As our semester is off to a virtual start, now is also a good time to catch up on several important events going on in the world.
- Joe Biden’s Inauguration.
Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021. On his first day in office, he signed several executive orders. One executive order he signed was the rejoining of the Paris Agreement, which the Trump administration pulled out of in 2017. This agreement is an international climate agreement that pursues the goal of lowering emissions that cause climate change. He also signed an executive order to promote racial equality and to advance equity for all Americans. Additionally, he signed an executive order mandating the wearing of masks on federal property. Among other executive orders, he also signed an order about adding undocumented immigrants into the census He also canceled the Keystone XL Permit, banned discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and paused federal student loan payments. For a more exhaustive and comprehensive list, visit the official White House Website, or the article that NBC News published.
- Mass protests in Russia over the arrest of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
Five months ago, Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s most well-known opposition leader, was poisoned and subsequently left Russia. In mid-January, he returned and was arrested as soon as his plane landed in the country. People all over Russia came out and protested this arrest, and have been met with severe police violence and aggression. Protestors have posted videos of the violence on various social media platforms, and have demonstrated the brutality in which Russian police are using towards them. This is an evolving issue, with many news sources tracking the events. To read more about what has already happened, read these articles published by the New York Times: Navalny Arrested on Return to Russia and Something Special just Happened in Russia.
- New COVID-19 variant from South Africa.
In South Carolina, COVID cases have been identified as containing the new virus variant originating from South Africa. This new variation is thought to be more transmissible. According to CNN, the vaccine will still be able to fight this new variation. See the original article here.
- Baghdad bombing last Thursday.
Last Thursday in Baghdad two suicide bombs went off, killing dozens of people. ISIS claimed responsibility, yet gave no evidence, and CNN did not verify these claims. This attack demonstrates that although violence in Iraq has de-escalated in recent years, it is still an issue that the citizens and government must grapple with. Find the full article here: Baghdad Bombing’s.
It is important to stay up to date on happenings in the U.S. and abroad; what happens in different parts of the world quite often has global repercussions.