CORONAVIRUS: India just surpassed 26 million coronavirus cases. Not a typo. Daily infection numbers and death look to be going down from their recent peak, though. What else is down: the pace of vaccinations in the US, which have pretty much halved in the last month. Cue vaccine lotteries, in which some states - like New York, Maryland, and Ohio - let people who’ve gotten a vaccine shot enter a lottery for millions of dollars. In other vaccine news, a booster shot could be necessary as soon as this fall. Pfizer and Moderna have already started working on that shot to be prepped for when it’s needed. And last but not least, the European Union is pledging to supply 1.3 billion vaccines to low and middle income countries.
PEOPLE: Yesterday, Prez Biden signed off on a bill that will up federal resources for combating hate crimes against Asian-Americans. The bill got through the House of Reps and the Senate with bipartisan support and comes after a recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military-appointed electoral body is planning to trash Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party. ICYMI, Suu Kyi - Myanmar’s civilian leader - and her party won last year’s election in a landslide, but the military claims it was a fraudulent election...and took over in a coup. In other news, an Indian trial court just acquitted a prominent journalist of rape charges. The decision marks a big loss for India’s Me Too movement.
ENVIRONMENT: The other day, a new study came out and revealed that just 20 bizes are behind half of the world’s single-use plastic waste. You read that right. Big deal, since researchers think the production of single-use plastic could account for 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Speaking of which, around 50,000 students are expected to join the School Strike 4 Climate today in Australia. It’s the latest of many mass school strikes protesting gov actions on climate change in recent years. At this particular demonstration, students are demanding no new coal, gas, and oil projects in Australia. Stay tuned.