CORONAVIRUS: Prez Joe Biden just made a big announcement: the US will purchase 500 million more covid tests to distribute - plus the gov will make free high-quality face masks available to all Americans. This comes as the US continues to record hundreds of thousands of cases each day. In some good news: experts say there are signs that Omicron may be peaking in parts of the US. Meanwhile, US college enrollment dropped again in the fall of 2021. Total undergraduate enrollment has declined by about 1.2 million students since 2019. Outside of the US, teachers in France are going on strike to protest the gov’s covid protocols for schools. Over 3o percent of all schoolteachers participated in the protest. And in other news, Iraq is planning to ban unvaxxed people from entering the country.
VOTING RIGHTS: Everyone is talking about voting rights. ICYMI, since the 2020 US presidential election, Republicans have been intro’ing a slew of new voting restrictions. So Dems have been trying (and failing) to pass updated voting rights legislation. Their biggest obstacle? The filibuster. Scratch that, because it looks like Dems have figured out a loophole. If the House of Reps put the voting rights package into an unrelated bill, it would go back to the Senate as a “message,” which isn’t subject to a filibuster. Stay tuned. Speaking of which, the Ohio Supreme Court isn’t a fan of the state’s newly-drawn congressional maps, which were criticized as partisan. Now, it looks like the state will have to submit a new plan.
WORLD: Recently, the US, NATO (as in the military alliance), and Russia got together to talk Ukraine. Quick refresher: lately, tens of thousands of Russian troops have been amassing on the Ukrainian border. Plus Prez Vladimir Putin has been demanding that Ukraine not be added as a member of NATO. All of the above has led to fears that Russia could be planning an invasion of Ukraine. Cue these diplomatic talks, which so far…have gone nowhere. Tension, high. Also making headlines: North Korea says it successfully tested a hypersonic missile on Wednesday. The country apparently plans to use the new weapon to get the US to lift sanctions. And last but not least, Nigeria just took a red pen to its ban on Twitter, which has been in place for 7 months.