Our Top 5 Stories for the Week of September 27, 2021

Updated October 3, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

It’s been a busy week, from divisive Covid mandates to prison riots in Ecuador. 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.

Coronavirus Updates (5)

US Covid

Photo Source: AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte


  • Vaccine Updates: On Monday, September 27, it was announced by Pfizer’s CEO that the company will be ready to seek approval for its vaccine for children 5 to 12. Data continues to come in, and Pfizer has said it’s mere days away from seeking FDA approval.[1]
  • Vaccine Mandates Cause Tension: Hundreds of New York healthcare workers were suspended after the vaccine mandate went into effect on Tuesday, September 28. Nearly 90% of NY healthcare workers have at least one dose of the vaccine, but the other 10% risk losing their jobs with their refusal.[2] On Wednesday, September 29, United Airlines, which has some of the strictest employee mandates, announced that it will fire those who do not get the vaccine. At least 600 employees risk termination if they fail to produce proof of two vaccine doses come Monday.[3] On Thursday, September 30, Rio de Janeiro reinstated its vaccine passport just one day after a local judge paused the order, claiming it was too divisive. Brazil has the second highest death toll, just behind the US, with over half a million deaths.[4]
  • Drama Continues in School Districts: On Wednesday, September 29, California’s second-largest school district unanimously voted to pass a vaccine mandate that requires all eligible employees and students to be vaccinated come December. Those who choose not to get vaccinated will be unable to attend in-person sessions and will be forced to enroll in an independent study.[5]On Thursday, September 30, Louisiana Public Schools announced that parents can choose whether or not to quarantine their students after a positive Covid-19 exposure. Schools will proceed to tell parents when their children are exposed, but the next steps are up to the parents’ discretion. Students who test positive, however, are still advised to isolate until they are no longer infectious.[6]
  • YouTube’s New Rules: On Thursday, September 30, YouTube announced that it will remove content that spreads misinformation about all approved vaccines. This expands the ban that was originally in place for the Covid-19 vaccine. Now, all content that claims vaccines cause autism, infertility, or cancer will be removed from the platform. At least 130,000 videos have been removed in the last year.[7]
  • Russia is Struggling: On Tuesday, September 28, Russia reported its worst single-day death toll since the Covid pandemic began. In the past 24 hours, there were 852 coronavirus related deaths. Russia only has about 50 million people with at least one dose of the vaccine. The country has reported the seventh highest numbers worldwide.[8]

Source: [1]CNN [2]CNN [3]CNN [4]CNN [5]CNN [6]CNN [7]BBC [8]CNN


Check out some more Covid resources.

Elections Continue Around the World

Japan Election

Photo Source: Carl Court/Pool Photo via AP


  • Iceland: On Monday, September 27, Iceland briefly believed it had made history by electing a majority of female candidates for parliament. However, a recount showed that 30 of the 63 seats were actually won by females. No European country has broken the 50% threshold.[1]
  • Germany: On Monday, September 27, the controversial election in Germany finally came to an end. Some of the preliminary official results show the Social Democratic Party as the winner of most seats, but Merkel’s successor has not yet been decided because the coalition deal must be negotiated first.[2]
  • Switzerland: On Monday, September 27, Switzerland became one of the last countries in the western Europe to legalize same-sex marriage. Two thirds of voters voted to approve same-sex marriage in the referendum.[3]
  • Japan: On Wednesday, September 28, Fumio Kishida was elected as the new leader of Japan. The country’s Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) is currently the ruling party, and their vote has cleared the way for Kishida to become Japan’s next Prime Minister. Parliament will officially convene in October.[4]

Source: [1]BBC [2]CNN [3]BBC [4]CNN


Learn more about the Liberal Democratic Party.

Prison Riot in Ecuador

Ecuador Jail

Photo Source: AP Photo/Jose Sanchez

On Tuesday, September 28, a prison riot in Ecuador left at least 116 people dead and 80 more wounded. The Litoral Penitentiary is located just outside the city of Guayaquil. It took hours for the prison to be secured, and even longer for bodies to be recovered and identified. The massacre was caused by an alleged drug war occurring between gangs inside the prison. Families of inmates rushed to the scene, desperate for information. Many were left in the dark and only able to identify loved ones from footage and photos that appeared on the news. In response, the government has instituted a 60 day state of emergency for all Ecuador prisons.
Source: BBC

Check out some facts and news articles on Ecuador.

Natural Disasters Continue Around the World

California Fire

Photo Source: AP Photo/Ethan Swope


  • Greece Earthquake: On Monday, September 27, at least one man was killed after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Crete, Greece. The man died after a church dome, under renovation, fell on him. People could be seen running out of the building after the earthquake struck.[1]
  • La Palma Volcano Continues to Erupt: On Monday, September 27, authorities had to lock down a coastal area as the lava from the La Palma volcano approached the sea. If the lava touches the Atlantic Ocean, it may cause more explosions and release some toxic gas. Residents have been ordered to stay in their homes with doors and windows closed for the time being.[2]
  • California Fires: On Tuesday, September 28, a woman was charged with arson in connection to the Fawn Fire in California. The fire, which began September 22, burned nearly 8,500 acres and is only 65% contained. The woman was hiking in Canada when she stopped to boil some drinking water. She allegedly started the fire during this process.[3] On Thursday, September 30, it was reported that the Windy Fire in California has destroyed more than two dozen sequoia trees. At least 29 of the giant trees in Sequoia National Park have been destroyed, which is devastating since they’ve been around for thousands of years. These numbers are just early assessments, as experts continue to assess damage and attempt to protect the rest of the forest.[4]

Source: [1]BBC [2]CNN [3]CNN [4]CNN


Learn more about the deadliest volcanic eruptions.

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