Optimize: week of Dec. 4

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The Optimist Staff

Welcome to Optimize, an update to keep you informed on what has happened during the week. Here are five national/international/local stories that you should know:

California wildfires

California has been experiencing multiple wildfires, causing people in the area to evacuate their homes and even wear masks outside in order to not breathe in ash. This article explains why, and you can see what the fires look like from space here.

TIME People of the Year

Amid the growing numbers of sexual harassment allegations surfacing in the entertainment industry, TIME Magazine has named its Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers. A wide demographic of women who have spoken out regarding their sexual harassment experiences—and felt both the support and backlash of doing so—are featured.

Increased tension in the Middle East

On Dec. 5, President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel, undoing almost 70 years of U.S. foreign policy. Since the city has long been contested by both Israel and Palestine, recognizing it as the capital of one sends a strong message about the U.S.’s stance on and involvement in the Middle East.

Trump signs spending bill that avoids government shutdown (for now)

Trump signed a spending bill allowing for the federal government to continue to function until December 22. Negotiations are still underway in order to construct a long term agreement.  

LOCAL BONUS: The Indiana University Interfraternity Council suspended social activities at 31 fraternities until Feb. 28. This comes in the wake of some high-profile fraternity member deaths at other universities. IU frats can still host parties and events, but no alcohol can be present.