the Netherlands, Poland, Hong Kong, and India have protested with acts including blocking roadways.