Photo Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel.

Ferguson, Missouri: War Zone?

Obama suggested that the terror attacks on 9/11 sparked a national re-evaluation of national preparedness levels, which in turn may have prompted a widespread increase in the militarization of police forces nationwide.

However, the surge in police militarization may date back to before 9/11. In the late 1990s, Congress authorized a program wherein the Department of Defense began giving its extra military property and equipment to local law enforcement. Because of this program, the Ferguson Police Departmenthas received two Humvees, one generator, and one cargo trailer since 2007, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. Additionally, the St. Louis County Police Department is the beneficiary of “six pistols, 12 rifles, 15 weapon sites, an explosives disposal robot, three helicopters, seven Humvees (two used by Ferguson Police), and two night-vision devices,” courtesy of the Department of Defense.

What other factors have contributed to the militarization of local police forces around the country?

Colorado Town Decides To Sue All Of Its Voters

In the summer of litigation, citizens across the country are suing local and state governments for allegedly violating their voting rights. But in Colorado, one town has decided to file suit right back.

Located in Summit County, Colorado, the small town of Montezuma boasts a population of 65. Nestled high in a mountain valley, the town’s sole claim to fame is a historical schoolhouse built in 1884 which, at 10,400 feet, is one of the highest school buildings in the nation, according to the Summit Historical Society.

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Flickr user Josie Hill.

In 2014, Montezuma is back on the map again, but this time, not for its high-altitude education.

The town recently filed a lawsuit against every single one of its registered voters for a botched election that occurred this past spring.

Mary-Pat Hector (left) and Erica Thomas (right), members of the Generation Progress Gun Violence Prevention Network, take part in the peaceful protests in Ferguson, MO. (Photos courtesy of Erica Thomas)

At the end of the second one, we went outside and I started chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Everyone repeated after me. It had to be at least 700 people in the crowd.

I yelled until my voice left me, then I began to march down the road and everyone followed. It felt so good to be apart of that. I believe that Millennials should see Ferguson as young people standing up for what they believe is right!

Erica Thomas in an op-ed for Generation Progress

GVP Action Network member Corey Antonio Hardiman is also in Ferguson.

As we battle this gun problem of our generation, we must continue fighting for stricter gun laws and hold our law enforcement more accountable, especially when it comes to the lives of our black youth.

We matter.

If you think we are misguided, guide us! If you think we are hopeless, give us hope. I will not give up on my millennial generation.

I asked myself, “Am I valuable enough to live?”

Yes, I am valuable enough to live. We are valuable enough to live.

Read more about Corey’s experience in Ferguson here.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—one of the 71 universities currently under investigation by the Department of Education for Title IX violationsreleased 36 suggestions that would increase safety on campus.

Other schools are also instituting changes ahead of the new school year—those some are less than helpful. In an effort to distance itself from further incidents of campus sexual assault, Columbia University in New York City has suspended its biannual Bacchanal concert.

No amount of emotion should give way to demeaning and offensive language or actions in our workplace.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, in a video produced by the NFL and shown in training camps this summer discussing the new “zero tolerance” policy for this season’s on-field use of homophobic and racist language.

Read more about the NFL’s efforts to stamp out slurs on the field, as well as an interview with Kristopher Wells of the University of Alberta and NoHomophobes.com.

Flickr users pbpho2, Paul Toogood, & greg.road.trip.

The Australian government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority released a report last week, as mandated by law, on the health of the iconic natural formation. The report expressed serious concern over the future vitality of the Great Barrier Reef in wake of climate change and many polluting factors.

“The overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009, and is expected to further deteriorate in the future.”

Of course, climate change took the lion’s share of the blame for the reef’s deterioration. Also to blame were pollutants from development and pesticides washing into the region. Overzealous interaction and harvesting of the reef’s economic resources were also pointed out as continuing hazards.

Read more about the state of the Great Barrier Reef, and the Australian government’s response to the problem here.

Credit: Facebook

Author J.K. Rowling created a magical world for millions of children and adults alike when she created the Harry Potter series. Earlier this month, she extended the magic a bit further when she sent a letter to 15-year-old Cassidy Stay.

Stay is the lone survivor of a shooting that killed both her parents and all four of her siblings this July in Spring, TX. Stay survived by pretending to be dead after a bullet grazed her head. Afterwards, at a memorial event for her family, Stay quoted a famous line uttered by Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Read more about J.K. Rowling’s act of kindness here.

Flickr user Dominik Schwind.

A study, published last week by the Journal of Nutrition, found that regular consumption of instant noodles increases the risk for cardiometabolic syndrome – particularly in women.

Researchers concluded that eating the noodles two or more times a week increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. Women were found to be particularly vulnerable, with Dr. Shin, the lead investigator, citing biological differences such as hormones and metabolism.

Read more about the dangers of every college student’s favorite meal here.