Weekly RoundUp (7/12-7/18)


Christian Emmanuel Sanon has been arrested in connection to the assasisantion of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Police have stated that Sanon planned to assume the presidency and is accused of working with the people who plotted the killing. Over 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the US for the month of June were in unvaccinated individuals. The CDC has published new guidelines that encourage American schools to reopen in the fall and that fully vaccinated students do not need to continue wearing masks, even indoors. Thousands of anti-government protesters are marching on the streets of Cuba over rising frustrations resulting from the economic crisis and the worsening rate of COVID-19 infection. Many people are experiencing shortages of food and medicine due to US sanctions. 


At least 64 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a deadly hospital fire in Nasiriyah, Iraq. The fire was started by an exploding oxygen canister and tore through the hospital’s COVID-19 isolation ward. Protesters in Guatemala are demanding the resignation of Guatemalan president President Alejandro Giammattei over his mishandling of the pandemic. The 18 day strike in Chicago has ended after about 2,500 public employees were able to win a tentative contract that grants them hazard pay for work during the pandemic, better pay equity, and other benefits. 


As of Tuesday, July 13th, over 70 people have died in riots and protests following the arrest of South African President Jacob Zuma, who turned himself in to the police for contempt of court earning him a 15-month prison sentence. This follows him failing to appear at an anti-corruption commission which brings charges of bribery and fraud against him. Protestors and looters have been clashing with police for the last week as riots continue. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has just signed a bill into effect that makes it illegal for police to lie to minors during interrogations. As of Thursday, July 15th, a bill that states that misleading interrogation tactics can no longer be used against minors was passed. The bill goes into effect on January 1st. The bill aims to lower the number of false confessions and wrongful convictions. Red-flag fire warnings have been issued in Idaho, Oregon, and California as of Saturday. There is a new risk of wildfires even as over 70 fires have wrecked the West Coast with around 379,130 acres burned. Around 2,000 people have already been evacuated in these areas. 


Thousands of anti-vaccine protesters have been marching through the streets of Paris and Greece. The outrage comes after French President Macron’s plan to require verification of vaccine status or a negative COVID-19 test in the form of a “health pass” for entry into public restaurants and bars. The CDC announced that in the US, overdoses accounted for more deaths than car crashes, HIV/AIDS, and gun violence combined. In 2020 drug overdose deaths were up by 30% due to the pandemic. President Biden has nominated Dr. Rahul Gupta to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed legislation that decriminalizes marijuana on the federal level and opens the opportunity for it to be taxed and regulated. 


Los Angeles County has announced new mask wearing guidelines as COVID-19 cases rise due to the Delta Variant. Everyone will now be required to wear masks indoors again, even if they have been vaccinated. WHO immunization director Kate O’Brien warns of a huge decline in children receiving their routine vaccines for diseases like polio and measles due to strains brought on by the pandemic. She states, “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major backsliding on childhood vaccination, taking us back more than a decade. An estimated 23 million children have missed out on basic vaccines through the routine immunization services in 2020. That is the highest number of unprotected children since 2009.” Catastrophic flooding in West Germany and Belgium have led to the deaths of more than 110 people. 


In California, two men have been arrested in connection to a domestic terrorism plot to bomb the state’s Democratic party headquarters in Sacramento. Evidence collected by law enforcement indicates that the two were angry over Donald Trump’s loss of the 2020 presidential election. Heatwave deaths in Oregon are bringing light to jarring climate injustices amongst income groups. Studies being conducted have shown more affluent neighborhoods with a lot of greenery are significantly cooler than low income areas with more highways and parking lots. The hottest temperatures have been recorded at homeless encampments at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. 


About 65 people fell sick as a result of a chemical incident at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring, Texas. Readings of the park’s water showed a composition of 30-35% sulfuric acid and 10-13% bleach. Trump administration FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated that those who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 are very likely to get the highly transmissible Delta variant. He says, “Most people will either get vaccinated, or have been previously infected, or they will get this Delta variant”. Canada has surpassed the United States in COVID-19 vaccines being administered. At least 49% of Canadians are fully vaccinated and 70% have received at least one dose. 

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