HEALTH: The World Health Organization is warning everyone that the coronavirus variant originating in India is of “global concern.” More specifically, early data shows the variant spreads more easily than other variants. You read that right. In some good news: the US Food and Drug Admin just gave the thumbs-up to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in people ages 12 to 15. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to meet to discuss how the vaccine should be used for that age group. Also making headlines in the US: the Biden team just brought back Obama-era protections for transgender people in healthcare. This comes after Trump trashed those protections.
WORLD: Recently, a gunman opened fire on a school in the Russian city of Kazan. At least 7 students and one teacher were killed. 21 others were injured. The suspect is a 19 year old former student who’s officially registered as a gun owner and announced his plans to carry out the attack via social media. The tragedy comes as a rare mass shooting in Russia. Meanwhile, a US coast guard ship just fired about 30 warning shots after a group of 13 Iranian speedboats maneuvered toward US navy vessels in the strait of Hormuz. It’s the second time in the last month that US military ships have fired warning shots due to the actions of Iranian boats. And in other news, it looks like China just experienced its slowest population growth in decades.
MEDIA: ICYMI, a couple months ago, Myanmar’s military took control of the country in a coup. Cue tons of protests and general unrest. Some people have even fled to other countries. Case in point: three prominent reporters escaped Myanmar and went to Thailand...where they were just arrested. Now, some journalist groups worry that they’ll “face certain arrest and persecution” if they’re sent back to Myanmar. Stay tuned. In other news, NBC just declared it won’t be airing the Golden Globes next year. Yes, really. Quick refresher: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the awards, has been under a lot of fire lately for a total lack of diversity (not one of its 87 members is Black) and potentially corrupt practices.