Our Top 5 Stories for the Week of October 18, 2021
It?s been a busy week, from President Bolsonaro being charged with crimes against humanities to extreme flooding in India and Nepal. Who has time to keep track of it all? That?s why we?ve boiled it all down to our top five stories of the week.
President Bolsonaro Could Be Charged and Mandates Continue as the Pandemic Rages On
Photo Source: AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
- Update on Numbers: On Sunday, October 17, Dr. Fauci and Johns Hopkins University urged people to continue getting vaccinated in order to end the pandemic. Cases are down by about 8,000 a day, but experts continue to emphasize the importance of the vaccine. On Wednesday, October 20, it was reported that scientists are looking closely at a new subtype of the Delta variant that is causing even more infections in the UK. This newly discovered variant has accounted for 6% of the new cases. On Wednesday, October 20, the WHO released a report saying the pandemic will go well into 2022 because poorer countries do not have access to the vaccine. Officials are pleading with countries to donate vaccines to low-income areas in order to end the pandemic sooner.
- Tensions with Mandates Continues: On Monday, October 18, Chicago PD officials announced that the unit will be restricting time off for people. The call comes a day after the new mandate went into effect. Many officers are still speaking out about the entire ordeal. On Wednesday, October 20, NYC announced that all workers must now be vaccinated against Covid-19. The city is running a $500 lottery program for all those who start the vaccination process before October 29. That same day, workers in Maine asked the Supreme Court to step in and block a vaccine mandate. The workers argue that the mandate, set to begin October 29, does not offer religious exemptions and goes against religious beliefs and freedoms. An appeals court denied the case the day prior. On Thursday, October 21, Canada announced that it will start a proof of vaccination program for both domestic and international travel. The country will have a watermarked certificate that will aid other countries, airlines, and cruise lines in recognizing legitimate documents.
- Vaccine Updates: On Wednesday, October 20, the FDA authorized booster doses of Moderna and the J&J vaccine, now approving boosters of three vaccines. The FDA is also urging the mix and match approach of the vaccines. The CDC will look at the date and make guidelines based on the new research. On Sunday, October 17, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region announced that they?ve already ordered an antiviral pill, Molnupiravir, that?s not even approved yet. The pill was created by an American company, and if approved, will be the first antiviral pill used to fight Covid-19. Many Asian-Pacific countries missed out on the early-order of the vaccines, so they are trying to combat that this time around.
- Brazil Updates: On Tuesday, October 19, leaked reports showed the Brazil?s congressional panel is set to vote on charges against President Bolsonaro. Senators have recommended Bolsonaro be charged with 10 crimes, including crimes against humanity, for the way he has handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally, the congressional committee was going to recommend Bolsonaro be charged with mass homicide; however, the charges have changed.
- Russia Updates: On Wednesday, October 20, as Russia?s crisis deepened, it was mandated that unvaccinated people over the age of 60 must stay home for 4 months. The strict mandate comes as the healthcare facilities are on the brink of collapse. The days between October 30 and November 7 have been declared non-working days in an attempt to slow the spread, as well.
Check out some more Covid resources.
Kidnapping in Haiti
Photo Source: AP Photo/Matias Delacroix
On Monday, October 18, it was reported that the previous Saturday, 17 missionaries from the US and Canada were kidnapped in Haiti. Some of the missionaries are minors, according to Christian Aid Ministries. Among those kidnapped are five men, seven women, and five children. An investigation by Haiti?s security forces suggested the kidnapping was done by gang members. The following day, on Tuesday, October 19, the kidnappers made contact with the organization, demanding a $17 million ransom. The gang, called 400 Mawozo, is demanding $1 million for each person. As negotiations continue, the FBI and Haitian police are instructing the hostages on how to move forward. On Thursday, October 21, the leader of the gang released a video threatening to kill the hostages if he doesn?t get what he wants. Little information is available as it is an ongoing FBI situation.
Source:  CNN CNN CNN
Learn more about Haiti.
Violence Continues to Surge Across the World
Photo Source: SANA via AP
- Stabbing in Arkansas: On Sunday, October 17, at least three people were dead and one police officer was injured after a stabbing incident in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Police were responding to a 911 call, where they were allegedly greeted by the scene of the suspect beating his son. When one officer went to apprehend him, the suspect slashed his throat. The officer was able to shoot and kill the suspect, but his son unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.
- University Homecoming Shootings: On Sunday, October 17, at least one person died and another seven were injured after a shooting at Grambling University in Louisiana. Only one of the injured victims was actually a student, despite the shooting taking place on campus. The university has cancelled all Sunday homecoming activities and all Monday classes as police continue to investigate.On Saturday, October 23, one person was killed and another seven injured at an off-campus house party in Georgia. The party, which was just outside Fort Valley State University as the college was celebrating homecoming weekend. Police are still investigating the incident.
- Tragedy on Movie Set: On Thursday, October 21, tragedy struck the Hollywood film set of ?Rust? after Alec Baldwin fired a live gun, killing one person and injuring another. Court documents allege that ?cold gun? was yelled before the scene was filmed, meaning the gun was not supposed to have live ammunition. The next day, more documents were released stating that at least three crew members had quit the week before due to gun safety guidelines and Covid-19 protocols not being met.
- Violence in Ethiopia Continues: On Wednesday, October 20, it was reported that Ethiopia?s Tigray region was hit with new airstrikes, covering the area in smoke and debris. The airstrikes were meant to attack weapons sites of the Tigray People?s Liberation Front. However, the airstrike hit a residential area and caused harm to civilians and their property. Though no casualties have been reported with this strike, three children and one adult were killed in an airstrike hitting the same region on Monday.
- Nigeria Sees Violence One Year After Deadly Protests: On Wednesday, October 20, police fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters in Lagos. The protesters were there to remember those who lost their lives during the protest in the same NIgerian region this time last year. Last year, demonstrators were shot during their #EndSARS movement. The Nigerian government still claims the shooting never happened despite video and photographic evidence. Police have arrested some demonstrators this year.
- Syria?s War Rages On: On Wednesday, October 20, a drone attack in Syria targeted a US base and US troops in the region. An original assessment suggested that there were no damages, but damage assessments are still in the works. However, that same day, 10 people, including 4 children, were killed in Syrian regime strikes. Earlier that day, 14 people were killed after a military bus was targeted with two explosive devices. These latest attacks show that the war is not over quite yet.
TRUTH Social to Launch
Photo Source: KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx
On Thursday, October 21, former President Trump announced that he is launching his own social media platform: TRUTH Social. Trump stated the new platform would ?stand up to the tyranny of big tech.? Social media was a large part of Trump?s campaign, but after supporters stormed the US Capitol, Trump was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook. Previously this year, former President Trump launched a blog, but it was shut down nearly a month after beginning. The new platform only has a registration page. There is no other evidence that the platform is close to being released.
Floods Devastate Areas as Natural Disasters Continue
Photo Source: AP Photo/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi
On Monday, October 18, heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, sparking major flooding in India. The area of Kerala was hit the hardest, with at least 26 people dying. The death toll will most likely rise as the number of missing people continues to increase. Houses and businesses have washed away, stranding many people in the area. Officials have stated that military helicopters are being used to fly in supplies and provide rescue. By Wednesday, October 20, the death toll from the floods reached over 100. Parts of Nepal have also been affected by the floods and landslides. Schools have been closed and many religious and tourist attractions have been suspended.
Source: BBC BBC