Our Top 5 Stories for the Week of September 13, 2021
It’s been a busy week, from the influx of migrants in Texas to the Taliban’s newly formed government. 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.
The Delta Variant Continues to Ravage Areas
Photo Source: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, Pool
- Hospitals on the Edge of Collapse: On Monday, September 13, Kentucky hospitals expressed concern as government-led assistance programs reached their end. ICUs around the state are 130% over capacity, so Governor Beshear is planning to deploy 400 National Guard members to help the areas ravaged the worst. That same day, the CDC added some more island destinations—Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mauritius, Albania and Serbia—to the level 4 Extremely High-Risk Category. Afghanistan, amidst all its turmoil, has also been added to the list. The CDC recommends people be fully vaccinated before visiting these areas.
- Vaccine Passports Enforced: On Monday, September 13, New York City officially began enforcing vaccine passports, requiring visitors to have at least one dose to enjoy indoor fitness, dining, and entertainment. Businesses are required to enforce this new mandate. The city offered $100 debit cards to people getting the vaccine in hopes of increasing the rate.  On Monday, September 13, South Africa decreased some Covid restrictions, but mulled over the decision to require vaccine passports. The lowered restrictions will be reevaluated in a few weeks as the country has enough vaccine doses to vaccinate the entire adult population. On Friday, September 17, Los Angeles County, the largest county in the US, issued a new health order. This order requires all people to be vaccinated in order to enter indoor bars, nightclubs, wineries, breweries, and lounges. On Friday, September 17, Italy announced the new “green pass” mandate, requiring all workers to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test starting October 17. About 75% of the Italian population is vaccinated, but officials would like to get that number up.
- Schools Reopen: On Monday, September 13, New York City’s public schools, the largest district in the nation, opened its doors to in-person learning. The district is not offering a remote option for students this year, making this the first time students have gone to school in over a year. On Wednesday, September 15, officials voiced their fears about the unvaccinated as schools across the country continue to open. The Delta Variant has already caused many outbreaks amongst children. There has been a 240% increase in adolescent Covid cases since July. Officials found that over half the outbreaks in youth are from schools. It is still recommended that schools require masks for all and vaccinations for staff.
- Vaccine Updates: On Friday, September 17, the FDA officially recommended booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for those 65 and older and who are high risk. However, it refused to recommend the booster dose for all people 16 and older due to information suggesting that a large vaccine rollout isn’t necessary at the moment. Booster shots should be available starting September 20. On Saturday, September 18, Vietnam approved the Cuban vaccine Abdala. The ruling comes as Vietnam is grappling with the Delta Variant. With only 6.35 of the Vietnamese population vaccinated, officials hope this eighth approved vaccine will help bring up rates. Many of the deaths and hospitalizations in Vietnam have been due to the Delta Variant.
Check out some more Covid resources.
FBI Investigated for Larry Nassar Case
Photo Source: Saul Loeb/Pool via AP
On Wednesday, September 15, Simone Biles testified against the FBI’s handling of the Nassar case alongside teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. Larry Nassar, the former team coach for the US Olympic Gymnastics team, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to life in prison last year. The girls have stated that the FBI’s mishandling of the case and allegations allowed the abuse to continue, causing them to suffer. Maroney went as far to say that the FBI made false claims about what she said in an attempt to recover after the botched investigation made it to the news. The FBI allegedly knew of allegations and let Nassar walk free for another year, potentially allowing for more victims. On Friday, September 18, there were calls for Attorney General Merrick Garland to resign amid the allegations of the FBI mishandling the case.The Justice Department, which didn’t attend the Judiciary Committee hearing, has said it is reviewing the recommendations.
Source: BBC CNN CNN
Learn more about the case.
Migrants Stranded Under Texas Bridge
Photo Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay
On Friday, September 18, tens of thousands of migrants were stranded under a bridge in the Texas border town of Del Rio. Nearly 14,000 undocumented migrants are being held for processing. A makeshift camp has been made under the Del Rio bridge. A large number of the migrants are Haitian as the country is still reeling from an earthquake that happened last month. An order when the pandemic began allowed border agents to turn away adult migrants; however, a new ruling has stated that this order doesn’t apply to migrants traveling with children. Border agents are asking President Biden for more support as it could take weeks to process the growing number of migrants. It is believed that most of the migrants will be turned away.
Learn more about immigration in the US.
The Taliban Continue to Rule
Photo Source: AP Photo/Felipe Dana
On Monday, September 13, the BBC reported that at least 20 civilians have been killed by the Taliban in battles over control. Resistance groups in Panjshir continue to fight the Taliban for control of the area, resulting in violence and death. Despite the growing deaths, resistance groups have vowed to fight on. On Monday, September 13, the first Pakistan International Airport landed in Kabul since foreign troops withdrew. The flight was a special flight designed to create “goodwill” amongst the people of both countries. This flight gives hope that some foreign nationals will still be able to leave Afghanistan if they wish. On Monday, September 13, Afghan women went viral after posting pictures of themselves in colorful traditional dresses in protest of the Taliban’s new law requiring black hijabs in schools. The Taliban has also announced that classrooms will be segregated by gender. On Wednesday, September 15, the Taliban announced that it’s giving Kandahar residents three days to leave their homes. Protesters marched in front of the governor’s office after this was announced. Protesters are stating that they have yet to be given a reason for the evacuation order. Many of the residents have very little money, and they cannot afford to move from their homes. On Thursday, September 16, Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag announced her resignation after backlash revolving around the Afghanistan crisis. Kaag’s handling of the evacuation operation has been criticized due to the amount of people left behind. On Friday, September 17, the US military admitted it had made a mistake, killing 10 innocent people in the airstrike that occurred in August. The civilians, seven of whom were children, were hit after the military targeted the wrong vehicle. General McKenzie offered an apology to the family of the victims, taking full responsibility for the mistake. On Friday, September 17, the Taliban reopened secondary schools, but only allowed male students and male teachers to enter. A statement released by the Taliban made no mention of allowing women and girls back into the building, despite the group’s earlier promise of allowing women rights. That same day, it was reported that the Taliban shut down the women’s affair ministry, instead replacing it with a department that previously enforced strict religious doctrines.
Source: BBC CNN CNN CNN CNN CNN BBC
Learn more about the history of Afghanistan.
California Hit by Fires and Earthquakes
Photo Source: AP Photo/Noah Berger
On Friday, September 17, firefighters in California worked to wrap fire-proof blankets around the ancient trees of Sequoia National Park. The fire is coming dangerously close to the Giant Forest, which houses some of the world’s biggest trees. Helicopters and water-dropping planes have also surrounded the area in an attempt to stop the fires before they hit the historical trees. Trees have also been wrapped in aluminum foil to add another layer of protection. More than 2.2 million acres have been scorched in California this year. On Friday, September 17, California was hit with another blow as a 4.3 magnitude earthquake rattled the southern parts of the state. Luckily, no injuries or severe damages have been reported.
Source: CNN