Havoc in Hawaii

·4 min read

The threat of dangerous floods and landslides continues after an unusually powerful storm hit the Hawaiian islands. The lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor are honored. And is math education racist?

👋 It's Julius here with Tuesday's news.

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Storm slams Hawaiian islands

An unusually powerful storm battered the Hawaiian islands on Tuesday, leaving thousands without power and flooding streets across the archipelago. The weather left tourists stranded, including several who canceled wedding plans, and some of the islands' most iconic beaches barren as the threat of dangerous flash floods, landslides and crashing tree limbs persisted. It also brought as much as 8 inches of snow atop some of the state's highest summits. The conditions forced Gov. David Ige to issue a state of emergency for all of the state’s islands Monday night.

A car turns onto a flooded Cooke Street, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu. A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain has flooded roads and downed power lines and tree branches across Hawaii.
A car turns onto a flooded Cooke Street, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu. A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain has flooded roads and downed power lines and tree branches across Hawaii.

Remembering Pearl Harbor, an event that 'led to a changed world'

Tuesday marked eight decades since the shocking attack on Pearl Harbor. The date that changed the course of a nation was marked by about 35 military survivors who gathered at multiple events. When hundreds of Japanese planes bombed American service members and civilians on U.S. soil on Dec. 7, 1941, America was an "isolated, quiet, withdrawn" nation said Craig Nelson, author of the 2016 book "Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness." The events of that day launched America's involvement in World War II, beginning decades of growing global U.S. influence. Each year, the National Memorial marks Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day by commemorating how "December 7 was a catalyst that led to a changed world."

Smoke rises from the battleship USS Arizona as it sinks during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.
Smoke rises from the battleship USS Arizona as it sinks during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.

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Biden warns Putin against Ukraine invasion

President Joe Biden emphasized his desire for a diplomatic solution to the U.S. conflict with Russia over Ukraine, but still had strong words for Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Tuesday. Biden’s video call with Putin comes as U.S. intelligence reports a buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border. A senior administration official said the U.S. doesn’t know whether Putin had decided to pursue further military escalation in Ukraine. “But we do know that he is putting in place the capacity to engage in such escalation should he decide to do so,” the official said. If Russia proceeds, the U.S. and its European allies could order economic sanctions, the official said.

Is math racist? How subject’s teaching could drastically change

Recommendations to make the subject more inclusive are blowing up the world of math education. Schools are collapsing gifted math "tracks" to put kids of all abilities in the same classes, and they’re adding data science courses that carry the same prestige as calculus. The changes have pitted mathematicians and math educators against each other and sparked criticism from affluent parents. They've caused upheaval in California as professors, parents and teachers spar over proposed changes to its K-12 math framework. Opponents say the changes effectively dumb down math education, but advocates say math’s teaching is full of inequity – and that’s unacceptable.

Real quick

A moon mystery 🌑

For the past two years, China's Yutu 2 rover has been roaming the Von Karman crater on the far side of the moon. On the rover's 36th lunar day, it spotted a cube-shaped object on the horizon. Andrew Jones, a Space.com reporter tracking China's space endeavors, said officials called it a "mystery house." Though there is no actual answer for what the cube is, Jones says the most likely explanation is that it's actually a large boulder that appeared after an impact event. But China officials are intrigued by the object, and Yutu 2 will be traversing through the region to get closer to it.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii weather and Mark Meadows. It's Tuesday's news.

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