Weekly Roundup (4/26-5/2)


Hospitals in India are running at maximum capacity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Many of them are forced to turn severely ill people away due to a shortage of oxygen supplies. According to a White House statement, more than $100 million worth of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, oxygen generation units, PPE, vaccine-manufacturing supplies, Rapid Diagnostic Tests, and doses of antiviral drug remdesivir are being transported from the US to frontline workers in India. A massive hospital fire in Baghdad’s Ibn al-Khatib Hospital has left 82 people dead and more than 100 injured. The fire is believed to have been caused by an accident that resulted in an oxygen tank explosion. The fire broke out in the COVID-19 ICU and 28 of the 82 victims had to be taken off of ventilators to be evacuated. Public outrage over inadequate hospital infrastructure resulted in the suspension of Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi. Police Chief Daniel Miskinis of the Kenosha Police Department has announced that Officer Rustin Sheskey is no longer placed on administrative leave and is back on duty. Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last August, sparking protests and riots for the protection of black lives from police brutality.


Reuters is reporting, “an Idaho legislative ethics committee has ordered a 19-year-old intern who says she was raped by a lawmaker to publicly testify about the encounter.” At the center of this case is Republican Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, who is alleging that the interaction was consensual. Since the historic January 6th storming of the Capitol, the Justice Department has charged over 400 citizens. An NYC man is now facing attempted murder charges after attacking a 61-year-old Chinese man, this comes as major cities continue to report upticks in anti-Asian hate crimes.


The CDC has released new outdoor mask guidance, saying fully vaccinated people can forego face coverings at small outdoor gatherings or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. Unvaccinated people, the CDC says, should still mask up for such events, and even fully vaccinated people should protect themselves in larger, denser outdoor gatherings. Biden marked his first 100 days in office with an address to a joint session of Congress where he touched upon events ranging from the pandemic to the insurrection at the Capitol riot. Boko Haram fighters have reportedly hoisted the Islamist group’s flag in a remote district in Niger State, Nigeria, and seized women there as villagers tried to flee. Niger State’s governor said more than 3,000 people have been driven from their communities by Boko Haram and other criminal gangs in such a way. 


The Mayor of New York said that the state of New York will most likely become fully open by July 1st. Restaurants, gyms, shops, hair salons, and arenas will open at full capacity. Smaller theaters could reopen over the summer and Broadway is on track for reopening by September. Schools will be back at “full strength” in the fall. In an NBC interview, President Biden was asked if the country of America itself is racist after Senator Tim Scott’s response to Biden’s congressional address went viral online. Biden replied “I don’t think that the American people are racist. But I do think after 400 years, African Americans have been left in a position where they’re so far behind the eight balls in terms of education, health, and opportunity.” A stampede at a mountainside religious celebration in Israel left 45 people dead and many more injured. It was one of the worst civilian disasters in Israeli history. As details emerged, it appeared that the crush had occurred after celebrants slipped on stone steps leading into a narrow passageway with a metal-floored slope, setting off what the news site Ynet described as a “human avalanche.”


House Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, is now being fined $5,000 after Capitol Police reported that he purposefully bypassed a screening before entering the House chambers. The Capitol Police report notes that he avoided a metal detector, Clyburn is now appealing the fine. Reuters is reporting “Britain has been urged to publish its “green” list of countries where people from England will be able to travel as soon as possible as the May 17 date for the restart of holidays nears.” Could we continue to see this push with other countries? Possibly but it remains true that many areas are on the road to reopening. The TSA is extending its mask requirements through September, this will require masks at airports, on commercial flights, buses, and on the rail system.


House Rep. Mike Nearman was charged with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass after footage showed him exiting the Capitol and leaving doors open for protesters to enter. The CDC is now reporting that over 200 million Covid-19 doses have been administered in the United States. “The agency said 146,239,208 people had received at least one dose while 103,422,555 people were fully vaccinated as of Saturday.” May 1st marked May Day or International Labour Day, across the world protesters marched calling attention to issues like job opportunities, worker’s rights, and wages.


As we continue to see the cryptocurrency trend unfold, cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has surpassed the $3,000. We can now anticipate a rift between China and New Zealand as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says “It will not have escaped the attention of anyone here that as China’s role in the world grows and changes, the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile.” China is one of New Zealand’s top trading partners.

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