Weekly Roundup (4/12-4/18)

Monday: 

Protests have broken out over the death of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis. Wright was shot and killed by ex-officer Kim Potter after he was pulled over for an expired registration tag and because an air freshener was allegedly obscuring his rearview mirror. An investigation has been launched into the bodycam footage of the officers involved. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Potter claims that she meant to fire her taser and not her gun. Dr. Andrew Baker, the Chief Medical Examiner in George Floyd’s case, has testified that Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd was the primary cause of his death. He stated, “That’s cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement’s subdual, restraint, and neck compression” and that he classifies it as a homicide. Michigan hospitals have seen a 30% spike in COVID-19 related hospitalizations. Hospital workers state that this spike consists of a significant amount of younger and seemingly healthier patients. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has requested more vaccines from the federal government but says she will not impose restrictions in the state. 

Tuesday: 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been put on a hold due to the development of blood clots in several patients. This vaccine has been administered to over 7 million people, and among them, 6 women developed blood clots. There is no concrete data on what caused this to occur nor if any specific subgroups are more likely to experience this symptom due to its rareness. Presentation of these symptoms has not been found past three weeks after administration of the vaccine. This hold is not projected to have any major impact on the current vaccine plan in the US. Protests have spring up in Japan over plans to dump wastewater from wrecked nuclear plants into the pacific ocean. Japanese government program, TEPCO, insists that the water is no longer radioactive enough to cause harm, but locals worry about the implications on the already inhibited fishing industry of the area. 

Wednesday: 

The Biden administration has unveiled plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The move would end the longest war in U.S. history. A US appeals court has upheld an Ohio law that prohibits abortions because of Fetal Down Syndrome. Unlike other recent court decisions on abortion that mainly focused on the regulation of or access to the procedure, this decision involves a woman’s reason for seeking the procedure and what she might tell her physician. Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill banning transgender athletes from women’s sports. Supporters of the bill claim that its purpose is to maintain the competitive balance in women’s sports. Florida is one of at least 30 states debating that are debating this type of bill.

Thursday: 

President Biden imposed new executive sanctions on Russia and is punishing Moscow for their interference in the 2020 election. Biden addressed this problem by saying, “I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so.” Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify, which brought his case to a close. On Thursday evening, 8 people were killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx in Indianapolis, Indiana where the gunman, 19-year-old Brandan Hole committed suicide after killing the victims. According to Deputy Creig McCartt, when Hole arrived at the facility, he got out of his car and started to open fire right away. COVID-19 cases in Brazil surpassed the highest cases in a day ever with a record-high number of 300,000. Many hospitals are running dangerously short of sedatives and other crucial medications used to treat serious cases of the disease. The French Parliament adopted legislation that characterizes sex with a child under the age of 15 as rape and punishable for up to 20 years in jail. “This is a historic law for our children and our society,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told the National Assembly.

Friday: 

Following an uptick in mass shootings, President Biden is calling for gun reform. When laying out plans for executive actions, Biden said it is an “epidemic and an international embarrassment.” The latest hit in cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, saw a surge in investors, bringing the stock to an all-time high. The increased volume of transactions led to several order cancellations and delays within the Robinhood platform.

Saturday:

Minneapolis and several other major cities have begun increasing policing and taking increased security measures in anticipation of the Derek Chauvin verdict. Minneapolis Public Schools will move to remote learning for the week. Closing arguments for the most-watched police-related trial in the nation will be delivered on Monday, April 19th. As protests against police killings continue nationwide, lawmakers in Florida have passed a controversial “anti-riot” bill, increasing criminal penalties for protest and riot-related offenses, such as property damage and destruction of monuments. Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington have all filed similar bills attempting to target social justice protests. The bills contain almost identical rhetoric, and some of them redefine a riot as a mere three or more people participating in “tumultuous activity.” French lawmakers have passed a hefty bill — one that sparked protests last fall — increasing police powers throughout the nation. While President Macron argues it is a step needed to protect police officers from increasingly violent protesters, many critics from journalists and civil unions claim that it is far too broad. It will soon be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which may strike down parts of the bill. 

Sunday:

The man suspected of the Texas shooting that occurred on Sunday afternoon has been apprehended. The shooting resulted in three deaths and the motive remains unclear. As the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine has come to a halt, many FEMA-funded sites have begun administering doses of the Pfizer vaccine. A study from the Gun Violence Archive is reporting that there have been at least 50 American mass shootings since the deadly spa shooting on March 16.

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