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Volume 68, Issue 1, Monday, August 26, 2002


The news is a little bit depressing these days

Josh Gajewski
Opinion Columnist

Looking for some world news? Here's a fat slice: At a ranch in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, eight men and women were lined up
against a wall and shot with assault rifles and pistols, the victims ranging in age from 19 to 49, in what reports suspect could have been a
drug-related massacre.

Meanwhile in Europe, massive flooding, caused by a series of violent storms that swept through the continent some three weeks ago, has now
claimed the lives of at least 109 people. 

In Russia, a military helicopter loaded with Russian troops crashed in the city of Chechnya, killing at least 74 people. 

Here in the United States, more than 5.7 million acres of land have burned this summer in the Western states, with New Mexico, Arizona,
Colorado and Oregon suffering their biggest wildfires on record.

In Fallsburg, New York, officials said a black bear killed a 5-month-old girl today after knocking her out of a stroller and trying to drag the infant
into the woods.

And finally, here in Houston, we now not only have a plethora of mosquitoes; we have mosquitoes that are capable of killing us. 

Full yet? If you're like me, full of depression, maybe. And remember I'm just the messenger. A messenger who got all of this information by
looking at one issue of a newspaper last week.

A professor of mine always emphasizes the importance of keeping up to date with current events. "Read the newspaper everyday," he often says
to his students. Though I agree with the ol' professor, I can't help but to cringe at most of the news that comes my way these days.

I try to get a break from the news and go to the gym, where I can only hope to shut out the rest of the world while drowning myself in the music
from my Walkman. Sometimes it works. Other times, I find myself on a treadmill, looking up at one of the television monitors perched near the
ceiling, only to catch a glimpse of warfare in Afghanistan, an alleged child molester, or a priest accused of similar wrongdoings. 

On the very same day I read all of the depressing news listed above, I went to the gym, got on the treadmill, and looked up only to see a
videotape image of a suffering dog lying on the ground, nearing death. The dog had reportedly been part of "poison gas experiments" conducted
in al-Qaida training operations. CNN showed the image of this poor, dying mutt repeatedly throughout the day, and I saw it on various other
news sources as well. I read about it in the newspaper, too.

All this because I just want to know what's going on in the world. The news that day wasn't all bad, though. According to a wire service report,
British scientists have indeed proven that even modest amounts of alcohol will in fact make members of the opposite sex appear better looking
to the drinker.

Now that's some good news. Anybody up for a drink? No? OK, then. I'll just check back tonight after everyone's watched the local news.

Gajewski, a junior communications
major, can be reached at

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