Top News of the Week

If you’ve seen nothing else this week, take a minute and read these blurbs. The following are the five most important news headlines from the past seven days. Week of November (5-12), 2011

1. In a continuation of Europe’s ongoing financial crisis, two countries witnessed the replacement of their leaders. - After receiving much criticism from the press and fellow world leaders, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced early this week that he would hand over power to a more centralized government coalition in hopes that this could revive Greece’s failing economic system. Papandreou officially stepped down on Friday (Nov. 11) and was replaced by former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas. -Also this week, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi announced that he would resign from his role as prime minister on Wednesday (Nov. 9).

2. After 61 years of coaching college football at Penn State University, American sports icon Joe Paterno was fired this

week for his involvement in concealing a sex-abuse scandal of his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky was a former Penn State player. He served as assistant coach under Paterno for 30 years until in 2002, he was reportedly caught sexually abusing a young boy. This sparked an investigation of Sandusky, and today he is facing 40 counts of sex crime charges.

Although Sandusky was not part of Paterno’s staff at this time, the formal indictment of the former assistant coach reveals that Paterno had knowledge of this sexual abuse taking place. Paterno relayed the information to PSU president Graham Spanier.

When this information became public this week, Sandusky was arrested and Paterno and Spanier were both fired from the University for their lack of action in not going to the police.

A timeline of the week’s events is as follows:

• Saturday (Nov. 5)- Sandusky is arrested on 40 counts of Sex Crimes against young boys.

• Monday (Nov. 7)- As information of the case become public, media focus is shifted onto Paterno and his role in concealing the crimes.

• Wednesday (Nov. 9)- Paterno responds to overwhelming criticism from the media by remorsefully announcing that he would resign as head coach immediately following the end of this football season. Later that night, however, PSU higher-ups announced that Paterno’s reign as head coach would be terminated effective immediately. Penn State students who saw JoePA as the figurehead of their college football culture responded with angry riots. School President Graham Spanier was also fired and replaced by new President Rodney Erickson.

• Thursday (Nov. 10)- Student riots at Penn State University continued violently and included attacks on media members

and school property. SWAT and police teams were brought in to keep the peace.

• Friday (Nov. 11)- Another assistant coach, Mike McQueary, was placed on administrative leave for involvement in concealing the Sandusky crimes. Also on Friday night, a candle vigil was held on the PSU campus in remembrance of the abused young victims of Sandusky’s sex crimes.

Joe Paterno was one of the most celebrated icons in college football history. He mentored 78 first-team All Americans and his overall coaching record ended at a legendary 409–136–3.

3. Iran has been the center of much international controversy this week as it became clear that they are, as the UN puts it, “just months away” from successfully creating an atomic bomb. Neighboring countries are concerned that this is a threatening act in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While Iran officially denies any interest in building a nuclear arsenal, global policing countries such as Israel and The United States have warned of potential military involvement in the matter if these allegations prove to be true.


4. Wilson Ramos, a catcher for the Washington National’s MLB team, was abducted by three unknown kidnappers in his home country of Venezuela this week on Wednesday (Oct. 9). The player was rescued by police forces and returned to safety two days later on Friday (Nov. 11). reports that since 2004 at least three major league players from Venezuela have had relatives kidnapped.

5. Conrad Murray, the former doctor of deceased American music icon Michael Jackson, was found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter of the “King of Pop.” After a six-week trial, Murray’s jury relayed their verdict on Monday (Nov 7). Sentencing for the doctor is set to take place on Nov. 29.

CityRobert PunchurComment