News Flash

Shelese Moore, News Editor

Saudi Arabia Oil

Due to the anticipated fall in demand of oil prices caused by the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia has slashed prices and production of their oil. This has caused their oil to be much cheaper, so manufacturers will purchase their products over the oil produced in other countries.

This undercutting means that oil producers from other countries, including the United States, can no longer be competitive. The New York Times predicts this will put medium-sized oil production companies at risk of bankruptcy. Layoffs will be inevitable, and the stock market has already fallen due in part to these events.

While lower oil prices do mean cheaper products like gasoline for consumers, energy historian Daniel Yergin pointed out to the New York Times that this doesn’t do much when vacations are being canceled and people are no longer commuting to work or school due to the virus.

 

Democratic Presidential Caucus

The primary caucus is when voters choose who will run for president as the Democratic and Republican nominee. The race for the election this November is already taking place. As expected, Donald Trump has virtually already won the Republican nomination. The Democratic nomination will most likely go to Joe Biden, after Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign on April 8.

 

U.S. Troops in Iraq

United States officials have announced intentions to remove troops from military bases in Iraq. This comes as a result of increased attacks from Iranian terrorist groups.

Many of the military bases occupied by the U.S. are near areas where the terrorist group Kata’ib Hezbollah is active. The BBC report: “At least 25 rocket attacks, unleashing more than 160 individual rockets, have hit U.S. bases in Iraq since October 2019.” The U.S. has retaliated, attacking the group’s ammunition facilities. 

According to the BBC, there have also been higher levels of tension between U.S. troops and Iraqi allies in the region. Along with their disapproval of U.S. retaliation, there has also been an increase in conflict after the drone attack that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani earlier this year. Soon after the attack, Iraq’s parliament voted to remove all foreign military forces from their country.

 

Earthquake

On the morning of March 18, 2020, there was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake northeast of Magna. It and the numerous aftershocks in the days after were felt across the Wasatch Front. This was the largest earthquake in Utah since 1992 when there was a magnitude 5.9 in Saint George. 

Despite the quake being small, there was still minor damage to local, historic buildings, including City Hall in Salt Lake City, the Rio Grande train depot, and the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While the Rio Grande depot faced minor structural damage, most of the effects on these locations were cosmetic: plaster fell from the walls at the city hall and the iconic Angel Moroni statue on top of the Salt Lake Temple was damaged, losing its trumpet.