EDM Thursday Briefing: UCLA Shooting, Fed Decision in Jamar Clark Case, Zika Findings, Syrian Aid
Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 2, 2016: A UCLA professor is allegedly shot dead in a murder-suicide, federal authorities decide not to pursue civil rights prosecution in the Jamar Clark case, researchers discover a possible answer to how Zika virus is passed from mother to fetus, and the UN will discuss making humanitarian air drops to besieged areas of Syria.
- A shooting on campus at UCLA yesterday resulted in the lockdown of the campus and a swarming response from both local and federal law enforcement. Authorities quickly determined that the incident was a murder-suicide involving two men inside a small office in the engineering complex on campus. The shooting occurred near 10 a.m. and the campus was once again deemed safe approximately two hours later. William S. Klug, a professor of mechanical engineering, was fatally shot in an engineering building office; the shooter in the murder-suicide has not yet been identified.
- Federal authorities decided not to pursue civil rights prosecution against two white Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, who is black, last fall outside of an apartment building. Officials with the federal government announced that Clark’s civil rights were not violated in the fatal shooting incident. Justice officials, in a written statement, said: "Although Clark’s death is undeniably tragic, the evidence is insufficient to meet ... substantial evidentiary requirements."
- It's been known for some time that pregnant women infected with Zika can transmit the virus their unborn child during pregnancy, but exactly how the transmission occurs has remained a mystery. Recently, researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine may have discovered the answer. Research showed that Zika virus can potentially infect and replicate placental immune cells without killing them. Zika has a unique ability to hide inside a host cell, which may be allowing the virus to cross the placental barrier and infect fetuses.
- Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey delivered a baby with birth defects caused by Zika virus via Caesarian section. The case appears to be the first in the continental United States of a baby being born with Zika-linked microcephaly. The 31-year-old mother had recently traveled to the U.S. from Honduras to stay with relatives and get medical care after discovering problems with her pregnancy.
- The United Nations Security Council is set to meet Friday to consider beginning humanitarian air drops to besieged areas of Syria. Some are saying that air drops in certain areas would be "too little, too late" and others are still pushing for land drops. The US, UK and France have all urged the UN to begin air drops to areas hit particularly hard, such as Darayya, a suburb of the capital Damascus.
- A group of researchers from the University of Miami and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently made a connection that could lead to the ability to better predict tornado outbreaks and eventually help protect communities and possibly reduce the economic impact of severe weather systems. The research may have found a link between El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and tornado outbreaks that could provide more advanced warnings of severe weather that produce tornado outbreaks.
- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one U.S. state in particular is bearing the brunt of climate change: Alaska. Alaska, on a statewide basis, has been warming at a rate of +5.3°F per century since 1950. This beats temperature increases from other U.S. states by a wide margin.
- Scientists from Virginia Tech University said that water in Flint, MI is now safe for bathing and showering. The scientists noted significant improvement in the city's water supply but also cautioned that residents should continue filtering the water before drinking it. Flint remains in a state of emergency due to the water contamination and some Flint activists and outside groups remain skeptical despite the scientists' recent findings.
- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson named a new emergency management chief this week. Hutchinson named A.J. Gary as the new head of the Department Of Emergency Management, starting July 1. Gary is the former Chief of Police in Conway, AR and is currently the director of security and compliance for the Arkansas Lottery.