Since January 4th Twitter has been flooded with University of Denver student journalists using the hashtag #DUreporters to update the world on news and media stories they found interesting. #DUreporters covers a wide array of topics and has gained popularity with dozens of retweets and favorites. From January 4th to January 20th, here is what happened in the news.


Colorado: Ahead in Gun Control

Following President Obama’s tearful speech calling for accelerated gun control measures, the nation was inspired to take action to prevent more of the gun violence that has plagued the country in recent years. However, after the Aurora Theatre Shootings and the Columbine High School Shootings, Colorado had already harshened gun control statewide .

Colorado will likely feel no direct impact from the President’s executive orders; the state’s gun laws are even more stringent than those recently imposed by the federal government. Nonetheless, the state will likely see effects in surrounding states’ adoption of safer gun policies. Colorado’s neighboring states, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oklahoma, were without such firm regulations on licensing, private sales and ammunition prior to Obama’s executive action call, endangering Colorado through spatial association.

Despite it being one-step ahead of the nation in regulation, Colorado shares the President’s hopes of deterring, and one day eliminating, gun violence and mass shootings.

North Korea in a Pool of Doubt

Claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test came from Pyongyang on January 6th. The United Nations Security Council denounced North Korea’s detonation of the thermonuclear weapon while the United States government, wanting to subvert any publicity the dictatorship could attract, denied the claims.

The explosion caused an eruption of seismic waves that U.S. monitoring systems in Asia affirmed were irregular to seismic waves typical of the detonation of a hydrogen bomb. These smaller-than-expected waves cast doubt over the claims that the test was a success. In fact, a South Korean Defense Ministry official anonymously reported that the test was most likely a failure.

Seemingly, the shadow of doubt over North Korea’s hydrogen bomb success casts far over the fear of the possibility that this unstable nation has such nuclear capabilities.


“The Force is Strong in this One”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaks the box office with a record-shatter $812 million in the United States alone. Globally, the film became the No. 3 movie of all time with total ticket sales at $3 billion as of January 10th.

Overtaking Jurassic Park in movie rankings, Star Wars beat out Leonardo DiCaprio’s newest film, The Revenant. Similarly as impressive, the film overtook Will Ferrell, Mark WahlbergTina Fey, and Amy Poehler‘s blockbusters in its fourth weekend.

“It’s unstopable.” – Rentrak Senior Media Analyst, Paul Dergarabedian

Star Wars: The Force Awakens took only one month to change the film-scene across the globe.



In the Wake of the Last State of the Union Address

President Obama’s final State of the Union Address was unconventional with the attention being on the way America has and will conduct politics, especially in the upcoming November 2016 election.

“Fix our politics” – President Barack Obama, January 12, 2016

The focus of the Address was not foreign to the President, calling for a reformation of Washington. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were subtly specified in Obama’s assertion that the presidential candidates’ responses to the Islamic State and Muslim immigration were unproductive and unfavorable in the current international political climate. Attentiveness to the nation’s future and appeasement of fears of terrorism were additional agendas Obama delivered the nation in his last State of the Union Address.


A Starving Syria, Saved

Madaya, a southern Syrian town sealed off from the world for nearly six months, was brought much-needed food and supplies on January 11th, following pictures of atrocious living conditions, emaciated children and meek supplies. Blockaded by government and pro-government forces, dozens have died of starvation with thousands more at risk.

Doctors Without Borders called Madaya an “open air prison.”

The United Nations-supported convoy was permitted to enter the city by the Syrian government to deliver the much-needed aid to Madaya. Although the U.N. was not granted the unlimited access to Madaya and other cities in desperate need, the outpouring of horrific stories of despair and distress were answered by the delivery of food and supplies for 40,000 people.


Trump’s Self-Affirmation on Anti-Immigration

The release of a Trump-made Facebook video on January 18th exemplifies the presidential candidate’s confidence in his calls for immigration reform. Perhaps the cornerstone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the candidate’s anti-immigration policies are, again, a topic of discussion.

Trump boasted in a 57-second video that, with the topic of immigration becoming prominent in campaigns and debates, he was right all along. Although migrant issues are relevant today with the refugee crisis, the necessity Trump feels to construct a massive, illegal immigrant-proof wall around the U.S.-Mexican border may not be as valid as he thinks. Daily Mail reports the shrinking likelihood and viability of Central and Latin Americans able to make it to the United States border, with many planning on settling in Mexico.

From the outset, Trump has insisted on a halt of migration by citizens of lesser and underdeveloped states illegally into the United States, and intends to make this issue a priority in his campaign and possible presidency.


Progress in Transportation, Technology and Trade: Africa on the Rise

Breakthroughs in various sectors of Africa stimulate the continent, potentially, economically, socially and politically. Innovations in transportation, technology and trade move the postcolonial continent in the direction of complete development.

The 10,000-kilometer network of roads connecting South Africa to Zambia is one of the largest and, with a $13 billion railway, transportation and trade throughout the continent will be revolutionized. The tapping of hydropower generation projects across Africa solves energy efficiency problems. These examples of progress as well as mobile technology and solar power are the driving force behind Africa’s economy.


The coverage of technology-related, political, human-interest, entertainment, international and local news over Twitter comprise the beginnings of #DUreporters tweets, with more to come.




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