By Liz Organ
Local News – Measure 114 Trial Begins
Measure 114, passed by Oregon voters in a referendum last November, changes previous laws on ownership and purchasing processes for firearms in Oregon and is one of the strictest gun laws in the nation. The measure was supposed to go into effect on December 8 but was put on hold as the state argues its legality in court. In July, a federal judge ruled that the current gun control measure is, in fact, constitutional. Plaintiffs have now filed an appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and could move the decision to the US Supreme Court. Monday, September 18 saw the beginning of this trial, although as of September 25, the trial has not ended. Much of Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio’s line of questioning has to do with the open-ended wording of the measure and how this could lead to racial profiling by police.
National News – Concerns About Government Shutdown
As the US Congress sits at a standstill over disagreements about the coming year’s national budget, a deadline looms at midnight on September 29, in which the following Monday may see the first government shutdown since 2019 — when the government shut down for 35 days, the longest in US history. On the 22nd, the Biden administration began the first steps to prepare government agencies for a possible shutdown. Some federal agencies have begun the mandatory processes of planning to bring nonessential functions to a halt. If the shutdown occurs, nearly four million federal workers will feel the effect immediately. While some essential workers will remain on the job, none of them will be paid until the government shutdown ends. Significant delays to air travel are expected as TSA workers will be some of those unpaid. There will also be possible delays to food safety, water safety and workplace inspections as the FDA, the EPA and OSHA are shut down. Pertinent to Reed students, the Department of Education warns that there could be “some level of disruption” to large student-aid programs including Pell Grants, Federal Direct Student Loans and FAFSA. Those receiving food assistance will continue to receive benefits through October, but it is unclear what will happen to that assistance if the shutdown continues into November. Housing assistance will also be affected and will cause uncertainty in the tens of thousands of low-income tenants who rely on federal assistance to pay their rent.
International News – Canadian Leaders Accuse India’s Government of Killing Canadian Sikh Leader
On June 18, 2023, Sikh nationalist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot by two masked men in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia. As of September 25, no arrests have been made. On September 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to Parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies were investigating credible allegations that Nijjar’s killers were linked to the Indian government. India strongly rejected the claim. Despite Trudeau admitting that the investigation was still being pursued, the Canadian government decided to expel a senior diplomat from the Indian High Commission and reduce its personnel in India. India has expelled Canada’s Station Chief and temporarily stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens. Many Sikh people in both India and Canada are worried about potential violence due to the accusations.