National: Things You Need to Know for December

A Delta IV heavy rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at launch complex 37B at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The two-orbit, four-hour unmanned flight test will evaluate the systems critical to crew safety.

Chris Olszewski, Opinion Editor

Our local edition of “Things You Need to Know” is on hiatus leading into Winter Break, but will resume after the holidays.  Until then, check out a national edition to keep up to speed with what’s going on around the world.  Enjoy!

Hong Kong Protesters Force Government Closure

After defying orders to retreat, pro-democracy protesters caused Admiralty Center, the home of Hong Kong’s government, to close on Monday in the largest such protests since 1989. Police said 40 arrests were made after protesters pushed from the main protest site into the complex. Three protest leaders are to surrender to police in a bid to end violence surrounding the protests.

100 Killed in Mosque Attack

A bomb exploded at a central Nigerian mosque during prayers on Friday. The attack, which bears the hallmarks of a Boko Haram attack, was the latest in a series of attacks in the majority-Muslim north of the country.

Rain Brings Mudslides in California

Heavy rains arriving in California have brought a risk of mudslides to the state. The rain comes as something of a blessing to the drought-stricken state, but also has delayed flights and slowed traffic. In preparation for possible mudslides, the Pacific Coast Highway was closed Sunday as a precaution, but no injuries were reported.

NASA to Launch Orion Capsule

NASA test launched the Orion capsule on Friday. When fully operational, it is expected to carry four people on a 21-day mission, far more than Apollo’s three people on a six-to-12 day mission. Orion will orbit the Earth twice during the flight.

Philippines Braces for another Typhoon

Evacuations in the south and central Philippines are underway as Typhoon Hagiput makes its way towards the nation. The typhoon is reaching speeds of 160 mph, and is headed for the same regions devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.