Beyond the Bricks: Week of 9/17
by Abby Bratton | published Sep. 24th, 2018
Pyongyang Summit Draws to a Close
A summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, North Korea, came to an end on Sept. 20, 2018. Several announcements were made the day prior, including Kim's agreement to allow international experts into the country to verify the planned dismantling of a launch pad and missile testing site. January 2021 was given as the date by which North Korea aims to complete the current denuclearization process. Kim also expressed a willingness to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear complex if the United States takes corresponding actions, which some postulate may include formally ending the Korean War. According to BBC News, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the U.S. is "prepared to engage immediately in negotiations."
Military measures to decrease tension between South and North Korea were also announced, such as the establishment of “buffer zones” and a no-fly zone along the border. The jointly controlled border village of Panmunjom will be disarmed by both sides and several guard posts close to the military demarcation line will be withdrawn. Plans are also underway to eventually remove all guard posts occupied by combat troops. Additionally, the North and South have both stated their intention to send combined teams to the 2020 Olympics and make a joint bid to host the summer games in 2032.
Increased Funding to Combat Violence Against Native American Women
The United States Department of Justice is doubling funding given to Native American tribes for “public safety programs and crime victims,” Associated Press reported. $133 million will be allocated towards the assistance of crime victims and over $113 million will be granted for public safety. This amount will be distributed between 133 tribes and villages. The increase came in response to a recent push for thorough investigations into the disproportionately high rates at which Native American women experience violence, murder and disappearances. As of 2017, it was found that 0.7 percent of open missing persons cases in the United States are for Native American women, despite the fact that they comprise only 0.4 percent of the total population.
In addition to the funding increase, several current congressional proposals are seeking to better address this issue. North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is pushing for a law to establish regulations for how cases with missing or murdered Native American citizens are handled. Proposals involving the expansion of the Violence Against Women Act have been delayed by a Senate vote to maintain the current law for two more months. The Associated Press attributes the recent federal and media focus on this matter in part to a series of articles they released calling attention to the issue.
World Cycling Record Set to 183.9 MPH
Denise Mueller-Korenek has set a world record for fastest cycling land speed, averaging 183.9 miles per hour over a one-mile stretch of Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. In order to reach that speed, her custom-made bicycle was towed by a dragster up to about 100 mph before being released. Mueller-Korenek then pedaled in the car’s slipstream for the next 3 1/2 miles, working her way up to the record-breaking number. The car, driven by professional racer Shea Holbrook, was the same vehicle used to tow cyclist Fred Rompelberg when he set the prior record of 167 mph in 1995. Mueller-Korenek surpassed this number on Sept. 16, 2018, after previously setting the women’s world cycling land speed record back in 2016. Her accomplishment has brought into question the possibility of Guinness World Records abolishing its current gender categories for the feat. A video of the ride was released through Mueller-Korenak’s YouTube channel.