As of January 16, 2020, it was announced that a Northgate Market would replace the Albertsons in Costa Mesa. Melissa Hill, a spokeswoman for Albertsons grocery chain, stated that Albertsons did not renew their lease, therefore they will close their store on February 22.
The Northgate Gonzáles Market is a latin-themed grocery store that has been in business for over 40 years, with 41 locations, all within Southern California. With their new location, it is expected to open in late 2020, or early 2021. This is due to the fact that Northgate has to renovate the entire building. They are expected to hire around 150 new employees.
With the closing of Albertsons, people would lose a grocery chain that has been in the community since 2000, and the workers would not have a job anymore. Melissa Hill did also state that all of Albertsons employees would continue to have a job, but at different locations. Another probable issue that could occur with Northgate opening, is that other local Latin businesses could be in jeopardy.
Local businesses, such as El Metate and El Toro Bravo Market, have been with Costa Mesa for well over 30 years. These have been some of the main destinations for people who want to buy Latin products.
Reporter: Andrew Camberos
On January 8, 2020, a new strain of the coronavirus was discovered by Chinese scientists. This new virus strain is part of the SARS family, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, that infected more than 8,000 people, killing 774 in 2002 and 2003 in Asia and Canada. The virus has now returned, and has already had an effect on part of the world population.
As of January 21, there have been 440 cases of people being infected with the virus all over the continent of Asia, with the majority being from China. So far, there have been 6 casualties that have been a result from the outbreak. The Chinese have been trying to contain the outbreak, but there has been little success. There is already one confirmed case of the coronavirus within the United States. A man in his 30s from Washington is being quarantined at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. The man contracted the disease after he traveled to Wuhan, China, which is considered to be the epicenter of where the virus originated from.
The Washington case, is the only one reported outside of Asia, which is one of the farthest locations that the coronavirus has ever reached. Both the CDC and WHO are set to meet on January 22 to discuss the disease, containment and the plan moving forward to help those with the virus. While the medical world is meeting, the rest of the world is very concerned. The only question that people are asking now is how far will the disease will spread.
Reporter: Andrew Camberos
Around 4:15 A.M. on Friday, January 24, 2020, Houston Police Department began receiving calls about a massive explosion in Northwest Houston. The explosion occurred in a building at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which makes valves and provides thermal-spray coatings for equipment in various industries. The effects of the blast could be felt as far as half a mile away and many buildings were damaged. Reports came in that over 200 homes were damaged in the blast, and many more felt it. At one man's home about 1/4 mile away, glass doors were shattered, ceilings were cracked, and the lid of his toilet was even torn off.
A fire burned at the site for hours, and there was a potential for toxic fumes to build up in the air. First responders of the explosion have been instructed to get checked out to ensure that they are fully healthy and did not inhale any toxic fumes. Currently, one factory worker is missing, two workers died en route to the hospital and many more have suffered injuries. The search team cannot begin looking for the missing person, because the plant is currently releasing polypropylene, a type of polymer that is used on most plastics. The chemical, however, is not toxic.
Southeast Texas has seen numerous explosions in recent years all occurring along the Texas Coast, which is home to the highest concentration of oil refineries in the United States. In July 2019, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, Texas left more than a dozen people with minor injuries. In December, two blasts in the coastal city of Port Neches shattered windows and ripped the doors from nearby homes. As the investigation continues, more facts will be brought to light.
Reporter: Myles Witte
On Monday, January 10, 2020, a Ukranian airliner crashed down in the capital of Iran, Tehran in the early morning hours. The crash resulted in the loss of all 176 people that were on board the airplane. The 176 people on board consisted of 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukranians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 British nationals. Although the plane crashed, many had speculated Iran had shot down the airliner. After the British and Canadian governments all came out with statements on the event, Iran had publicly announced they did in fact shoot the plane.
Iran has been on high alert since the previous week, when the U.S. killed Iran’s top military leader, Qasem Soleimani. Iran responded to this attack by retaliating on two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops. Iran made claims that they would not attack, as long as they would not face any more threats or attacks themselves.
There is much uncertainty with where all this tension will lead to. Iran can either go to war with the U.S. and their allies, or they somehow find a way to reduce their conflict to where it doesn’t lead to a full scale war. On the Iranian homefront, the Iranian people have protested their own government for not revealing the true nature of how all 176 people on-board the Ukranian plane were killed. As a result of the protest, at least 1,500 citizens have been killed during the protests.
Reporter: Andrew Camberos
August 2019 is when the devastating Australia Bush Fire began, and has been on a path of destruction ever since. On November 12, 2019, the Greater Sydney region declared the fire a “catastrophic fire danger” for the first time since the introduction of this level in 2009 and a total fire ban was in place for seven regions, including Greater Sydney. The Bush Fires has destroyed an estimated 21 million acres or 32,000 square miles, destroyed over 2,500 buildings (including over 1,900 houses) and killed 25 people as of January 5, 2020. It was estimated that close to half a billion animals in New South Wales were affected by the ongoing fires, with an estimated over one billion animals having lost their lives so far. The bushfires are regarded by the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service as the worst bushfire season in memory. In December 2019, the New South Wales Government declared a state of emergency after record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought exacerbated the bushfires.
The main causes of the fires have been linked to record-breaking heat, record-breaking drought, lightning strike, and alleged arson. Over 180 suspects have been arrested in connection with the deadly bushfires in Australia, but no one has been charged. Thousands of people have been left homeless, with many in rural areas going days without electricity and drinking water. Record high temperatures and severe drought are making it difficult to battle the devastating fires. Firefighters from New Zealand, the United States and Canada have offered their help to fight the fires, especially in New South Wales.
In mid December 2019, a NASA analysis revealed that since August 2019, bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland had emitted 250 million tons of carbon dioxide. As of January 2, 2020, NASA estimated that 306 million tons of carbon dioxide had been emitted by the fires. In comparison, Australia's total carbon emissions were equivalent to 535 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2018. The prolonged drought has damaged the forests’ ability to regrow, and the excess carbon dioxide gas will cause even more issues.
On New Year's Day 2020 in New Zealand, a blanket of smoke from the Australian fires covered the whole South Island and gave the sky an orange-yellow haze. MetService, the head meteorology company of New Zealand, stated that the smoke would not have any adverse effects on the weather or temperature in the country. The smoke moved over the North Island the following day, but began breaking up and was not as intense as it was over the South Island the previous day. Wind from the Pacific Ocean has slowly helped to dissipate the smoke over the South Island.
Reporter: Myles Witte